September 14, 2008

Harvest Moon Festival

Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar (September 14, this year), when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year, the Chinese celebrate "zhong qiu jie." Children are told the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace, who comes out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface.
The legend surrounding the "lady living in the moon" dates back to a day when ten suns appeared at once in the sky. The Emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the nine extra suns. Once the task was accomplished, Goddess of Western Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill that would make him immortal.

However, his wife found the pill, took it, and was banished to the moon as a result. Legend says that her beauty is greatest on the day of the Moon Festival.

So in celebration of the Moon Festival, we headed to the Norton Museum of Art for their 3rd annual celebration of the festival. We met Amy and Mia there, which was great since we hadn't seen Mia in a couple of months and she has grown so much. We toured the gallery, made dragon pendants, heard the story of the festival from Sagwa the Siamese cat, and did a little shopping in the gift store for some souveniers.

Kylie admires some Chinese craftmanship.
Kylie reads up on some Chinese art (while mom, dad, and Amy try to ponder how they can take a picture of Vanilla Ice, who is sitting right behind Kylie at this point playing a game of "Chinese" checkers!)
Kylie and Mia give each other a hug goodbye.


Laurie said...

What a great cultural event! :-) Very cool...

Vanessa said...

How wonderfully fun and cute!