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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Moon Festival

Tonight people across China will celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival or 中秋节 (Zhōngqiūjié). This holiday always occurs during the Autumnal Equinox, so people often refer to it as the Moon Festival, since the moon appears bigger, brighter and closer to earth at this time of year than at any other.

The Chinese celebrate Harvest Moon Festival by gathering together with friends and relatives. It is a time of picnics, puppet shows and fireworks. Children wear pomelo hats and hope that the Moon Lady, Chang Er, grants their one-of-a-kind, unforgettable, never-before-heard wishes. Families enjoy eating Mooncakes, Rabbit-in-the-Moon cookies and Bubble Tea. Everyone spends the evening gazing at the moon, looking for Chang Er or the Jade Rabbit, which is the Chinese equivalent of our Man in the Moon.

Most importantly, families spend the time together thinking of relatives far away, whether geographically or in the afterlife. Many China-adoptive parents take advantage of this holiday to honor their children's birthparents. It can be a time to pray for and remember their children's first families. A very popular book for adoptive parents to read on this holiday is We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze.

To learn more about the Mid-Autumn Festival, check out this podcast from ChinesePod.

Great Books About the Moon Festival:

Moonbeams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats by Nina Simonds
Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong
Big, Bright Moon by Cindy Loo

Great Books About Birthparents to Read During the Moon Festival:

We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze
Motherbridge of Love, illustrated by Josee Masse


mommy24treasures said...

thank you for the book ideas!

Rebecca said...

Oooh, love this! I just saw a post about the Moon Festival and I learned so much! I want to try a mooncake so bad... noplace to buy them around here though. :( My new mission is to order some bubble tea online and try it!

We have the Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats book and we love it!!!

Aunt LoLo said...

Ooh...happy "jung chau jit"! We found a decent Chinese grocery yesterday and bought ourselves some little "lotus seed pies" (like a mooncake...but it's just the pastry wrapped around a log of lotus seed - no "moon" yolk.) With only the two of us, it seemed...safer to not purchase the huge moon cakes. That, and the grocer only accepted cash and we only had enough to purchase our groceries and the little box of pies. ;-)

We're celebrating tonight by inviting a woman from church(and her four kids) for dinner. Her husband is out of town, and we can all be alone together! ;-)

Give the Tongginator an extra Jung Chau Jit hug from Aunt LoLo. ;-)

Oh, i wanted to tell you, too - in Hong Kong, this festival was my FAVORITE of them all. it was the ONLY evening when I would see men outside playing with their children. (Men generally worked too late to be able to play with their children on the playground at sunset.) I saw them lighting off fireworks, playing with little lanterns, eating MOUNDS of fruit or just lounging on the ground, watching the moon. It was such a happy evening! The celebration extends into tomorrow - tonight is a big dinner with all your family, and then TOMORROW....NOBODY goes to work. The streets were like ghost towns. (Missionaries still had to work...but our choices of people to talk to were mighty slim!)

Janet said...

I was wondering....what IS Bubble Tea?

Mechelle said...

Thanks for the book ideas. I will be at the book story tomorrow looking for them. Thanks, M

Briana's Mom said...

I have a few of those books! I need to read them to Briana!

Doug loves bubble tea. Now I can make it- thanks!

Lisa and Tate said...

Thanks for the 411 on the Moon festival. Tate's library has the dumpling book and the round is a mooncake. We also have a book that is about the Moon Lady.

CC said...

Great list of resources (as always!).

We're going to miss our Korean moon festival celebration (Chusok) because (cough, cough)... we're going camping.

But we're going with another adoptive family so we're good. Right?

Lanxi said...

Celebrate, but please don't ever make me eat another moon cake. No, really. Not ever!