Languages › Mandarin Mandarin Phrases for the Mid-Autumn Festival Phrases in Chinese Characters and Pinyin Used During the Moon Festival Share Flipboard Email Print Blend Images/Getty Images Mandarin Mandarin History and Culture Pronunciation Vocabulary Understanding Chinese Characters By Qiu Gui Su Chinese Language Expert Qiu Gui Su is a native Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese for over 20 years. our editorial process Qiu Gui Su Updated September 03, 2018 One of the most important holidays in Chinese culture is the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Moon Festival. Since the Moon Festival is at harvest time, it is a good occasion to celebrate the abundance of Mother Nature. Moon Festival is a time to gather with family and friends under the full moon sky while eating moon cake, pomelo fruit, and barbecued delicacies. Moon Festival Date Moon Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, so the date on the Gregorian calendar is different from year to year, but it is always on the full moon. The dates for Moon Festival are as follows: 2018 - September 242019 - September 132020 - October 12021 - September 212022 - September 10 History of Moon Festival As with most Chinese festivals, there is a story to go along with Moon Festival. There are many versions of the Moon Festival legend, but most of them involve the archer Hou Yi and his wife Chang’e. Many years ago, there were ten suns in the sky. Crops could not grow and rivers ran dry, so the people were dying of hunger and thirst. Hou Yi took his bow and arrows and shot down nine of the ten suns, saving the people. As a reward, the Western Queen Mother gave Hou Yi a potion. If Hou Yi shares that potion with his wife, they will both live forever, but if only one of them takes the potion, he or she will become a god. Hou Yi and Chang’e plan to take the potion together. But one of Hou Yi’s enemies, Feng Meng, hears about the potion and plans to steal it. One night, on a full moon, Feng Meng kills Hou Yi, then forces Chang’e to give him the potion. Rather than give the evil man the potion, Chang’e drinks it all herself. She starts to rise into heaven, but she feels a close connection to the world of the mortals, and wants to stay close to them, so she stops at the moon, the closest body to earth. Moon Cakes The traditional food of Moon Festival is Moon Cake, which is a pastry stuffed with filling such as egg yolk, lotus seed paste, red bean paste, coconut, walnuts, or dates. The tops of Moon cakes usually have Chinese characters representing longevity or harmony. Moon Festival Vocabulary Here are some Mandarin phrases for Mid-Autumn Festival: Audio links are marked with ► English Pinyin Traditional Characters Simplified Characters Moon Festival ►zhōng qiū jié 中秋節 中秋节 Hou Yi ►Hòu Yì 后羿 后羿 Chang'e ►Cháng'é 嫦娥 嫦娥 moon cake ►yuè bǐng 月餅 月饼 admiring the moon ►shǎng yuè 賞月 赏月 reunion ►tuán yuán 團圓 团圆 barbecue ►kǎo ròu 烤肉 烤肉 pomelo fruit ►yòuzi 柚子 柚子 give presents ►sònglǐ 送禮 送礼 Understanding Mandarin Chinese Tones The Sun and Moon and Other Opposites: The Mandarin Meaning Of Yin Yang How to Pronounce and Use 什么时候 (When) in Chinese Choosing Chinese Baby Names for Boys How to pronounce Li Keqiang, China's premier How Do You Use Mandarin Numbers? How to Say Good Morning and Good Evening in Chinese Learn Mandarin Chinese Travel Vocabulary How Many Chinese Characters Do You Really Need to Know? How to Plan a Traditional Chinese Wedding Step-by-Step Guide to Learning Chinese What Is the Bopomofo Chinese Phonetic System? What Are The Four Mandarin Chinese Tones? Did You Know You Can Learn Mandarin Chinese with Pinyin Romanization? Why Is the Chinese Character for Horse so Important? What Are the Essentials of Chinese New Year?