Growing up, I enjoyed celebrating the moon festival 中秋节 as one of my favorite traditional holidays. My memory of the festival is full of the aroma of moon cakes, the fragrance of sweet osmanthus flowers and chants of old poems.
Fast forward to 2020, our PlayThrive teaching team has brought this tradition to our kids in a completely modern form: virtual celebration! On 09/30, 5 classes of PlayThrive students and teachers joined a 40-minute event to celebrate the holiday.
The event started with our K grade kids chanting the poem “little rabbit” (rabbit is a symbolic animal of moon festival) in their cute rabbit masks.
First grade kids presented imaginative artworks with painting and Mandarin writing to answer the question “What’s the moon like?” Some of our kids answered this traditional question in Silicon Valley style: “moon is like an alien’s home” （月亮像外星人的地球） – our ancient poets would not have dreamed of that.
Our grade 2+ “poets” presented and sang their own poems in Mandarin. The poems are filled with great imagination! Some of the poems were about how mice, cats and kids from different countries and cultures can perceive the moon differently. I’m impressed not only by their language skills, but also their perspective-taking ability learned from a bilingual environment.
The event ended with sharing mooncakes, lantern crafts and lots of laughter!
At PlayThrive, we hold our mission of “inspiring passion for Chinese cultures” in our hearts. Celebrating traditions is a big part of culture, but to us “tradition” doesn’t mean we only follow the “old”. We want to inspire our kids to instill new meaning in old traditions, through creative and inquiry-based activities.
This is our first time holding a virtual event with a large group of kids. We learned so much (e.g., dealing with technical hiccups), and we hope to bring our cultural events to wider communities in the future!
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