The popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people is known as Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival. Moon festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month during a full moon according to Chinese calendar.
In 2006 Government of the People’s Republic of China listed the Moon festival as an “intangible cultural heritage”. In 2008 it is declared as Chinese public holiday. It is considered as second most important holiday to Vietnamese.Moon Festival is a public holiday in Taiwan also.
Moon festival is known as in different names in different countries. It is known as Mooncake Festival, Zhongqiu Festival, Lantern Festival, Reunion Festival and Children’s Festival according to different countries and cultures.
Moon festival is celebrated as any other national festival with people gatherings, thanksgiving for the harvest and good fortune and praying for material or conceptual satisfaction. The whole tradition and myths about this Moon Festival are formed around the above mentioned meanings
Chinese began to celebrate full moon during 6th to 10th century BC. It is believed that celebration of harvest season is originated from worshiping Mountain Gods after the harvest was completed. Vietnamese celebrated this harvest festival from ancient days commemorating a dragon that brought rain for the corps. As to divine the future of people and harvest celebrants will observe the moon.Google also participates in the Moon festival by releasing a simple Moon Festival Google Doodle 2006 October 6. The Moon festival doodle contains the Moon cakes which is the favorite sweet dish eaten by Chinese people.
As the festival is associated with moon, the full moon is also included in the doodle. Making and sharing of Moon cakes is a hallmark tradition in China. In their culture round shape symbolize completeness and unity.
Other special food includes nine-jointed lotus roots as a symbol of peace, the watermelons cut in the shape of lotus which symbolizes the unity etc.
Another interesting custom is the dances that are held for young men and women. In this dance party women throws their handkerchief to men and the men who catches it and returns it can have a chance to romance with that women. Several games are played as a part of entertainment during this occasion.