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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5 Ideas for Celebrating the Mid Autumn Festival with Kids

Tet Trung Thu, the Mid Autumn Festival, falls on September 8 this year. Growing up, this was one of my favorite holidays because it meant that my sisters and I would get to stay up parading our paper lanterns, eating mooncakes and fighting over who would get the yolk. My parents would tell us folk tales about the lady in the moon and we would look up at the sky trying to make out her image on the moons surface.  What makes this holiday unique is that it specifically focuses on children and the bounty of the Fall harvest. Here are some ideas for getting your little one excited about ushering in Fall.

1. Go to a Tet Trung Thu/Moon festival.

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival hosted by 2BC, Inc and the Vietnamese Community of San Diego on Sept 7 will include an array of non-stop live entertainment, concerts, traditional Lion Dance performances and exciting opportunities to experience new cultures and traditions. It is also one of the only events in the county that has no admission fees and offering diverse, exciting entertainment along with free lanterns and moon cakes for children of all ages.

Saturday, September 13, 2014  |  1:00 – 3:00pm
$4.00 Admission | Free for SDCHM Members and children under 12
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Chuang Garden
404 Third Ave  |  San Diego, Ca 92101
It’s that time again when the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum opens it’s doors to families from all over the San Diego region to celebrate a time-honored Chinese tradition: the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.  The Chinese celebrate the Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節 on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month by savoring the full moon, the bounty of the harvest, and delicious mooncakes.The event will be held on September 13, 2014 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm in the museum’s beautiful garden.  Admission is $4, free for children under 12 and museum members.
Guests will see a demonstration on how to prepare traditional treats, which can include exotic flavors ranging from red bean paste to sweet lotus seed. Children will have a chance to make their own mooncakes, and volunteers will help museum staff retell Chinese legends about the jade rabbit and fairy princess living on the moon. Festivities in the museum garden will also include Chinese arts and crafts, a calligraphy demonstration and, of course, a chance to sample various types of mooncake! For more information visit
2. Make paper lanterns at home.
The accordian-style  lanterns we used to get when I was little looked like this. They are really old school but that's why I like them! Here are some other lantern projects you can do with kids. 

[I love these fish lanterns from Darice. There are no rules when it comes to lantern shapes/sizes.]

[More traditional looking lanterns from Crafting on a Budget]

[Don't have time to make one? You can buy accordian lanterns online for $2 from Luna Bazaar.]

3. Read a book about Tet Trung Thu with your little one.

[Mooncakes by Loretta Seto]

[Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong]

[Surprise Moon by Caroline Hatton]

4. Sing songs about Tet Trung Thu.
Here are lyrics to a folk song about the Mid Autumn Festival.

Lyrics in English:At Mid-autumn festival,
walk around with lanterns lit.
Take them all across the town,
singing to the autumn moon.
Lanterns all in different shapes, lantern angel, lantern dream,
Lantern fish, or lantern star, lantern swan or butterfly.
Take my lantern to the sky;
take my lantern to the moon!
Lyrics in Vietnamese:Tet trung thu ruoc den di choi.
Em ruoc den di khap pho phuong.
Long vui suong voi den trong tay
Em mua ca trong anh trang ram.
Den ong sao voi den ca chep
den thien nga voi den buom buom
em ruoc den nay den cung trang.
Den xanh lo voi den tim tim.
Den xanh lam voi den trang trang
Trong anh den ruc ro muon mau.

5. Enjoy mooncakes!
According to Yelp, Huy Ky Bakery is THE PLACE to buy your mooncakes. Looks like I will be making a trip down there.

Huy Ky Bakery
4550 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92105

If you are very brave, you can try to make your own mooncakes using this recipe from China Sichuan Food.

RunAwayRice also has great video tutorials on how to make snow skin mooncakes at home.

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