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Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. During a year of a solar eclipse, it is typical for governmental offices, banks, and schools to close extra days in order to enjoy the extended celestial celebration an eclipse brings. A notable part of celebrating the holiday is the carrying of brightly lit lanterns , lighting lanterns on towers, or floating sky lanterns. It is difficult to discern the original purpose of lanterns in connection to the festival, but it is certain that lanterns were not used in conjunction with moon-worship prior to the Tang dynasty.

But today the lantern has come to symbolize the festival itself. As China gradually evolved from an agrarian society to a mixed agrarian-commercial one, traditions from other festivals began to be transmitted into the Mid-Autumn Festival, such as the putting of lanterns on rivers to guide the spirits of the drowned as practiced during the Ghost Festival , which is observed a month before.

In Vietnam, children participate in parades in the dark under the full moon with lanterns of various forms, shapes, and colors. Traditionally, lanterns signified the wish for the sun's light and warmth to return after winter. Making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and reunion. Thus, the sharing and eating of round mooncakes among family members during the week of the festival signifies the completeness and unity of families.

Although typical mooncakes can be around a few centimetres in diameter, imperial chefs have made some as large as a few metres in radius, with its surface pressed with designs of Chang'e, cassia trees, or the Moon-Palace. According to Chinese folklore, a Turpan businessman offered cakes to Emperor Taizong of Tang in his victory against the Xiongnu on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month.

Although the legend explains the beginnings of mooncake-giving, its popularity and ties to the festival began during the Song dynasty — CE. Another popular legend concerns the Han Chinese's uprising against the ruling Mongols at the end of the Yuan dynasty — CE , in which the Han Chinese used traditional mooncakes to conceal the message that they were to rebel on Mid-Autumn Day. Imperial dishes served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion.

Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy. Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates , melons, oranges, and pomelos. In Chinese folklore, the Jade Rabbit was an animal that lived on the moon and accompanied Chang'e. Offerings of soy beans and cockscomb flowers were made to the Jade Rabbit. Nowadays, in southern China, people will also eat some seasonal fruit that may differ in different district but carrying the same meaning of blessing.

In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Pomelo sections can be fashioned into unicorns, rabbits, or dogs. Well-dressed visitors could visit to observe the daughter's handiwork as an indication of her capabilities as a wife in the future. Eventually the practice of arranging centerpieces became a tradition not just limited to wealthy families.

The Mid-Autumn moon has traditionally been a choice occasion to celebrate marriages. Girls would pray to moon deity Chang'e to help fulfill their romantic wishes. In some parts of China, dances are held for young men and women to find partners. For example, young women are encouraged to throw their handkerchiefs to the crowd, and the young man who catches and returns the handkerchief has a chance at romance.

The young women would arrive early to overhear remarks made about them by the young men. The young men would praise their lovers in front of their fellows, in which finally the listening women would walk out of the thicket. Pairs of lovers would go off to a quiet place to open their hearts to each other. Into the early decades of the twentieth century Vietnam, young men and women used the festival as a chance to meet future life companions.

Groups would assemble in a courtyard and exchange verses of song while gazing at the moon. Those who performed poorly were sidelined until one young man and one young woman remained, after which they would win prizes as well as entertain matrimonial prospects. During the s and s, ethnographer Chao Wei-pang conducted research on traditional games among men, women and children on or around the Mid-Autumn day in the Guangdong Province. These games relate to flights of the soul, spirit possession, or fortunetelling. A unique tradition is celebrated quite exclusively in the island city of Xiamen.

On the festival, families and friends gather to play a gambling sort of game involving 6 dice.


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People take turns in rolling the dice in a ceramic bowl with the results determining what they win. The number 4 is mainly what determines how big the prize is. In Hong Kong and Macau , the day after the Mid-Autumn Festival is a public holiday rather than the festival date itself unless that date falls on a Sunday, then Monday is also a holiday , because many celebration events are held at night. There are a number of festive activities such as lighting lanterns, but mooncakes are the most important feature there. However, people don't usually buy mooncakes for themselves, but to give their relatives as presents.

People start to exchange these presents well in advance of the festival.


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Hence, mooncakes are sold in elegant boxes for presentation purpose. Neighbourhoods across Hong Kong set impressive lantern exhibitions with traditional stage shows, game stalls, palm readings, and many other festive activities. The grandest celebrations take place in Victoria Park Hong Kong.

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The leader of the fire dragon dance would pray for peace, good fortune through blessings in Hakka. After the ritual ceremony, fire-dragon was thrown into the sea with lanterns and paper cards, which means the dragon would return to sea and take the misfortunes away. Sha Po would celebrate Mid Autumn Festival in every 15th day of the 8th lunar month [34].

