Source: The Conversation
With the arrival of September and hints of cooler temperatures also comes one of the most important traditional festivals in the Chinese calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Zhongqiu jie (中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival.
At this time of the year, the Chinese store down the road from our home in Gainesville, Florida, is stocked with mooncakes, known in Chinese as yuebing (月餅). The same is true of Chinese stores around the world. There is even the option these days of buying these desserts from online retailers such as Amazon.
These traditional delicacies are readied in anticipation of the festival, observed on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. This is a time for family and friends to gather, watch the full moon and eat mooncakes and other delicacies. Other festivity highlights include public lantern displays, dance parties, traditional performances and worship of the moon goddess and other deities.
Because of the central theme of family reunion, sometimes the festival evokes comparison to Thanksgiving in the U.S.
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This article was written by Dr. Mario Poceski, professor of Buddhist studies and Chinese religions at the Religion Department of the University of Florida.