Right now in China the mid-Autumn Festival is in full swing. In fact, Monday is a holiday the kids will be home from school and my husband will be home from work. It is a traditional Chinese holiday but only in the last couple of years has the country started acknowledging it again.
It is an important family holiday and a symbol of the festival is the Moon. In fact, it is often called the Moon Festival. If families can't be together and they are feeling homesick, they look at the moon and know that no matter where in the world their loved one is, they are also looking at the same moon.
There is a legend that is associated with the holiday that ends with a rabbit going up to the moon and grinding medicine. The Chinese believe if you look up at the moon, you can see the outline of the rabbit. Look up at the full moon, the next time you are outside in the dark and see if you can see it.
It is customary to give friends and loved ones Mooncakes during this holiday time.
We have been taking full advantage of living here and have done as much as we can to learn about the festival.
Here are our top ten memories in photos of the holiday so far:
1) My son and I went to a mooncake making class and the chef who showed us what to do, made this rabbit out of mooncake dough just for my son.
2) Here are some mooncakes that my son made at our class. Two are filled with sweet red beans and two are filled with date paste. There are many types of mooncakes. Most that we see have a pastry like outside that is brown in color. These are made from a glutinous rice flour and usually baked. However, since we did not have an oven in our classroom, we steamed them. They were fun to make and looked pretty but the steaming made the outside a little hard and difficult to chew and swallow.
3) Moon Festival Rabbit Cupcakes - my husband wanted to give his staff a gift for the festival. But since they already receive so many mooncakes (kind of like our tradition of fruitcake in the States), he wanted to do something different. We knew the legend of the medicine grinding rabbit, so I came up with this cupcake design instead of mooncakes. It is supposed to be a rabbit inside a full moon. I'm not sure it is all that easy to tell but they are pretty cute anyway!
4) At school, the kids celebrated Chinese Culture Day with their Chinese class with a Mid Autumn Festival themed activity hour. Each child was able to choose a lantern. Lantern are used to decorate for every traditional Chinese holiday.
5) Painting a greeting on his Mid Autumn Festival Lantern
6) The artists show off their lanterns.
7) First grade gets to paint on a lantern too.
8) Proud of his Mid Autumn Festival Lantern!
9) Using a modern press to make an old fashioned mooncake.
If you are interested in learning even more about this holiday, check out this link, it looks like it is full of great information.
I'm linking up at Shimelle.com for the 10 on 10 monthly fun! Thanks for stopping by.