Mid-Autumn Festival is actually a very entertaining holiday for your children learning Chinese thanks to all the beautiful children-friendly traditional traditions and mouth-watering delicious traditional Chinese foods. It’s probably the second most popular Chinese traditional holiday after Chinese New Year. There are numerous ways to celebrate the wonderful Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival with the little one in your family, from free mid Autumn Leaves Recipes to pomelo flower decoration. I’ve tried several different Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival recipes and today I will give you my favorite one – Pumpkin pie! My kids and their friends love Pumpkin Pie, but they don’t know how original and traditional the recipe really is.
1. Having Dinner Together — Happy Family Reunion Time
As the Mid-Autumn Festival represents the reunion of families, families will have dinner together on that night. People who don’t have time to stay with their parents will try their best to go home to at least have dinner together. Therefore, there can be traffic jams during this festival.
Cook at Home or Dine at a Restaurant
In the past, mothers would cook delicious food at home and families would spend some happy time together. Nowadays, most families tend to have dinner at a restaurant rather than cook at home. Therefore, famous restaurants can be fully booked on the Mid-Autumn Festival night.
2. Eating Mooncakes — The Most Representative Tradition
A mooncake is a traditional Chinese pastry. It is made from wheat flour and sweet stuffing, such as sugar and lotus seed powder. It’s a symbol of family reunion, and the cake is traditionally cut into pieces that equal the number of people in the family.. Eating mooncakes is the most common and representative tradition of the day. In ordinary times, people won’t buy or eat mooncakes but during the Mid-Autumn Festival everyone will have a mooncake to celebrate.
Start by preparing the filling. Most people use egg whites or whole egg. The choice really depends on personal preference or what you prefer more. Next, you’ll need to gather up some fresh or dried pomelo fruits and combine them with a few Chinese coin and China. Make sure to include in your preparation some dried plums, raisins and fenugreek seeds or corn chips.
Appreciating the Moon — a Symbol of Family Reunion
In Chinese beliefs, the full moon is the symbol for a family reunion. Many famous ancient poets wrote poems about the moon and expressed their homesickness. When people look at the moon, it reminds them of their families and homeland. Nowadays, people still like appreciating the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival in China. Chinese family members have dinner together in the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival. After dinner, they may talk about their work, the children, and their future plans.
One of the most popular Mid Autumn Festival Traditions is egg and moon cakes. Start by grilling some pomelos, sun dried persimmons and cubed cakes with the pomelos inside. When they are half done, remove them from the grill and transfer into a tray. Fill the bottom of the tray with water and place the cooked egg and moon cakes in the water. Now you’re ready for the fun part – decorating the Mid-Autumn Festival moon cakes!
Worshiping the Moon — a Disappearing Tradition
After dinner, every family will put a table outside the door, or in the courtyard. They put mooncakes, fruit, incense, and candlesticks on the table, facing towards the moon. Nowadays, this tradition is disappearing. It’s rare to see families worshiping the moon in big cities. In some old towns or tourist cities, people will hold a ceremony to worship the moon in a square, park, or street, but this is more like a performance. Fruit for worshiping the moon includes a watermelon, grapefruit, pomegranate, pear, persimmon, grapes, or other seasonal fruit.
Making Colorful Lanterns — Children’s Favorite Activity
Making colorful lanterns is a happy activity between families and children. The lanterns have different shapes and can also resemble animals, plants, or flowers. Children love making colorful lanterns. They make them in different shapes to be hung in trees or houses, or floated on rivers. Parks will also hang up colorful lanterns, which provide a beautiful view at night. They also make Kongming lanterns, which can fly because the burning candles heat the air in the lantern. Children write good wishes on the lanterns and let them fly up into the sky.
Cut out small pieces of paper into many different designs. Try to make the moon and egg shapes as intricate as possible. I find making full moon cakes much easier than the other one. The reason is that with this kind of moon design, you can easily go from being a flat surface to a round one very quickly. I find it is also much easier to make the moon and egg mooncakes in a round shape rather than trying to do so in a square one.
Sending Celebration Messages — to Those Who Are Far Away
People who are used to using phones will send celebration messages to friends, relatives, or people who are far away. It’s also a good way to break the ice if you don’t know how to start a conversation by phone. In the past, people sent SMS. Nowadays, young people like to send messages via instant messaging apps, such as WeChat or QQ.
Now for some fun desert. A traditional Mid-Autumn Festival food is salty egg yolk. You can dip your mooncakes into the yolk and paint designs onto them with an edible ink pen. I personally love to add a little bit of real spices to my mooncakes or use dried fruit and nuts as a desert for my little ones on their next visit to my house.
For Mid-Autumn Festival Food and drink, the main traditional food that is eaten at the mooncake festival includes cakes and cookies. These can be baked using a Mid-Autumn theme or can be baked traditionally using any type of theme. Traditional foods like cakes, cookies and salsas are served at the moon cakes along with traditional drinks like puddings. Mid Autumn themed moon cakes are easy to make and there are plenty of moon cake recipes online to help you.