Today, the lanterns you find are plainer—no animal shapes, and in my small-town American neighborhood, my kids are the only ones carrying lanterns around. When they were younger, I'd get lantern painting kits and we'd decorate our own lanterns. My oldest (who's 13) has now outgrown even that tradition. We've made our own mooncakes a few times, but unlike my turnip cakes, they're not as good as the store-bought ones and quite labor-intensive. In spite of this, the tradition lives on and we'll make some moon cakes, enjoy some store-bought ones, and take our evening walk with lanterns in hand.
This Sunday, Sept. 8, I will be in San Mateo at the San Mateo Autumn Moon Festival, signing Cixi, The Dragon Empress at the Asian American Curriculum Project booth. It promises to be a fun event with Chinese dancing, acrobats, lion dancing, arts and crafts and lots of vendor booths. If you're in the area, visit this fun family event, stop by the AACP booth and say "hello." Would love to see you there!