Know Your Chinese Holidays: Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

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It’s that time of the year again – the one where you get an extra day off. But what does the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival mean, exactly, and how do most Chinese traditionally celebrate it? Find out, with our guide to the festival that puts the ‘ache’ into cake

Mid Autumn Festival

This woman met a rabbit on the moon and you won’t believe what happened next

1)   For many, Mid-Autumn Festival marks the relaxing interval between the soul-suffocating heat of summer and the bone-crushing chill of winter. As such, it only last three days

2)   The Chinese celebrate Mid-Autumn festival because China traditionally followed the lunar calendar, rather than the Gregorian one. This can be confusing but it does explain why Grandma has to be locked in the cellar every time there’s a full moon

3)   Although few really care, it’s important to have, at the least, a passing grasp of the reasons behind this festival, in case a passing child inquires. In that event, just explain that a rabbit that lived on the moon once screwed a human female, and watch their little faces

4)   To celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, the Chinese government has established an official holiday schedule: workers get Friday off, but must work the preceding Sunday and following Saturday, which they make up for with a shorter weekend after, bookended by working nights and evenings during both months either side of autumn

5)   For most Chinese, Mid-Autumn means one thing: moon cakes! And how to get rid of them

6)   Moon cakes come with a wide variety of fillings, a few of which can seem rather strange to foreigners. These might include jam, ice cream, nuts, rhino horn, galvanized steel screws, essence of ennui and Uncle Ben’s Simply Mexico Spicy Hot Taco Bean

Last year's moon cakes make an ideal gift for this year's business partners

Did you know? Last year’s moon cakes make an ideal gift for this year’s business partners

7)   Just as important as the moon cakes is the packaging that they arrive in. It’s best to opt for something heavy and ornate, which comes wrapped up in a bulky box, suitable for dragging around all forms of public transport during your 500km journey home

8)   Or you could just pick up some up when you arrive. Up to you

9)   Just don’t be a dick and set off a load of fireworks at 5am. We’re looking at you, Cousin Zhao

China Daily Show would like to wish all our readers a most fulfilling Mid-Autumn Festival

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