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China's Mid-Autumn Day, a traditional occasion to celebrate family unity and harmony, is related to two Chinese tales. The first is the myth of Cháng'é, who flew to the moon, where she has dwelt ever since. The second is the legend of the Han Chinese's uprising against the ruling Mongols at the end to the Yuan dynasty (1280-1368 CE), in which the Han Chinese used traditional mooncakes to conceal the message that they were to rebel on Mid-Autumn Day. The article examines the festival in terms of its development and its present celebration, presented together with the author's reminiscences of one such festival in rural China.
Journal of Folklore Research © 2006 Indiana University Press