The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which often falls in September or early October in the Western calendar. The moon usually is at its fullest and roundest on this day. In China it is tradition for all family members get together for Mid-Autumn Festival.
A long time ago, one autumn evening, a poet who loved wandering came to a village in Yunnan Province. The villagers showed great hospitality to him. They invited him to enjoy different cakes and tea. The wind carried the scent of chrysanthemums as it blew by.
The poet tasted the cakes and found them delicious. He picked up the teacup and was about to drink, when he saw a full and bright moon reflected in his teacup. All of sudden, he thought of his hometown and missed his family.
Looking at the bright full moon, he told the moon to send his greetings to faraway relatives and friends. He named the fruit cakes ”moon cake” and said it symbolized the gathering of family and happiness.
In memory of that poet, the villagers eat moon cakes and drink tea on the same autumn evening each year, together with family members. They enjoy and appreciate the moment, which is a chance when relatives and friends can be together.
”My heart grows fonder of faraway loved ones in the holiday season more than ever” is from a poem by Wei Wang (701-761), one of the famous Tang Dynasty poets. It describes very well the feeling of those who are faraway from their loved ones during the holiday season. This is true even more so during Mid-Autumn Festival, the symbol of reunion and gathering of family members.