Mid-Autumn Festival aka “Moon Festival”
Date: September 22, 2010
A traditional harvest festival celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month in the Chinese calendar. The date also parallels the autumnal equinox, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The festival gives thanks to the summer harvest and welcomes autumn. I put together this little planner/worksheet for myself.
This planner is for toddlers; those with older children will need to adjust the activities for the appropriate age range.
Make a paper lantern: instructions from the book Lin Yi’s Lantern and also Google “Chinese paper lantern craft.”
Take a walk at night with your paper lantern, admire the full moon, sing songs about the moon, eat mooncakes and drink tea.
Traditionally, round fruits such as melons, pomelos, grapes, apples are arranged as centerpieces.
Mooncakes, of course, and glutinous rice balls. These can be found at Asian grocery stores like Super 88 and Ranch 99, and also in Chinatown grocery stores. I personally like the mooncakes with lotus seed paste on the inside as well as the rice balls with sesame paste.
Catch the Moon | Elizabeth Mitchell and Lisa Loeb, or any other children’s songs about the moon.
Stories for the kids
Lin Yi’s Lantern | Brenda Williams and Benjamin Lacombe. This children’s book also includes the tail of the moon fairy and instructions on how to make paper lanterns.
Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes | Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz, The Children’s Museum Boston, and Meilo So. If you do not have access to an asian food store, the recipes in this book (which I have not tried) and the next are adaptations using more commonly found ingredients.
Chinese Festivals Cookbook (Festival Cookbooks) | Stuart Thompson and Angela Dennington.