All over the world people celebrate their version of Harvest Moon/Mid-Autumn Moon Festivals. In many cultures you can read tales of the moon. For Chinese families, this is reunion time and there is a special food involved – moon cakes. If you cannot return home, my Chinese family in Taiwan taught me long ago that I must spend time out of doors, looking at the brightest moon of the season and thinking of my family gazing at that same moon and thinking of me.
I’m surprised more schools haven’t discovered the extensions that naturally occur with this holiday. The science and math lessons are numerous. Perhaps you need to learn more about the holiday.
Web sites to learn about the Moon Festival and the folklore surrounding "my" holiday:
- A Multicultural Thanksgiving: August Moon Festival
- Chinese Moon Festival from Chinese Fortune-Telling Calendar
- About.Com: China Online The Moon Festival
- The Moon Festival: China Vista
- Chinese Festivals: the Mid-Autumn Festival
- The Legendary Stories of the Chinese Moon Festival
- Wikipedia‘s information on the Chinese Moon Festival
- Mid Autumn Festival by Chinatownology
I spent Friday night at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts for the ARTINI Lyrical Traditions: Four Centuries of Chinese Painting from the Papp Collection. Lyrical Traditions and the concurrent exhibition Whispering Wind: Recent Chinese Photography are the first exhibitions of Chinese art shown at the Frist Center. I hope there are many more to come. While living in Taipei, I was able to visit the National Palace Museum and many craft museums. Art integrates with poetry and text. Perspection changes but the traditions remain. From the center’s web site we see how web 2.0 tools enhance our experience:
It is a long-standing tradition within Chinese culture for a painting’s owner or a famous scholar to write a personal response on the artwork, sometimes even centuries after the painter’s death. In keeping with this idea, the Frist Center invited a group of Nashville’s Chinese community members to provide personal reactions to artwork in the exhibitions Lyrical Traditions and Whispering Wind. These responses address Chinese folktales, explore cultural qualities, and provide personal commentary related to the Chinese experience.