In 2017, the one day of "official public holiday" for Mid-Autumn falls during the National Day week holiday, which is therefore extended by one day. People in China are set to enjoy an October 1–8 break.
All sights, restaurants, and shops will be open to take advantage of the tourism peak.
National Day Celebrations/Activities
The National Day Flag Raising Ceremony and Parade
Tian’anmen Square: On October 1, there is a special flag raising ceremony. The square is decorated festively with flags and portraits. Exactly at sunrise, uniformed troops march out to start the flag raising ceremony.
Why Mid-Autumn Is Celebrated at Month 8 Day 15
• It's Mid-Way Through the Third Season
The date of the Festival is the middle of the autumn season, according to the Chinese calendar. The third lunar season "autumn" is months 7–9. As the four seasons each have three (29 or 30 day) months on China's traditional calendars, day 15 of month 8 is "the middle of autumn".
• For the Full Moon
On the 15th of the each lunar month, the moon is at its roundest and brightest, symbolizing togetherness and reunion in Chinese culture. The harvest moon (the full moon at Mid-Autumn, closest to the fall equinox) is traditionally believed to be the brightest of the year.
• For Harvest Celebration
Also it’s the time rice is supposed to mature and be harvested. So, people take this festival as an opportunity to celebrate the harvest and worship their gods to show their gratitude.
How the Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival
The Legend of Mid-Autumn Festival
Chang'e Flying to the Moon
The most famous Mid-Autumn Festival story is Chang’e flying to the moon. The story goes like this…
Long, long ago, there were ten suns in the sky. The suns burnt all the plants and people were dying on Earth, until one day excellent archer Hou Yi used his bow and arrows to shoot down nine of the suns. Earth was saved, and people flocked to learn archery from Hou Yi.
The Western Queen Mother gave Hou Yi a bottle of elixir that could make one person immortal. Although Hou Yi did want to become immortal, he wanted to stay with his wife Chang’e more. Therefore, he just kept it at home.
Pang Meng, one of his students, tried to seize the elixir when Hou Yi wasn’t at home. Faced with greedy Pang Meng, Chang’e decided to drink the elixir. It made her fly to the moon where she would stay forever.
To remember her and pray to her, Hou Yi and others started to worship the moon with many offerings. Chang’e’s image usually appears on Mid-Autumn Festival pictures. Children in China are told that Chang’e is still living on the moon. And on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, when the moon is bright, children try their best to find the shape of Chang’e on the moon.
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