The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as The Moon Festival is a popular harvest festival dating back over 3,000 years. The Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese Calendar.
The festival is full of legendary stories. Legend says Yi (or Houyi) was very good at archery. There were once ten suns in the sky, which made plants wither, and fierce beasts run wild to imperil people. It was too hot to live under the suns. To save the people, Yi started to shoot the suns. He shot down nine of them one by one, and he might have shot the last one if it was not called off by others. Thus the severe drought was gone. He also got rid of those fierce animals for the people.
It is said Yi’s wife was Chang’e, a legendary lady in the famous story, “Chang’e flying to the moon.” Chang’e swallowed the elixir stolen from her husband, and she flew to the moon and became the goddess of the moon, who has lived in the palace on the moon ever since. You may see Chang’e dancing on the moon during the festival.
The Moon festival is also an occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems.