Celebrations: The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

It is Mid-Autumn Festival and a nice activity to do with the children is to make your own lantern. One of my fondest childhood memories were of coloured lanterns during the Mid-Autumn Festival so I thought it would be nice for the children to share this memory with me. Unfortunately, with Gareth being sick this year, we copped out got store-bought lanterns instead – Angry Bird lanterns to boot. It was probably just as well since I’m sure making lanterns with Gareth would have been lovely thought in theory but a nightmare in practice. Given that Gavin wearied of the whole lantern exercise in under a minute, it woul have appeared that my efforts would have all been in vain anyway. Perhaps when the boys are a little older then.

In the mean time, I did a little research on making your own Mid-Autumn lanterns and found the following Youtube videos. The first video is just a series of photos of children making their own lanterns but it gives you the gist of what needs to be done. You need to skip past the first 1 minute and 14 seconds to get to the actual activity.

What you will need:

  • craft wire to make the frame (you could go old-school and use an old wire hanger works but Daddy will need to help to bend it into shape)
  • coloured cellophane paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • acrylic paint – to add features to your lantern
  • brushes

It would probably be easiest to search for an outline on Google Images to follow when making the shape of the frame. And this would be the end result you should be aiming for:

Of course, if you could always just buy it online. And yes, cellophane lanterns are available online!

I had an idea to make a lantern out of suncatchers while I was pondering this project for the boys when they are a little older. Of course the idea always sounds great when you first think of it. It would be interesting to see how it ends up once the plan gets put into action… Something to try for another year, perhaps…

Last but not least, festivals such as these always make for great stories to share with the children. Even if you don’t know the story behind the legend, there’s a wealth of information available online, not to mention Youtube videos that make them so easy to share. Here’s one I found on The Legend of the Moon Festival:

And another done in the format of a storybook:

You can also show your children how moon cakes are made:

Or if you’re game, you can make them yourself with a not-so-traditional Mooncake recipe.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

2 thoughts on “Celebrations: The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

  1. Hi Shen Li,

    I love Mid Autumn Festival too. Such wonderful childhood memories. Will be saving this post for ideas later. I just bought some small lanterns and candles for my LO yesterday 🙂


    1. Indeed. My MIL managed to find some old school lanterns when she went out-station with my FIL and brought back two dinosaur lanterns for my boys. Gareth is still too young to appreciate it but Gavin had fun carrying the lantern around.


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