What has three names and celebrates the moon? China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Harvest Moon Festival, is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — or October 1 this year.
We know what you’re thinking. Why does the Mid-Autumn Festival take place in late summer? Because China follows the ancient lunar calendar — and the seventh, eighth and ninth lunar months are classified as autumn. The festival, marking the end of the autumn harvest, occurs during the middle of autumn when the moon is at its fullest.
Moon worship has been an integral part of Chinese culture for centuries. Families gather for celebrations, to eat dinner and share “moon cakes” as a way to thank the moon for a good harvest.