Gazing at the Moon is an ancient tradition dating back to the Zhou Dynasty (around 500 BC) when people held ceremonies to welcome the full moon with huge outdoor feasts of moon cakes, watermelons, apricots, apples, grapes and other fresh fruits. The popularity of this ancient tradition began to grow during the Tang and Song Dynasties when high ranking people held banquets in their big courtyards.
During the celebration they drank fine wine, watched the moon and listened to music. Common people who could not afford big parties like the rich and would put some food such as moon cakes and fruit on a table in their courtyard and pray to the moon for a good harvest. This practice greatly increased during the Song Dynasty, and historical documents describe mid-autumn night in the capital, where people would flock to the night markets and together with their families admire the beauty of the full moon. There are also many classic songs and well-known verses about this tradition.