We have been learning about China for the past two weeks. Today we talked about and celebrated the Chinese Moon Festival.
What is the Moon Festival?
In China and throughout many Asian countries people celebrate the Harvest Moon on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. The date in the Western calendar changes annually. This year, the Mid-Autumn festival was today, Wednesday, September 22, 2010.
The Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival is a day of family reunions much like our Thanksgiving. It is believed that on the day of the Festival, the moon is the roundest and brightest signaling a time of completeness and abundance. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, children get to stay up past midnight, parading multi-colored lanterns as families take to the streets to moon-gaze.
How We Celebrated:
We read The Moon Lady which is about a girls adventures on the night of the Moon Festival.
On a rainy afternoon, Maggie, Lily, and June listen as their grandmother tells a story from her childhood. Long ago, during the Moon Festival while waiting for the Moon Lady to appear and grant wishes, Ying-ying discovers the best wishes are those you make come true yourself.
We made Chinese paper lanterns
and Easy Chinese Moon Cakes. This is a simplified recipe not at all like traditional Moon Cakes, which often use red bean paste and are formed using decorative molds.
and when it was dark we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful harvest moon!