BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- On this year's Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Friday, Liu Jinxiang woke up very early to prepare for the family reunion dinner of the traditional Chinese holiday.
"People who live in the northern part of China must have dumplings on the Mid-Autumn Festival," said Liu, who hails from Shuangyashan City in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. "Today, we have pork and pickles as the dumpling stuffings."
"In my family, we have a tradition of gathering at home and eating dinner together during traditional Chinese festivals, rather than dining at fancy restaurants. While our meals may not be extravagant, they carry the comforting flavor of home," Liu said.
Across China, the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in diverse ways, ranging from family reunions with big feasts to public gatherings featuring traditional ceremonies, performances and Mid-Autumn gala.
It is a long-standing custom of the Mid-Autumn Festival to admire the full moon and pray for a happy reunion. A moon worship ceremony was held at the folk cultural festival in Yangzhou City in east China's Jiangsu Province.
The participants conveyed their good wishes through a series of traditional rituals such as burning incense, performing libation and reading their wishes.
As the representative inheritor of the provincial intangible cultural heritage project, Yangzhou Mid-Autumn Festival moon worship, Xia Meizhen not only learned the ancient practices but also blended in the aesthetics of younger generations, and designed an engaging and participatory moon worship ceremony.
"I hope more people can participate and feel the charm of traditional culture," Xia said.
On Thursday evening, a Mid-Autumn Festival gala was held in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The transnational Mid-Autumn Festival gala was jointly hosted by presenters from Nanning and various ASEAN countries.
The cultural fest featured a diverse array of performances, including singing, dancing and acrobatics.
Tang Keli, a Chinese singer, said that he sang the theme song with young people from China, Indonesia and Malaysia at the gala. "We all cherish the experience of spending the Mid-Autumn Festival together. The gala has enhanced the friendly interaction between young people from China and ASEAN countries, and improved the understanding of Chinese culture among many overseas students," Tang said.
This year, the National Day holiday extends from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6, covering the Mid-Autumn Festival. Oct. 1 marks China's National Day, while Sept. 29 is the Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional Chinese festival of family reunions.
In the vibrant Chinese capital Beijing where ancient traditions coexist with modern lifestyles, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes on a unique flavor.
This year, the Palace Museum has introduced a new series of mooncake gift boxes, featuring designs inspired by the museum's cultural relics and ancient buildings.
"We have blended traditional festival cuisine with our rich cultural heritage, allowing people to savor not only the delicacies but also immerse themselves in the visual beauty of our traditional culture," said Zhou Yiguang, a staffer with the cultural and creative department of the Palace Museum.
Su Xiaozhou, a Beijing local, has chosen to celebrate the festival in an unconventional way this year. Instead of staying within the city's bustling urban landscape, Su decided to explore the tranquil countryside. She and her friends went on a hiking trip to the outskirts of Beijing to explore the rugged terrain of the Great Wall.
An avid outdoor adventure lover, Su said hiking is a perfect way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. "Amid our busy lives, it's easy to forget the natural wonders that surround us."
Zhu Yu, who works in Beijing, decided to spend the holiday with his parents in east China's coastal city of Qingdao and joined the travel rush on Friday.
"I am lucky to get a train ticket to my hometown, as Qingdao is a very popular tourism destination during the holiday," Zhu said. "On Mid-Autumn Festival, there's nothing quite like being with family and sitting together under the moonlight."
For Zhu and countless others, the Mid-Autumn Festival signifies more than just a lunar celebration. It is a time to set aside the hustle and bustle of daily life and prioritize connections with loved ones.