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Middle-Autumn Festival Customs: Gazing at the Moon

(CNTV)

09:17, October 21, 2011

Gazing at the Moon is an ancient tradition from the Zhou Dynasty (around 500 BC) when people held ceremonies to welcome the full moon,with huge outdoor feasts of moon cakes, watermelons, apricots, apples, grapesand other fresh fruits. The popularity of this ancient tradition began to grow during the Tang and Song Dynasties when people of high rank held banquets intheir big courtyards. They drank fine wine, watched the moon and listened tomusic. Common people who could not afforded as big parties as the rich would lay some food such as moon cakes and fruits on a table in the courtyard and pray to the moon for a good harvest. This underwent a great rise during the Song Dynasty, and historical documents tells about mid-autumn night in the capital, where people would stream to the night markets and together with their families admire the beauty of the full moon. There are also many classic songs and well-known verses about this tradition.

Nowadays, people still like appreciating the moon on Mid-Autumn Festival in China. Chinese family members have dinner together in the evening of Mid-Autumn Festival. After the dinner, they may talk about their work, the children, and their future plans. Sometimes, people go to a park to see the decorations made for the festival.

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