Friday, September 19, 2008

Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival (A.K.A. Moon Festival).

*Emma dressed in her traditional Chinese silks.*
*Of course we had matching hair accessories! ; )*
*We made lanterns at school to celebrate the holiday. *
*And, we ate "moon cakes"...Emma DOES like the REAL kind, but I figured that her classmates would prefer ding dongs!!*
"Emma and I brought moon cakes, moon juice, and treat boxes with each child's name written in english and chinese".
Yesterday I spent some time with Emma and her classmates at pre-school. We celebrated The Mid Autumn Festival together and we had so much fun! : ) I opened with a simple over view of the holiday, then we did a lantern craft and each child received a "good fortune" stamp with the Chinese pinyin character on their hand. The children learned how to say hello and good bye in Mandarin. After I left the children ate their "moon cakes" and listened to Chinese festival music. : )
If you are wondering WHAT Mid Autumn Festival/Moon Festival is.....

Zhōng qīu jié 中秋節Mid-Autumn Festival (Provided by Robin B.)
The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar cycle and the moon is important to the Chinese. Autumn Moon Festival, literally ‘Mid-Autumn Festival’, or the Birthday of the Moon is on 8/15 of the lunar calendar, a full moon night. It is a time to have the family together, eat a festive meal including moon cakes, and enjoy the moonlight. Children & adults carry paper lanterns and climb hills to get a good view of the full moon. They give thanks to the bright, silvery moon of the eighth lunar month. Some call it a “Chinese Thanksgiving”. Moon cakes are round like the moon. The round shape is a symbol for togetherness and harmony. Made of flaked pastry, they often have egg yolks in the center, to represent the moon, and sweet fillings of red bean paste, lotus seed paste, coconut or nuts. The sweetness of them represents good fortune or good harvest. Traditional red bean paste filling takes days to make. Special molds are used which press special designs in the top. Now “everyone” buys moon cakes instead of making them at home.
On the evening of the Autumn Moon Festival, people carrying paper lanterns climb hills and mountains to get a good view of the full moon. They give thanks to the bright, silvery moon of the eighth lunar month. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also partially a Festival of Lights. The lanterns they carry all have candles in them. Before electricity, people were more aware of the length of the days and the stars, and what happened in the night sky.
Zhong qui jie everybody!!!!! : )

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