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Mid-Autumn’s Day, Moon Worship


August 15th of the lunar calendar is a traditional Chinese festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival. Every year on that day, people far away from home will try to come back to their hometown, sitting together enjoying family reunion. There are legends and folk customs unique to the Mid-Autumn Festival. Its cultural tradition has been handed down until now.

The practice of moon sacrifice originates from moon worship of ancestors in the remote past. Great gods like the sun and the moon which represent Yin and Yang respectively could only be communicated by the imperial family. And moon sacrifice became the exclusive right of the imperial family.

And the common folks mostly believe the Moon God is a female named Chang Er, and intimately call it "Moon Aunti" or "Moon Sister".

Grandpa Rabbit

Grandpa Rabbit is said to be the jade rabbit pounding herbal medicine in the Moon Palace. It is later made into a clay doll and becomes a mascot and plaything of commoners in Beijing.

Moon Basking


Legend has it that women who wanted to have a baby would get pregnant easily if they basked under the moonlight on the night of the Mid-Autumn Day. Therefore, in some regions on that day, women who did not conceive a baby after long time marriage would go out of their house and bask in the moonlight, hoping to give birth to a baby soon, which was called "moon basking".

Choose Husband by Casting Handkerchief

In some regions of Fujian Province, there is a custom of choosing husband by casting handkerchief. On that night, a stage would be built on the square, which is decorated into a moon palace. Some girls that haven't married would cast their handkerchiefs embroidered with different patterns to the audience. If someone catches a handkerchief that has the same pattern as that in the hands, he could go up to the stage and receive an award. If the girl happens to take a fancy to the unmarried man who comes to return the handkerchief, she may present a ring to the guy. Thereafter, the two may begin to date each other, and finally tie knots if they get along well with each other.

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