Story of Ancient Tradition


Moon Goddess Makes Moon Cakes

Moon cakes are a symbol of family reunion. The story of the Moon Goddess goes like this: Hou Yi (/ho ee/) was an excellent archer. Chang'e (/chung-er/) was his wife. Long, long ago, there were 10 suns in the sky. The suns burned all of the plants on Earth. People were dying.
One day, Hou Yi used his bow and arrow to shoot nine of the suns down, to save the people on Earth.
The Queen Mother of the West gave Hou Yi a bottle of elixir that could make him immortal; it contained enough elixir was Just for one person. Hou Yi wanted to become immortal, but he wanted to stay with Chang'e more. So he decided not to drink the elixir and asked Chang'e to keep it safe for him.
Hou Yi became more and more famous after shooting  down the nine suns. People wanted him to be their master and learn from him, and Hou Yi accepted most of them. However, all of his students good morals. One such student, Pang Meng (/pung mnng/),  wanted to steal Hou Yi's elixir.
One day, Hou Yi went hunting with his students--all but Pang Meng, who  pretended to be ill and stayed behind. After making sure Hou Yi had gone, Pang Meng went to Hou Yi's house and tried to force Chang'e to give him the elixir. Knowing she couldn't defeat him, Chang'e drank the elixir.
The elixir made Chang'e fly higher and higher, until she stopped on the moon and became immortal. Hou Yi was very sad when he received the news. He returned home, moved a table under the moon, and prepared some food, hoping Chang'e could come back to him. 
Ever since people, have offered food to worship the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Most children in China believe that Chang'e is still living on the moon. And on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, when the moon is bright, they try to find the shape of Chang'e on the moon.

Appreciating the Moon Harvest Moon Feasts Established 1500 Years Ago

Appreciating the moon has been a custom since the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Not only rich merchants and officials, but common citizens, began to celebrate the moon together at that time. The merchants and officials threw big parties in their courts, drinking while the marveled at the bright moon. Music and dancing were also a part of the celebration.  Common citizens simply prayed to the moon for a bountiful harvest.
In the early Tang Dynasty the day was celebrated as a traditional festival. It became established as a  festival during the Song Dynasty (960–1279), and has become the second most popular after the Spring Festival, since the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties.