The Customs of Autumn Begins
In Shandong Province, people make dumplings during the Start of Autumn, and they call it “Eating the Autumn.” On the day of Start of Autumn, senior members of the family will stand in the middle of the hall, worshiping a bow of cereal with three incents on top, praying for the harvest in autumn. And most of the families will eat dumplings together after the Start of Autumn.
The custom is also popular in Tianjing City, but they eat watermelons instead of dumplings. Like the people living in the south of the Yangzi River, they believe that eating watermelons can prevent diarrhea in the winter and the coming spring. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), people would put melons outside for a day before the Start of Autumn, and eat them on the day of Start of Autumn in order to drive off the summer heat.