The SYA High School Study Abroad Blog

Mid-Autumn Festival in China

Oct 26, 2017

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known at the Moon Festival, was on October 4th this year.

This is typically celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the lunisolar calendar where the moon is at its roundest and brightest.

The Mid-Autumn festival is the second most important festival after the Spring Festival to Chinese people. Every year at festival time people will go home to eat dinner with their families admire the moon and enjoy mooncakes.


The Mid-Autumn Festival has a history dating back over 3,000 years, to moon worship in the ancient Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC).

It's considered such an important day that many poems were written about it, stories and legends on the festival are widespread, and its origin has been guessed at and explained by generations of Chinese.

What are mooncakes?

Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries generally eaten only during the Mid-Autumn Festival. 

Measuring almost four inches in diameter, they're baked pastries that traditionally contain a sweet filling made from red bean or lotus bean paste. They are consumed while drinking tea. It's customary for families and business people to present cakes to relatives or clients.  

In recent years, more contemporary versions have been available in the marketplace including filling containing coffee, chocolate, fruits and vegetables like pineapple flavor or sweet potato. Häagen-Dazs ice cream even produces it's own version of mooncakes each year!

Next year you could be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with your host family! Apply to SYA China today 


Topics: SYA China, holidays abroad