Moon bathes festival in its glow

Wuxue: Each year during the Mid-Autumn Festival, residents from Dawulei village in Wuxue, Hubei province, gather in front of the main ancestral hall to make offerings to the moon.
When the moon rises in the night sky, the ceremony, which has 21 steps divided into five stages, begins in earnest.
More than 60 male villagers, most of them from the Lei clan, parade in colorful masks and white silk pants and robes while carrying staffs topped with white lanterns.
They circle a small lake in front of the ancestral hall, with the lamps held aloft and the white orbs reflected in the water.
A key part of the ceremony involves a village leader daubing a red flag and a black flag with blood drawn from a live chicken and making an offering to the ancestors.
Onlookers bow their heads and pray silently. As the ceremony reaches its finale, female villagers dressed in gold and red join hands and dance joyfully in a circle.
At the end of the dance, spectators run to collect mooncakes and fruit that have been tossed in the air by village leaders.
The elaborate ceremony is how Dawulei celebrates the festival and gives thanks for its harvest.
– The Daily Mail-China Daily News exchange item