The Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 also known as Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival orginally celebrated by Chinese and gradually celebrated by the east, and and Southeast Asian people. It is the second-most important holiday after Chinese New Year with a history dating back 3,000 years, when China's emperors worshipped the moon for bountiful harvests.The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar with a full moon at night, corresponding to mid-September to early October of the Gregorian calendar. On this day, the Chinese believe that the moon is at its brightest and fullest size, coinciding with harvest time in the middle of Autumn.Lanterns of all size and shapes, are carried and displayed – symbolic beacons that light people's path to prosperity and good fortune. Mooncakes, a rich pastry typically filled with sweet-bean, yolk , meat or lotus-seed paste, are traditionally eaten during this festivalOrigins and development. The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang dynasty ] For the Baiyue peoples, the harvest time commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops.The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BCE). As for the royal court, it was dedicated to the goddess Taiyinxingjun (太陰星君 Tàiyīn xīng jūn). This is still true for Taoism and Chinese folk religion.The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang dynasty (618–907 CE). One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace.In the Northern Song Dynasty, the Mid Autumn Festival has become a popular folk festival, and officially designated the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar as the Mid Autumn Festival.By the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the mid autumn festival had become one of the main folk festivals in China. The Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.