The Mid-autumn Festival — 中秋节, often called the Chinese Moon Festival, is held on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, when the moon is at its roundest. It is the second most important Chinese holiday after lunar new year, and celebrates the Chinese value on home and family — 家庭. People travel from far and wide in order to be able to spend time with extended family.
Customs on this day include moon viewing and appreciation, getting together with family and friends, eating moon cakes, reciting poems, dragon dancing, and lantern riddles.
Lantern riddles are a terrific exercise for Cultural Detectives, teaching us to think beyond our normal habits. They are also an engaging cross-generational activity. Many thanks to cultural-china.com for the riddles below. I’ve selected a lucky number, eight of them, for your enjoyment. Take your time and guess, then scroll down past the moon cake recipe for the answers.
- Which is faster, hot or cold?
- What building has the most stories?
- When is your mind like a rumpled bed?
- What do you call a witch at the beach?
- They are twin sisters of the same height. they work in the kitchen, arm in arm. whatever is cooked, they always try it first.
- When I slap you, I slap me. When I hit you, my blood flows.
- It will follow you for 1000 miles and never miss home. It desires neither food nor flowers. It fears not water, fire, knives nor soldiers. It disappears when the sun sets behind the western mountains.
- Half is above ground, and half is in the ground. Half is solid, and half empty. Half is white, and half green. Half is eaten, and half thrown away.
Want a recipe to make your own moon cakes? Try this one!
- Hot’s faster; you can catch a cold.
- A library
- When it’s not made up.
- A sandwich
- A mosquito
- A shadow
- A scallion
Happy Mid-autumn Festival, everyone! Please share with us your favorite holiday traditions or riddles.