The 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the closest full moon day to the Autumnal Equinox, marks the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival. It is one of the most important fetes in East and Southeast Asia. During the festival, families reunite to watch the fullest moon of the year, eating mooncakes, lighting lanterns, and celebrating harvests.
The Moon Festival originated from ancient Chinese’s offerings to the moon and hosting a great feast. Legend has it that the fearless Chinese archer Hou Yi shot down nine surplus suns to protect the world. He was rewarded with an elixir from heaven.
Hou Yi's wife Chang'e drank the elixir and floated to the moon. On the day of the fullest moon every year, Hou Yi hoped to get a glimpse of his wife's shadow. People nowadays, gather to watch the moon, looking for Chang'e, along with Yutu (Jade Rabbit, China's moon rover -- was the legendary rabbit sent to accompany Chang'e). Moon Cake, sliced up and shared among family and friends, is used to commemorate the occasion. It is said that family members, near and far, are united with the same awe and admiration for the only fullest moon of the year.