DETROIT (WXYZ) — Today, September 10 is Mid-Autumn Festival!
Called by many names around the world, the Mid-Autumn Festival (known as Zhōngqiū Jié in Mandarin and Tsukimi in Japan), is one of the most celebrated cultural traditions in Southeast Asia, second only to the Chinese New Year.
Celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, when the moon is believed to be at its peak, the brightest and largest.
The festival is a time of gratitude, community and to commemorate rice harvests in China, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia.
With its history spanning more than 3,000 years, the Mid-Autumn Festival is based on the story of the archer Hou Yi and his wife, the moon goddess Chang'e, who sought refuge in the moon.
Traditionally, families in China use the time to gather, eat and share seasonal foods like Mooncakes, a pastry filled with sweet-bean, egg yolk, meat or lotus-seed paste. In Japan, dango (traditional Japanese dumplings) is eaten the night of the full moon.
In Southeast Asia, lanterns are carried and displayed as a symbol to light the path to good health, prosperity and good fortune.