La Fête de la Lune

Two weeks ago was the Moon Festival, a holiday celebrated by the Chinese and Vietnamese.  It takes place during a full moon in the middle of the eighth month in the lunar calendar.  The eighth month is believed to be the luckiest month, so if you want to make any major purchases or life changes, do it then.

Admittedly, a major reason that I like this holiday is that you get to eat mooncakes, which are round, dense pastries with fillings such as black bean paste, lotus paste, and mixed nuts.  Also called the mid-Autumn Festival, the holiday celebrates family, though there are stories and legends associated with it.  When I was a kid, this is the story my mom told me:

A long time ago in China, the people were being oppressed. Because they had no weapons, they could not rebel.  Someone had the idea to make cakes and secretly hide knives inside.  They distributed them, and in this way, the people were able to rise up.

Looking back at this story, it’s lacking some details, but it’s still a pretty good tale, no?

This past weekend I went to a Vietnamese festival for La Fête de la Lune that was held in the courtyard and interior of the 4th arrondissement’s city hall in Paris.

2.moonfestival.2013k2.moonfestival.2013lThere was a lively dragon dance,2.moonfestival.2013b2.moonfestival.2013c

adorable munchkins,2.moonfestival.2013afunny fruit fish,

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a pretty watermelon bouquet,

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and a show featuring kids performing traditional Vietnamese songs, storytelling, and karate.

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One of the emcees was dressed as a bunny.  Please don’t ask me why.

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I was won over by this kid dressed as a tree.

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At one point, they turned off all the lights, and the kids turned on their lanterns.  It was quite magical.2.moonfestival.2013eI love attending cultural events and seeing communities come together to celebrate.  Have you heard of the Moon Festival, and if so, have you ever celebrated it?

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