Crafts · Festivals

Mid Autumn Festival 2015

This year, the Chinese mid-Autumn Festival (or moon cake festival) lands on Sunday 27th September. As a child, this was one of my favourite celebrations mainly for the gorgeous lanterns and scrumptious moon cakes! The festival dates back to 3000 years and traditionally was a harvest celebration and for families to get together. It generally occurs on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, which will be different each year in the Western calendar. These days, it is often associated with moon cakes and is still an occasion for families to get together. Moon cakes are made from ‘melt in your mouth’ lotus seed paste, usually with an embedded egg yolk or two and encased in pastry covering – a sweet taste of heaven! 

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Moon cakes

Lanterns are commonly found during this festival and back in Hong Kong, there are some fantastic variations, large, small and of course, even Hello Kitty ones. Particularly popular with children of all ages, I thought this would be the perfect way to introduce my favourite festival to my 3 year old son. Armed with paper and a craft box, we started making decorative paper lanterns. I’ve included instructions below in case you fancied trying this with your little ones too. It’s simple and brilliant fun for this age group. 

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Simple DIY Lanterns

Materials you will need:

1. Coloured paper
2. Scissors
3. Glue

Steps

1. Fold your paper in half (lengthwise) so this creates a slim rectangle. 

2. Cut along the folded edge of the paper but not all the way to the end. It’s up to you how long you would like your slits to be. We cut about half a dozen slits but this will depend on the size of your paper. Ensure the gap between each slit is fairly equal. 

3. Take the two ends of your paper and wrap them around to make a round tube shape. Glue this together and make sure to secure the length of the lantern! 
4. If you would like a handle, cut off another strip of paper. Ours were about 2.5cm wide and 15cm long. Fix the ends of this strip to one side of your lantern. Make sure you glue the handle to the inside! We forgot to do this on our first lantern attempt! 
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Look what I made!
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