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Mid-Autumn Festival Customs

Mar. 20, 2015

China is a country with a large territory and population, so people in different parts of China have different ways of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. However, some customs are the same throughout the whole country. On Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese people usually send moon cakes as gifts to their friends and relatives and then have a sumptuous dinner together called 团圆饭(tuányuánfàn) family reunion dinner, followed by watching the Mid-Autumn Festival Evening Party on TV. If the weather is nice, families may also sit outside to admire the full moon and chat about 家常(jiācháng) daily life matters. For young people, they also send 短信(duǎnxìn) text messages to their classmates and friends, so their cell phones are usually filled up with text messages.

As for specific customs on Mid-Autumn Festival, the activity of an ethnic group called Dong in Taiwan is very interesting; for example, 偷菜求郎(tōucài qiúláng) is to steal vegetables to court men. A single woman will wear a new dress and go to her Mr. Right’s garden to steal green Chinese onion or other vegetables under the moonlight. A successful theft heralds a happy marriage.

Greetings on Mid–Autumn Festival
1. Yuèliang dàibiǎo wǒ de xīn, yuèbĭng dàibiǎo wǒ de qíng, yuàn nĭ xìngfú yǒng jiànkāng, hǎoyùn cáiyùn
月亮       代表    我 的 心,   月饼     代表    我  的  情,  愿  你  幸福    永    健康,       好运    财运
cháng bàn nĭ! Zhōngqiū kuàilè!
长  伴   你! 中秋      快乐!
The moon represents my heart, and these moon cakes represent my love. I wish you health and happiness forever, good luck and wealth be with you forever! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

2. Zhōngqiū jiājié dào, zhùfú bù chídào, zhù nín yuè yuán, rén yuán, shìshì yuán; hǎohuā, hǎojĭng, hǎoshì
中秋       佳节  到, 祝福  不  迟到, 祝  您  月   圆,  人  圆,   事事    圆;   好花,   好景, 好事
The Mid-Autumn Festival has come, and festival greetings follow close behind. I hope you can enjoy the full moon, a reunion with your family, smooth sailing, good flowers, good times, and good things following you.

1. 团圆饭(tuányuánfàn) n. family reunion dinner on an important festival like Mid-Autumn Festival or the Spring Festival

2. 家常(jiācháng) n. the daily life of a family; domestic trivia

3. 短信(duǎnxìn) v. short message; text message

4. 偷菜求郎(tōucài qiúláng) adj. to steal vegetables to court men, the custom of an ethnic group called Dong in Taiwan on Mid-Autumn Festival

You may interested in more Chinese customs and culture:

Chinese Culture Series: Hongbao – Lucky Money

Chinese Culture Series: Zou qinqi – Visit Relatives

Why Does “Wearing Red” Bring Good Luck in a Zodiac Year (Ben Ming Nian)?

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Wishing us a long life to share the graceful moonlight, though housands of miles apart. 但愿人长久,千里共婵娟.

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