Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Moon Festival!

The Moon Festival is a very important holiday in China. It's a celebration that includes the story of a goddess named Chang'e who traveled to the moon and lives there still. Since the moon is a very important part of Chinese culture where their calender is based on the lunar cycles, she is an important figure.

The Moon Festival (or Mid Autumn Festival) is very similar to Thanksgiving in the U.S. as Both holidays revolve around family reunions, food and tradition. Mooncakes (see picture) are eaten with family in the evening outside while watching the moon. If there is family that cannot make the reunion, there is comfort in knowing that on that evening you are looking at the same moon as your loved ones far away. So, tonight when we eat our mooncakes at a local park, I'll look at the moon and think of Buttons' birthparents. Surely they'll be thinking of her and wondering if she is looking at the very same moon. I wish peace for them and I would love to tell them what a wonderful child she is and how lucky we are to be raising her. When I put her to bed, we have a new ritual of giving thanks and I love hearing what she's thankful for which included kitty cats, curtains and her uncle last night. I'm sorry her birth-mom and birth-dad are not able to know these wonderful things about her, but I am selfish enough to be thankful she is with us. On other nights we have both spoken our thanks for the moon. Tonight I will give thanks to the moon and its connection to the people who brought Buttons into the world.

I am also thankful for Buttons' teachers, one of which asked if we celebrated any Chinese holidays and if so, would I mind giving her some ideas for crafts to go along with them. Yeah, what a great teacher, huh? So, I made 16 paper lanterns for her class since bright lanterns are a big part of the festival. Gosh, kids are fun. Don't forget to check out the moon tonight!

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At September 25, 2007 at 9:51 AM, Blogger Purl said...

Thanks for the explanation. Cindy is bringing me a moon cake today, but I didn't know the meaning behind the Moon Festival.

Buttons is so lucky.

At September 25, 2007 at 10:43 AM, Anonymous Marsha said...

The paper lanterns sound like fun!

There are lots of different legends about the moon. My parents told me that a princess and a rabbit lived there. Personally, I think that's a lot more interesting than the usual "man in the moon" tale! :)

Enjoy the moon cakes! For years I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to find some that don't contain lard. Were you able to?

At September 25, 2007 at 7:13 PM, Blogger Katie J said...

No lard in the mooncakes from chinasprout.com, but don't order the salty variety because it has pork of some kind. The winter melon variety was the only one we've tried so far and it was good.

At September 26, 2007 at 2:51 PM, Blogger Robin said...

How interesting!! I never heard of The Moon Festival. The Chinese have such a rich and interesting culture. I love hearing about their traditions and holidays, which seem both very thoughtful and mystical at the same time.

At September 26, 2007 at 3:13 PM, Blogger thursday said...

I think it's great that you celebrate Chinese holidays. As a kid I always wanted to find out more about other cultures and their holidays...perhaps that's the anthropologist in me. :)

At September 28, 2007 at 5:28 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Thank you for introducing me to the Moon Festival. It sounds lovely. Did you hand out the lanterns at school?

At September 28, 2007 at 2:06 PM, Blogger Katie J said...

I did hand out the lanterns at school and the other kids really liked them.


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