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Wednesday, September 16, 2015



Teaching Kids About The Mid Autumn Festival

Teaching kids about Mid Autumn Festival, also called Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival is a good way to teach them about the Chinese culture. This is true whether you are a Chinese or otherwise.
The Chinese Give Mooncakes In Beautiful Packaging To Relatives And Friends During The Mid Autumn Festival












Teach Kids About Culture By Talking About The Festivities And Celebrations Of That Culture
One way of teaching kids about culture, whether your own or other cultures is by talking to them about the festivities and celebrations of that culture. I always do this with my kids. When talking to them about the upcoming Chinese festivals that we celebrate, it creates a special kind of anticipation and excitement in the air. The kids look forward to the event if we talk about it, read about it or watch videos about the celebration in the weeks leading to it.

I also use this method to teach my kids about other cultures. I look for folk stories, cultural storybooks and watch videos together. Then I explain to them about other races and people through the richness of their culture. Most of the time, the folk stories are really interesting too, they are just as exciting as the fairy tales the children like to read.

This is a good way to make a young child understand that the world is a big place filled with many different types of people and culture. It is also a good way to teach them to respect others by understanding, knowing and respecting their cultural differences.

When Is Mid Autumn Festival?

The Mid Autumn Festival is on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese lunar Calendar. In 2015, this falls on Sunday, September 27, 2015.

Chinese Children Like To Play With Candles And Paper Or Plastic Lanterns During The Mid Autumn Festival

Chinese Lantern














The Story Of Chang E

One story you can tell your children about the Mid Autumn Festival is the legend of Chang E.

Chang E was said to be married to Hou Yi, an expert archer. At that time there were 10 suns in the sky. It was so hot it killed all the crops and animals on the land. Hou Yi shot down 9 of the 10 suns and became a hero.

He was given an elixir of eternal life. Unfortunately one of his students, Peng Meng saw this and wanted to steal the elixir. To prevent him from doing so, Chang E drank the elixir in one gulp and floated up to the moon.

Hou Yi was heartbroken when he found out what had happened. He offered sacrifices to Chang E. What a sad but romantic story of love and sacrifice.

To this day, people celebrate Mid Autumn Festival on the 15th day of the 8th Month of the Lunar calendar when the moon is at its brightest. Children will play with candles and walk around the neighborhood carrying lanterns while the relatives get together to have a feast and enjoy mooncake together while watching the kids play under the bright moonlight.

There are many versions to this story. Here's one on YouTube: The Legend of the Mooncake Festival: The Story Of Chang E.



Making Chinese Lanterns Is A Fun Way To Teach Kids About Mid Autumn Festival


Chinese Paper Lanterns
Another Way To Teach Kids About Culture Is By Doing Crafts Together. You can have fun teaching kids about the Mid Autumn Festival by making a Chinese Paper Lantern together. Here's a quick paper lantern you can make.

What You Will Need
  1. Colored Paper 
  2. Scissors 
Instructions
  1. Fold the colored paper into half vertically 
  2. Cut lines about one inch apart but not right up to the top leaving about an inch gap 
  3. Unfold 
  4. Roll the paper and glue one side together 
  5. Cut another strip for the handle 
  6. Glue the handle to the sides 
  7. Press the lantern down a little to give it some shape 
  8. That's it! Have fun. Make a few and decorate the whole room, house or garden with it 
The Chinese Enjoy Mooncakes During The Mid Autumn Festival

Traditional Mooncakes
Types Of Mooncakes

The traditional mooncake is made of pastry and lotus paste with a hidden egg yolk to represent the moon.

These days there are many variations of mooncake. There are snow skin mooncakes which are not baked. They come in pretty colors, textures and tastes.

You can even find ice-cream mooncakes!


All the photos on this post are the author's own.

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