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Happy Moon Festival

Our family celebrated Chinese Moon Festival a day early…the actual event is today.

Last night, we celebrated it with other Chinese people in our town at the Chinese Bible Church.  We ate delicious homemade Chinese food, listened to speakers present messages in Chinese, people sing beautiful Chinese songs, and we ate traditional moon cakes.

moon cakeIt’s called a moon cake because an egg yolk is baked inside to represent the full harvest moon.  These delicious delicacies are made with sweet red bean paste, or bean paste with chopped nuts, or taro root paste baked inside of a flour cake.  The cake is imprinted with beautiful Chinese characters and brushed with egg white for a lovely golden finish.

Chinese Moon Festival is considered the most significant calendar event each year–this tops Chinese New Year.

We were happy for Calvin to get a huge sampling of part of his cultural heritage at this event.  He gobbled up a plate full of Chinese food.  Then, we let him devour rice cakes, part of a moon cake, and a steamed bao ze (steamed bread made from rice flour filled with a sweet red bean paste).

He’s not allowed to have run-of-the-mill American sweets because they’re soooo sugary.  But, on this special night, we let him taste sweet goodness because honestly, bean paste and taro root aren’t as sweet as fruit and sugar.

The Moon Festival is significant among families and friends…it’s a celebratory equivalent to Thanksgiving, possibly Christmas or Hannukah.

Our son enjoyed playing with other children even if they didn’t speak the same language.  Hey, we’re working on his English as well as some basic Chinese…and toddlers can communicate universally.  He warmed up to other adults and loved the food, music, and celebration.

Our family loved meeting more Chinese people who live in our city.

I hope you get a chance to try a moon cake today.  It’s not the same as a moon pie–not even close.

If there’s not a moon cake or a Chinese grocery store near you, then take a moment this evening to gaze upon the evening moon like the Chinese people have done for centuries on this night.


Your Turn:

What cultural traditions do you and your spouse share with your children?

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*Photo by Quan Nguyen via flickr photostream

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