Autumn Moon Festival

Saturday, September 30, 2017 through Sunday, October 1, 2017


Most cultures have a harvest festival and China is no exception. Zhong Qiu Jie (中秋节), the Autumn Moon Festival, has roots back to ancient times and is an important traditional Chinese holiday. Taking place on the fifteenth day of the eight month of the lunar calendar, the Autumn Moon Festival is usually on or close to the time of the “Harvest Moon” when the moon appears at its fullest during the autumnal equinox.

Celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival, one of the four most important holidays on the Chinese calendar, at Lan Su Chinese Garden the weekend of September 30 & October 1! 

Autumn Moon Festival weekend at Lan Su includes (all activities take place both on Saturday, September 30 & Sunday, October 1):

10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. — Story Time

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Chinese Calligraphy Demonstration

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Chinese Folk Art Demonstration

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Mooncake Sale

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. — Cultural Performance

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Red Lantern Family Craft Activity

1 p.m. - 2 p.m. — Lion Dance

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. — Cultural Performance

5 p.m. - 6 p.m. — Lion Dance


Related programming: 

Chinese Opera Performance

Sunday, October 1, 2017 — 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. SOLD OUT!

Enjoy a special performance by Chinese Opera artist Qian Yi within the beauty of Lan Su Chinese Garden. PLEASE NOTE: This event requires a additional ticket. To learn more and get your tickets, visit  lansugarden.org/chineseopera

To see a full schedule of events, visit lansugarden.org/eventcalendar.


Traditional Ways to Celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival

Gather Together with Family and Friends to Watch the Moon

The moon’s perfectly round shape forms the ideal symbol of family harmony and unity. The tradition extends to being reunited with loved ones who are far away as you both gaze up at the moon.

Eat Mooncakes

The round, sweet-filled mooncake (月餅) is made with pastry decorated with designs and filled with a variety of fillings including seeds, nuts, date paste and smashed beans. Today’s mooncakes are a few inches round. At one time, imperial chefs made them as large as several feet in diameter.

Tell Stories

Chinese storytellers have many tales about the Moon Palace and the inhabitants of the moon. One of the most endearing characters of many moon stories is a short-tailed rabbit that pounds the elixir of immortality with a mortar and pestle under a grove of cassia trees. 

The most popular inhabitant of the moon stories is the goddess Chang Er. Her tale is a sad one in which she mistakenly swallowed a magic solution of immortality and rose up to inhabit the moon. Her husband, Hou Yi, is fated to govern the solar realm. They only meet when the moon is full. Visit Lan Su’s Garden Shop for more books on Chinese stories and festivals.

Read Poetry

The moon is often a subject for poets. Bo Juyi wrote this poem more than 400 years ago:

I, a traveler, came from south of the river,
When the moon was only a crescent.
In my long, distant journeying,
I’ve seen thrice its clear light in full.
At dawn I travel with a waning moon;
When night falls, I lodge with the new moon.
Who says that the moon has no feeling?

Play Games at Twilight

Many of the games played have to do with flights of the soul, spirit possession, or fortune telling.


Autumn Moon Festival at Lan Su Chinese Garden is presented in part by Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, Jackson Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, The Collins Foundation, and US Bank Foundation.


Autumn Moon Festival Related Programing


Talk: Mooncakes & the Autumn Moon Festival

Friday, September 29, 2017

Join BeeBee Tan to learn more about and how to make mooncakes, a delicious pastry traditionally shared during the Autumn Moon Festival.

Chinese Folk Art Demonstration

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Watch an expert calligrapher paint your name or Chinese zodiac sign.

Story Time

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Pull up a chair and listen to classic Chinese stories. Great for all ages.

Mooncake Sale

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival while learning about mooncakes with the Red Robe Teahouse & Café.

Red Lantern Family Craft Activity

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Make your own paper red lantern to take home in celebration of the Autumn Moon Festival.

Cultural Performance

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival with cultural performances throughout the weekend.

Lion Dance

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Celebrate the Autumn Moon festival with a lively lion dance performance!

Chinese Opera Performance

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Enjoy a special performance by Chinese Opera artist Qian Yi within the beauty of Lan Su Chinese Garden.

PLEASE NOTE: This event requires a special ticket.

Plan Your Visit

Lan Su Chinese Garden offers infinite paths to discovery, whether you are a visitor simply taking in the beauty of the garden for the first time or a member who comes back day after day to sip tea in the teahouse.  One visit just isn’t enough to take in the depth and abundance of experiences. Lan Su is ever-changing—by the minute, by the hour, and with the seasons. Learn more and plan your visit today.

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