An Asian festival continues to delight Inner Southeast parents and children (and there's cake)

DAVID F. ASHTON - Aliya Fu-Wen Kobus, and mom Amy, enjoyed slices of traditional mooncakes at the Woodstock Branch Librarys Moon Festival celebration. As has been their tradition for several years, families came to the Woodstock Branch Library to celebrate the Chinese "Moon Festival" on Saturday afternoon, September 22.

"This time of year, the moon looks larger than during any other season," remarked the library's Chinese Library Assistant, Sally Li, as people gathered for crafts in the building's activity room.

"The 'Moon Festival' is a time for families to get together," Li told THE BEE. The moon, in Chinese beliefs, is in fact the symbol for a family reunion, she explained.

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang dynasty, about 1600–1046 BC(E). Also called the "Mid-Autumn Festival", this time is also celebrated notably by the Vietnamese people.

Sharing "mooncakes" – special round pastries – is a significant part of the celebration, and these treats may be either savory or sweet. "That's why we have mooncakes for our guests today," Li explained.

Another of these traditions is making lanterns, she said. "This craft of creating or decorating colorful lanterns is a happy activity for children and their parents."

The room soon filled with celebrants, mooncake slices in hand, making crafts, while the youngsters learned about ancient Chinese cultural traditions.

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