By Lily Childs, World Languages Teacher
The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is a very important holiday in Chinese culture when the moon is the fullest and brightest of the year. In Chinese society, the holiday takes place after harvest time. Moon Festival celebrations take place with family and friends, so it can be compared to the Thanksgiving holiday. Making and sharing moon cakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. Moon cakes are round shapes with a pastry skin and sweet (or savory) filling such as red beans, taro, or salted egg yolk. In Chinese culture a round shape symbolizes completeness and reunion, thus the sharing and eating of round moon cakes among family members signify the completeness and unity of families.
Making moon cakes has become a class tradition with a number of parents coming to help. The hands-on experience of making and eating moon cakes is the best way help to bridge the understanding of the Mid-Autumn Festival for students in Chinese classes.