Mid-Autumn Festival also called Chinese Moon Festival is together with the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year one of the two most important festivals in China. It takes place at the 15th day of the eighth Chinese lunar month every year and is an official holiday. This is the time when the moon is at its fullest and brightest in the whole year. This is celebrated by family reunions and a number of traditional ceremonies.
The celebration dates far back in history.
The traditional food still associated with the festival, is the moon cake which appears to have been part of the official offerings given at the official worshipping as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1066 B.C.-221 B.C.), together with watermelons and apples, red dates, plums, grapes and other fresh fruits.
During the prosperous Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) where wealth got distributed to a larger number of the society than earlier, the Mid-autumn festival started to become popularly recognized. Chinese poets like Libai contributed to make the Moon Festival popular, a custom that got even more widespread during the following Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.). In the northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.), on the night of the moon festival, people dressed up and burnt incense, praying for the bless of the moon. In the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 A.D.), people gave each other moon cakes as a symbol of reunion. During the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911) the celebrations developed different in the various regions of China to become the important event it is to all China today.