September 25 marks the date of this year's Chinese Moon Festival, a mid-autumn festival and one of the most celebrated among the Chinese culture. As you know, our family will become Chinese American with the adoption of our daughter. As a Chinese American family, we hope to celebrate the Chinese culture fully so as to foster knowledge and a sense of pride in our daughter's heritage and homeland.
The Chinese Moon Festival is on the 15th of the 8th lunar month.It's also known as the Mid-autumn Festival. Chinese culture is deeply embedded in traditional festivals. Just like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West, the Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese.
The Moon Festival is full of legendary stories. Legend says that Chang Er flew to the moon, where she has lived ever since. You might see her dancing on the moon during the Moon Festival.
The Moon Festival is also an occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems. With the full moon, the legend, the family and the poems, you can't help thinking that this is really a perfect world. That is why the Chinese are so fond of the Moon Festival.
Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon. Accompanying the celebration, there are also additional cultural or regional customs, such as:
Barbecues outside under the moon
Put pomelo rinds on one's head
Carry brightly lit lanterns
Plant Mid-Autumn trees
Light lanterns on towers
Fire Dragon Dances
The moon cake is the food for the Moon Festival. The Chinese eat the moon cake at night with the full moon in the sky. See picture above.
Sorry, Southerners, Moon Pies don't qualify!