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Mid Autumn Festival

Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 By Ni Hao Books

Mid Autumn Festival (中秋节,zhōng qiū jié ) will fall on Sept. 22nd this year. The roundness of the full moon symbolizes the reunion of family members. It's a time for family to get together, enjoy a meal, gaze upon the moon, and share some yummy snacks.

The most well known snack associated with this holiday is moon cake. Moon cakes are only available around Mid Autumn Festival, so for people who love moon cakes like myself, this is the only time of the year to gorge on these yummy desserts. Moon cakes come with different fillings. The most popular ones are made with lotus seeds and salted egg yokes. It always amazes me how the sweetness of the moon cakes and the saltiness of the egg yoke pair so well together. Another popular version of moon cakes come with red bean filling. Red bean is very commonly used in Chinese deserts, so moon cakes with it are simply delicious. Another traditional filling is various nuts, so it's a salty version. I've never gotten used to them. Moon cakes, to me, should always be sweet.

Besides moon cakes, other traditional snacks are pomelo, star fruit, persimmon, taro and water caltrop. All of these can be found in Asian markets here in the US. Taro and water caltrop are boiled in water before consumption.

My favorite part of the Mid Autumn Festival is the lanterns. Parents will buy their children beautiful lanterns made in the shapes of animals, planes, cars, flowers and many other things. After dinner, the kids are allowed to light their lanterns with candles inside, and take walks outside with their parents or friends. Even my school would ask students to come to school at night, and we would all take a walk with our classmates through the streets and apartment buildings with our lanterns brightly lit.

Another fun activity besides lighting lanterns is guessing riddles. Pieces of paper with riddles, usually in the form of a poem, are hung up during celebrations, for people to guess. The answers can be a Chinese character or a thing (animal, object, etc.)

If you live in the San Diego area, you may be interested in attending the Family Moon Festival celebration at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum on Oct. 2nd, 2010 from 1pm to 3pm. For detail information, you can email info@sdchm.org, or by calling the museum at 619-338-9888.

The North University Community Branch Library is also having a concert on Sept. 21st at 6:30pm to celebrate.

Whatever you decide on to do on Sept. 22nd, whether going to a festival to celebrate, eating a moon cake, or gaze upon the moon, or lighting a beautiful lantern, we here at Ni Hao Books wish you a Happy Mid Autumn Festival!

To celebrate, Ni Hao Books is offering 10% off your entire order. No coupon code is required, and the discount will be shown in your cart. Of course, shipping is still free for orders over $20! Show now for Chinese children's books! This offer expires September 30, 2010.

 

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