Sunday, September 11, 2011

Moon Festival

Last night we went to a nearby city's Chinese Association's Mid-Autumn Festival celebration.  (And no, I don't understand why it is called the "Mid-Autumn festival" when it's in September.  Chinese New Year is called the "Spring Festival" and it's in January or February.  Maybe the Chinese are just hopeful for the endless summers and winters to pass?)  We had never been to one of this group's gatherings before, and the only people we knew were another adoptive family, but it was kind of fun. 
There was Chinese food, silly riddles to solve (in both Chinese and English), drawings for prizes, and lots of time for conversation.
A woman played a traditional Chinese stringed instrument - beautiful!  The girls were delighted that she had the same hairdo as Katherine.
There was a performance of middle-aged women doing a fan dance.  We saw women do dances like this every morning in the public parks in China - they've just added American exercise costumes.
The girls were pleased to be in a crowd where they looked like everyone else and we all enjoyed the pleasant hum of Mandarin surrounding us.  When we left Katherine asked if we could come back next year.

This morning the girls wanted to put on their Chinese silks in honor of the Moon Festival.  So they did.

In China the Mid-Autumn celebration is also called the Moon Festival and it occurs during the full moon.  We were in China two years ago just before the Moon Festival.  Shops put up decorations and bakeries and hotel sold fancy moon cakes (which aren't actually cakes).  People get togther with family, re-tell ancient folk tales about the moon, eat moon cakes, and look at the full moon.  For our family, the Moon Festival has become a time to remember our girls' birth families and the nannies and foster family who cared for them in China.  Tonight we will go out and send our prayers and good wishes to the moon.  We know that the people we left behind are probably looking at that same moon.  Maybe they're even thinking of us.

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