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The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a harvest celebration that takes place with the full moon that falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar (typically in September or October).

It is celebrated in China and other East Asian countries, such as Singapore and Vietnam.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
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Mid-Autumn Festival Traditions

The traditions of the festival focus around the full moon, which the Chinese believe is a symbol of reunion and happiness.

Read three legends behind the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Families gather for a reunion dinner or picnic that consists of many round foods (symbolizing the moon), including eggs and pomelos. Tea is served in round cups.

The most popular food eaten during the festival is the mooncake – a round pastry with molded designs on top and traditionally filled with lotus seed or sweet bean paste.


Today, mooncakes can be found in a variety of shapes with a variety of fillings, such as chocolate or fruit. Check your local bakery, or give this recipe a try.

Other traditions include lighting and flying lanterns in the moonlight, reading poems about the moon, and sending secret wishes to Chang-O, the moon goddess.

Moon Festival Books & Activities

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin is a wonderful picture book to share with young children. It shows how one family prepares for their moonlit picnic to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, introducing many traditions associated with the holiday.

Download free cross-curricular activities for this story.

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Visit the author’s website for more information about the festival, instructions to make a bunny lantern, a recipe for tea-stained eggs, and inspiration to write moon poetry.

Moon Craft: Foil Stamping & Printing

Read A Big Mooncake for Little Star, a Caldecott Honor-winning picture book – also by Grace Lin. Discover the phases of the moon through the story of a little girl and a big mooncake.A Big Mooncake for Little Star

Check out these fun and free printable activities to accompany the book: download a Reader’s Theater Script, make a moon mobile and design a moon phase viewer.

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays of the lunar year. It reunites families and inspires gratitude. Do you celebrate a holiday similar to that?

Thanking the Moon Book Review & Activities

Related Posts, Activities & Products

Visit our China profile page for an infographic, detailed map, photos, and more!

Lin Yi's Lantern

Meet Lin Yi — a little boy with a big heart and a talent for bargaining. He wants to buy himself a red rabbit lantern at the market for the moon festival tonight; but first, he must buy the things his mother needs. Will he be able to save enough money on his mother’s needs to buy the lantern?

This heartwarming story shows the practical use of math in everyday life and the rewards of putting others first.

Features educational notes at the end about the Chinese moon festival, life in rural China, and the legend of the moon fairy. – Barefoot Books  Amazon

Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts  A collection of hands-on projects and ideas celebrating Chinese culture.

China Research Project  A variety of engaging activities as students research the geography and culture of China. Information is shared using interactive project templates that create an organized final presentation.

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China  Engage students in a variety of response activities for what is believed to be the original version of Cinderella – written 1,000 years before the European one!


  1. […] Lin Yi and his family are preparing for the Moon Festival, a harvest celebration also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. […]

  2. […] China’s Mid-Autumn Festival – also known as the Moon Festival. Read Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Tale. Print […]

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