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Five Things to Know About the Mid-Autumn Festival

September 14, 2016

Time Magazine |

From elixir-guzzling fairies to moon cakes to molten wax

This Thursday will be a big day across much of East Asia. Families will gather for dinner, lanterns will be everywhere, and people will be out and about, mostly staring at the bright full moon while having aptly named moon cakes as desserts.

That’s because it is the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known by other names like the Moon Festival or the Moon Cake Festival. It’s celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the traditional East Asian lunar calendar, which falls on Sept. 15 in the Gregorian calendar this year. From Korea to Vietnam, from Japan to Singapore, this occasion will be marked by various customs and festivities. Here are five interesting things to know about the day:

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