Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin
What a festive day this is in most Asian and the Asian American communities throughout the world … while the western Gregorian calendars tells us today is September 22, 2010, today is also the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar. Which means it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, Tsukimi Matsuri in Japan, Chuseok in Korea, and Tết Trung Thu in Vietnam … and all of the above throughout Asian Pacific America.
In Grace Lin‘s latest title for kiddies, a Chinese American family unpacks a toothsome nighttime picnic as the moon reaches its full glow in the grand sky. The three daughters help arrange “the moon-honoring table,” with delicious treats, surrounded by the glow of paper lanterns decorated with rabbits (because “a white rabbit is said to live on the moon”). Basking in the soft moonlight, the family “thank[s] the moon for bringing us together and send[s] it our secret wishes.”
In our too-busy schedules of everyday hustle, bustle, to, and fro, Lin’s latest is a lovely, gentle reminder to take a moment or two (and more!) to share our gratitude with the most important people in our lives. What began as a harvest festival hundreds, even thousands of years ago throughout Asia, has today become the perfect reason to gather our family and friends: “The roundness of the moon symbolizes harmony, and its fullness symbolizes wholeness, so families come together to celebrate those virtues,” Lin explains in an endnote. “Just as the moon always returns to its fullness, the festival continues to reunite families and inspire peace and gratitude.”
So tonight, grab those kids, give thanks to the ever-reliable moon … and cuddle up together with this adorable book. Make sure to pull it out often, too … it’s not just the kids who need those repeated reminders!
To check out my recent interview with Grace Lin for Bookslut.com, click here.