Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese Lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival in China. It gets its name from the fact that it is celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. It’s also known as the Moon Festival, because the moon is roundest and brightest at that time of the year.
In mainland China, locals enjoy a day off for the festival which usually falls on a weekend. In Hong Kong and Macau, people also enjoy one day off, however, it is not scheduled on the festival day but the following day and it is usually not connected with the weekend. In Taiwan, the one day holiday falls on the actual festival.
On the day of the festival, family members gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes, and express deep yearnings for family members and friends who live afar. In addition, there are other customs like playing lanterns, and in some regions, partaking in dragon and lion dances. The unique customs of ethnic minorities are noteworthy, such as the Mongolians, “chasing the moon” and the Dong people’s vegetables or fruits.
Source: The China National Tourist Offices (CNTO) – http://www.cnto.org