During the event, someone would play the percussions, Some villagers would then acted as possessed and called themselves as "Maoshan Masters". They burnt themselves with incense sticks and fought with real blades and spears. It is also known as Children's Festival because of the event's emphasis on children. Being close to children was seen as a way to connect with animist spirits and deities. In its most ancient form, the evening commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. Eventually the celebration came to symbolize a reverence for fertility, with prayers given for bountiful harvests, increase in livestock, and human babies.

Over time, the prayers for children evolved into a celebration of children. One important event before and during the festival are lion dances. Dances are performed by both non-professional children's groups and trained professional groups. Lion dance groups perform on the streets, going to houses asking for permission to perform for them.

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If the host consents, the "lion" will come in and start dancing as a blessing of luck and fortune for the home. In return, the host gives lucky money to show their gratitude. In the Philippines , the Chinese Filipino community celebrate the evening and exchange mooncakes with fellow friends, families and neighbors.

In Taiwan , the Mid-Autumn Festival is a public holiday. Outdoor barbecues have become a popular affair for friends and family to gather and enjoy each other's company. Similar traditions are found in other parts of Asia and also revolve around the full moon. These festivals tend to occur on the same day or around the Mid-Autumn Festival. Sharad Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin September—October , marking the end of the monsoon season.

The Japanese moon viewing festival, o- tsukimi , is also held at this time. People picnic and drink sake under the full moon to celebrate the harvest. Many festivals revolving around a full moon are also celebrated in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Like the Mid-Autumn Festival, these festivals have Buddhist origins and revolve around the full moon however unlike their East Asian counterparts they occur several times a year to correspond with each full moon as opposed to one day each year.


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  • In that early morning, people start preparing sacrifices to worship the moon, including fresh flowers, cassava soup, flat rice, and sugar cane juice. At night, people put the sacrifices into a tray, place on a big mat, and sit at ease waiting for the moon. When the moon rises up over the top of a branch, everyone whole-heartedly worships the moon, implores blessings. After the ritual of worshipping the moon, the old take flat rice to put into the mouth of children until they are entirely full in order to spray for perfection, and good things.

    Many Cambodians celebrate this festival as it is believed that exchanging moon cake during this time is thought to bring luck and prosperity. Among Cambodians, this holiday is associated with Khmer beliefs of 'Sampeah Preah Ke' translated to "Praying to the Moon" and the Buddhist legend of the rabbit. In Laos, many festivals are held on the day of the full moon. The festival often lasts for three to seven days.

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    A procession occurs and many people visit the temple. In Myanmar, numerous festivals are held on the day of the full moon however Thadingyut Festival is the most popular one and occurs in the month of Thadingyut. It also occurs around the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival, depending on the lunar calendar. It is one of the biggest festivals in Myanmar after the New Year festival, Thingyan. It is a Buddhist festival and many people go to the temple to pay respect to the monks and offer food.

    In Sri Lanka, a full moon day is known as Poya and each full moon day is a public holiday. Shops and businesses are closed on these days as people prepare for the full moon. The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Han calendar —essentially the night of a full moon —which falls near the Autumnal Equinox on a day between September 8 and October 7 in the Gregorian calendar.

    In , it fell on September It will occur on these days in coming years: [51]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Mid-Autumn Festival decorations in Beijing. Houyi helplessly looking at his wife Chang'e flying off to the moon after she drank the elixir. For information on a different festival that also involve lanterns, see Lantern Festival. Main article: Mooncake. Cassia wine is the traditional choice for "reunion wine" drunk during Mid-Autumn Festival.

    Mid-Autumn Festival at Chinatown, Singapore. Main article: Sharad Purnima. Main article: Tsukimi. Main article: Chuseok. Main article: Uposatha.

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    Main article: Poya. Retrieved September 23, In the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal equinox takes place on March 20, , when it finally becomes autumn in the Southern Hemisphere — which is why the Northern and Southern Hemispheres experience virtually opposite seasons. The most notable and immediate change with the equinox is that the day and night have equal length, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association NOAA.

    And, in the north, the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are in their peak moment of view after the autumnal equinox, according to History.

    Spring, summer, autumn and winter — why do we have seasons?

    Cultures around the world celebrate the fall equinox in different ways. In the United States, many Native American tribes use the equinox as an indicator for the harvest season, according to Indian Country Today. Outside of the United States, the annual Chinese Harvest Moon festival also coincides with the autumnal equinox. Certain religious holidays, such as the Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah , also coincide with the equinox. The month of June was the fifth-warmest on record for the entire world, too. However, cooler temperatures can be expected in the Eastern United States in October, according to Dr.

    Todd Crawford, a senior meteorological scientist at The Weather Company, a weather forecasting company. Of course, the hallmark of fall in the Northeastern United States is its gorgeous leaves. But why do green leaves become orange and bronze after the fall equinox? The reason leaves change color in fall is due to the change of daylight and temperature, according to the College of Environmental Science and Forestry ESF. Essentially, after the warmer spring and summer months, leaves stop producing chlorophyll, which give them their quintessential green tint.