— Time of Harvest and Reunion
Itis a good time to visit China now. The country has never looked better throughout the year than it does this season. There can be few places in the world where colors of ripening leaves are so varied and continued through so many weeks. The spectacular Moon in the night sky contributes to the greatness of the fall scenery as well. Besides the breath-taking landscape, the harvest of crops is even more important for Chinese lives. For an traditional agricultural country like China, the significance of autumn can never be over estimated. When autumn comes, Chinese people tend to use Qiu Gaoqishuang (秋高气爽, the autumn sky is clear and air is fresh) to describe this season.
Chinese have many reasons to celebrate the autumn. Mid-autumn Day is such a traditional festival that falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. People in different parts of China have different ways to celebrate the Mid-autumn Festival, but mooncakes—cakes shaped like the moon—have played a central role throughout China. The round mooncakes are symbols of the great family reunion just like the round, bright moon of the Mid-autumn Festival. As a tradition of the festival, they are enjoyably eaten by the people and offered to friends and relatives as the best blessing for family unity and harmony.
Today the family reunion is still part of the festival. When farmers have had a good harvest, when city people have successfully met one new challenge after another, when the society has made great progress and became prosperous, we treasure the occasion for family reunion even more and enjoy the precious air of family harmony.
It is apparent that Mid-autumn Day, a traditional festival handed down for thousands of years and second only to the Spring Festival in the lives of Chinese people, has a strong centripetal force for Chinese society and communities, both at home and abroad.