Mid-autumn Festival, one of the most important traditional festivals in China (only after Spring Festival), is the festival for harvest and family reunion. Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon nights since the Shang dynasty, more than 3000 years ago. But it was not until the Tang Dynasty that the mid-autumn celebration became a Festival formally. Mid-autumn Festival is also known as Moon Festival, because it is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar with full moon at night. Chinese believe that the full moon symbolizes family reunion. So the Mid-Autumn Festival is the day when family members get together.
The most well-known legend of Mid-autumn Festival is Chang E Flying to the Moon. It was said that a famous hero and archer in the ancient past in China, whose name was Hou Yi, received an elixir of immortality from an immortal. One of his apprentices wanted to steal the elixir but happened to be seen by his wife, Chang E. Chang E had no choice but swallowed the elixir. She flew to the moon after that and became the lunar deity. She could not return to earth any more, only a little white rabbit accompanying her. Hou Yi missed his wife so much. He displayed fruits and cakes Chang E liked in his yard and gave sacrifices to his wife on the evening of August 15 every year. This is why Chinese worship the moon and eat moon cakes on the Mid-Autumn Festival night.
Mid-Autumn Festival is usually at the end of September or early October of the Gregorian calendar. This is why at Wellington Tianjin, we set the last week of September as Chinese Culture Week to celebrate this festival. The Mandarin Department provides a variety of activities for all students, such as Chinese traditional games, Chinese traditional dress day, Mooncake tasting, Chinese drama, presentations and performances. Through these interesting activities, pupils have a broader understanding and experience of Chinese culture and the beautiful meaning of the Mid-Autumn Festival. We send good wishes to every family in the Wellington community.