Moon Festival for Kids
On the 8th full moon of the lunar year comes the Moon Festival. On this night, the moon is at its brightest. Friends and family gather together to enjoy the moonlight and of course eat mooncakes!
This Festival is the equivalent of Thanksgiving Day and its origins go back to ancient times, when people would get together on the 15th day of the 8th moon (around September or October in our Calendar) on a day of thanksgiving for a good rice harvest. This is the time when crops and fruits are at their best and the weather is pleasant.
In ancient China, emperors would make offerings and sacrifices to the sun in spring and to the moon in autumn.
An so it is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. Autumn in the Chinese Calendar falls on the seventh, eighth and ninth lunar months.
Nowadays, families and friends get together to celebrate at home or by taking part in one of the many festivities around town.
Take a look at this Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in San Francisco, just click on the arrow:
Video Courtesy Herve Blandin, USA
Another hallmark of this festivity is the many lantern festivals and displays throughout. The festivals in Hong Kong are quite spectacular, a mix with tradition and state-of-the-art designs. One of the highlights is the Lantern Wonderland at Victoria Park, where the main piece showcased will be chosen with a contest. A previous past winner has made it into the Guinnes Book of World Records, a mega structure with the shape of a fish made up of over 2,000 lanterns.
Making your own Chinese paper lantern is easy. They make beautiful and colorful decorations great for getting you in that festive mood!
Check out some very easy to make Chinese lanterns here, all you need is some paper, scissors and glue!
What are Moon Cakes?
These are traditional Chinese pastries, filled with a sweet paste. The most common fillings are made of coconut, lotus seed or egg yolks.
According to the legends, Mooncakes were responsible for freeing a town under Mongol rule. A few days before the Mid-Autumn Festival, a rebel army commander had sent Mooncakes to the towns people. There were notes hidden inside the Mooncakes, basically coordinating the effort to rise up at midnight the night of the festival, and attack their captors. The rebellion succeeded and the town was freed from the Mongols, thanks to the Mooncakes!
Moon Cakes have been getting a makeover through the years, you no longer have to stick with the traditional flavors and fillings. When lotus seed, bean paste or salted egg yolk doesn't do it for you, try Häagen-Dazs! This kind will certainly fly out the door!
Covered with chocolate instead of the dry pastry, the filling of Häagen-Dazs mooncakes is of course made of ice cream, and the center? no more egg yolk! The middle is made of Häagen-Dazs mango sorbet.
Starbucks also offers some of their own: Caramel Macchiato, Tiramisu, Hazelnut Latte and Green Tea Chocolate.
More Chinese Festivals:
The Moon Festival will be on September 15, 2016!
Chinese New Year Ornaments and Decorations
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