Customs of Mid-Autumn Festival


As the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival, admiring the full moon and eating mooncakes are the two most important customs of this festival. 

Admiring the moon

Gazing at the Moon is an ancient tradition from the Zhou Dynasty (around 500 BC) when people held ceremonies to welcome the advent of the full moon. Later, many famous ancient poets wrote poems about the moon and expressed their homesickness. Today, people still like appreciating the moon on the Mid-Autumn festival with their family members. 

Prelude to Water Melody

Men have sorrow and joy; they part or meet again;

The moon is bright or dim and she may wax or wane.

There has been nothing perfect since the olden days.

So let us wish that man

Will live long as he can!

Though miles apart, we’ll share the beauty she displays.

by Su Shi

Translated by Xu Yuanchong

Eating mooncakes

The mooncakes were originally used as an offering to Luna in ancient times. Later, they, together with moon appreciation, gradually became a symbol of family reunion. Mooncakes are typically round, representing great reunion. They are now a festival food used both as an offering to the moon and as a gift for friends and relatives. It has become an essential custom all over China for people to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by eating mooncakes.

During the Mid-autumn Festival, ECNU prepares tasty mooncakes of various flavors for its teachers and students. This year, apart from the Cantonese-style and Suzhou-style mooncakes, ECNU has also created a new type of mooncake with white and purple crust, pleasing to the eye and delicious.

Pineapple mooncake.

Lotus seed paste with salted duck eggs mooncake.

Mung bean mooncake.

Pork mooncake.

Five kernel mooncake.

New type mooncake.

Source: ECNU Publicity Office

Copy editor: Philip Nash

Editor: Zhang Linlan


East China Normal University