This weekend is the Chinese Autumn Moon Festival also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is based on the lunar calendar and is celebrated on month 8 day 15. This year it falls on Sunday, September 27th. The moon is said to be the brightest and fullest it will be all year at this time.
It has been tradition for our family to have an Autumn Moon Festival dinner party every year since my daughters were adopted as babies from China. Ming’s roots are in China as well, as all pugs are. Pugs were companions to Chinese Emperors and are one of the oldest breeds of dogs. So, I thought, how fun to have a picture taken of Ming in the Moon!
As part of the celebration we eat Moon Cakes. These are sweet pastries filled with different fillings like red bean paste, lotus seed paste, or a nut filling. They often also contain a hard boiled salted egg yolk that symbolizes the moon. I prefer them without the yolks, as they are an acquired taste. The moon cakes are round like the moon and symbolize togetherness. We used to order our delicious moon cakes from a bakery every year in New York City’s Chinatown. Moon Cakes are beautiful! Read more about them here. Since becoming gluten intolerant a few years ago, I have made a gluten free version at home instead. The recipe I make can be found on Kirbie’s Cravings.
My older daughter, who is a nurse, came over today and spent the day with me in the kitchen prepping the dishes for the party. It will be a gluten free dinner using some of my favorite Paleo and Gluten Free Chinese Recipes, including the Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites from my blog. Have you tried them yet? They are so easy and delicious.
As part of the decorations, I made Crepe Paper Party Balls as a party favor for each guest. I found the idea on Martha Stewart’s website under Erin Furey’s craft videos. If you enjoy crafting, there are some great ideas there! I hope they are as fun to open as they were to make! After dinner we will go outside and see the full moon and release colorful Sky Lanterns. It should be a fun time, and Ming Ming will be right there also. She loves a good celebration!