Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
On Sunday, September 27 Chinese families will gather to celebrate this official holiday that is also known as the Chinese Moon Festival. The traditions of the festival center around the moon, and the belief that a full moon is a symbol of peace and prosperity. The festival is held on the night that the moon is the fullest and brightest. This year’s date is unique. It is the first time in more than thirty years that a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse are happening on the same day as the festival.
The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is an important day of the year for families to reunite. Family members travel from around the world to be together on this day. A reunion dinner, or night time picnic, is held before admiring the full moon together. A popular tradition is to eat mooncakes – a round pastry (symbolizing the moon) filled with lotus seed or sweet bean paste. The mooncakes are served with Chinese tea in round cups. Other traditions include lighting and flying lanterns, and reading poems about the moon.
Thanking the Moon by Grace Lin is a great picture book to share with young children. It shows how one family prepares for their moonlit picnic to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. Lin’s website has more information about the festival and directions for making a really cute bunny lantern craft. Children can also write and illustrate their own poem about the moon.