Happy Mid-Autumn Festival – 中秋节快乐 !

According to the lunar calendar, the 25th of September 2018 is the 15th day of the 8th month. On this day we celebrate the moon in China. This holiday is called 中秋节 (Zhōngqiū jié), which means Mid-Autumn Festival.

In China, the year is divided into 24 solar sections each corresponding to an arc of 15 degrees of longitude. There are four seasons, but they are one and a half months behind those of the solar calendar. Thus, contrary to Western conventions, the seasons begin when the Sun’s longitude reaches 315 °, 45 °, 135 ° and 225 ° (for spring, summer, autumn and winter) and not to the equinoxes and solstices (source: Observatoire de Paris).

The Autumn Equinox (in Chinese: 秋分, Qiūfēn), the 16th solar section of the year, began this year on September 22nd and will end on October 7th.

According to historical records, as early as the Zhou Dynasty (around the 11th century-256 BC), custom required ancient kings to do sacrifices dedicated to the sun during the Spring Equinox, and to the moon during the Equinox of Autumn.

According to custom, families gather together to share a meal, eat moon cakes (月饼, Yuèbǐng) and contemplate the full moon, which is particularly bright, rounder and more beautiful than the rest of the year.

The moon cakes, which are round in shape to remind the moon, are the traditional dessert on this day. Each region has its own recipe, it exists in salty and sweet fillings. In Yunnan, moon cakes are traditionally stuffed with ham.

After the meal, the children light lanterns and play with their friends while the adults drink tea and enjoy their evening in the moonlight.

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