Everytime a chinese festival or holiday rolls around, I go into overdrive mode and stress over how to make it more meaningful for my kids or even mean something to them. O how it pains me to think that traditions that were the absolute highlights of my childhood are such foreign concepts to them.
"Mom, I don't like going to Chinatown....why do we have to go?"
"Well you just have to learn to like it because you're half chinese & we're not going to stop going!"
In Fall, we celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival, where the moon is at its roundest & brightest all year. It marks the end of the harvest season and families gather to admire the moon as they celebrate over a feast that features "round" foods like mooncakes, pamelos, oranges ... & these bat shaped chestnut like fruit called Lingjiao or the Water Calthrop.
Here's a great video that shows how mooncakes & lanterns are made.
One of my best friends who lives on Maui never fails to impress me with her culinary skills. Just look at these beautiful mooncakes she made...
Here's my take for hands on learning for my kids & the kids in my mandarin classes...
Using two different playdoh colors, I shape the "mooncakes" ...
the kids hit the streets with their lanterns!
P.S. Here in Hawaii where beach going is top on almost everyone's priority list, keeping tabs of when the moon is full is important because about 9 days after that, jellyfish tend to swarm the ocean waters for a few days!
Speaking of jellyfish, I just bought some awesome lampwork jellyfish beads that I'll show you next time!