Celebrate 'Mid-Autumn Festival' 中秋节

  • An important festival in China and all Chinese communities around the world.

  • Bilingual Nursery Rhyme "I see the moon" 我看月亮.

  • Montessori Inspired Cultural Learning.

  • Moon Themed Kids' Activities.

Table of Contents

Part A. All About The Mid Autumn Festival

  1. When do we celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival?

  2. Which countries celebrate Mid Autumn Festival?

  3. What does the Festival symbolize?

  4. What are the symbols of the Festival?

  5. How do we celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival?

Part B. Create a language-rich environment with cultural related events and activities

  1. Bilingual Nursery Rhyme 'I see the Moon' 我看月亮

  2. How do you say 'Happy Mid Autumn Festival' in Mandarin?

  3. What Chinese words and phrases should you know for this festival?

  4. How do we apply the Montessori approach to Chinese culture and language studies?

  5. The Chinese character moon 月.

  6. Free Printable + Montessori Inspired Mid Autumn Festival-themed activities.

Mid-Autumn Festival An Introduction in English

by Youtube Channel GBTIMES (Hello China)

Part A All About The Mid Autumn Festival

1. When do we celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival?

The Mid-Autumn Festival has been around for more than 1000 years! It happens on the fifteenth day of the eighth-month of the lunar calendar, with a full moon at night.

The festival celebrates the end of the autumn harvest. It's right in the middle of Autumn, hence the name of the festival. ' 中 zhōng ' means in the middle, and ' 秋 qiū ' means Autumn. Also known as the Lantern, Moon, Mooncake Festival.

Because the seasons are opposite in the southern and northern hemispheres, the Mid-Autumn Festival is actually mid-spring in Australia.

2. Which countries celebrate Mid Autumn Festival?

Influenced by Chinese culture, Mid-Autumn Festival is also a traditional festival in some Southeast and Northeast Asian countries, including Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines. However, the customs may vary from country to country. 

3. What does the Mid Autumn Festival symbolize?

Ancient Chinese emperors traditionally used the Mid-Autumn Festival to pray for the harvest, fine weather, and peace for the country. The ordinary people took the Mid-Autumn Festival to be a celebration of their hard work and harvest. The Mid-Autumn festival symbolizes the family reunion. On this day, It's the time for all family members to come together and admire the moon 赏 月 in the evening.

All you need to know about the Mid-Autumn Festival

by South China Morning Post

4. What are the symbols of the Mid Autumn Festival?

/ The Moon / Mooncake / Lanterns / The moon lady Cháng é / Jade Rabbit /

The moon.The biggest symbol of the Mid-Autumn Festival. In some places, people still worship the moon, just as they did 3,000 years ago. Usually, they put food and fruits on the table towards the moon, praying for good fortune.

The Moon Cake. The most iconic food associated with The Mid Autumn festival is the Mooncake. Symbolically, the roundness of the mooncake signifies completeness and reunion, particularly in relation to family unity. Often family members give mooncakes to one another, or cut and distribute pieces from the same mooncake. Traditional mooncakes always have designs printed on them, created by pressing them into carved molds and then bake them. Sweet mooncakes are filled with bean paste, lotus seed paste, or egg yolks. Savory mooncakes contain nuts and meats.

Lanterns of all sizes and shapes are carried and displayed - as beacons to light our way to prosperity and good luck.

The Moon lady Cháng é.

Who is Chang'e? You might have heard from your Chinese friends that someone called Chang’e “lives in the moon”. It’s one of the biggest myths surrounding the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Jade Rabbit is another symbol that people in China associate with the moon and the festival. The markings of the moon are said to look like a rabbit holding a mortar and pestle, and this rabbit is a companion of Cháng é on the moon.

5. How do we celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival?

Set up the courtyard, celebrate under the moon.

The common customs of the Mid-Autumn Festival include family members eating dinner together in the courtyard, just like a Thanksgiving dinner. Most of The lanterns are children friendly rather than the Lantern show during Chinese Spring Festival (which is more decorative and fancier).

Some families worship the moon with fruits and special dishes before dinner. While the elders admire the Moon, they may tell a story about Cháng é, they may point to the moon and ask if you could see a rabbit shape on the moon......

The childhood memory of having a little lantern in your hand, going outside at night with siblings and other children in the neighborhood is irreplaceable. We sometimes make our own paper lanterns with little help from parents and grandparents, or even put a candle inside an orange, attache the little orange lantern to a string, then tie it a chopstick...... Alternatively, you may shop apound all the wonderful lanterns and ask your parent to purchase your favorite one from those beautifully handcrafted lantern in the lanterns show...

Part B.

Create a language-rich environment with cultural related events and activities

  1. Bilingual Nursery Rhyme 'I see the Moon' 我看月亮

  2. How do you say 'Happy Mid Autumn Festival' in Mandarin?

  3. What Chinese words and phrases should you know for this festival?

  4. How do we apply the Montessori approach to Chinese culture and language studies?

  5. The Chinese character moon 月.

  6. Free Printable + Montessori Inspired Mid Autumn Festival-themed activities.

1. A bilingual Nursery Rhyme 'I see the Moon' 我看月亮

In Chinese literature, the moon is highly associated with the emotion of missing home, so you can see why the two go hand in hand during the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is a time to send good thoughts to those who are far away, but who can look up at the same bright moon, and think of us, too. The moon’s circle shape symbolizes family unity and love.

For advanced Mandarin learners and parents, it might be a good time to learn one of the most famous Chinese songs:

The Moon Represents My Heart -月亮代表我的心

The Moon represents my Heart by Yoyo Chinese

Similarly, in western culture, the moon represents special affections in songs and movies, too.

Let’s listen to the following song:

By Mae Robertson

We adapted from both Mae Robertson's version and the nursery rhythm " I SEE THE MOON" for the melody, and then composed the lyrics in Chinese for ' The Mid-Autumn Festival ' and the purpose of language acquisition.

At the same time, learning the shapes of the moon can be included through arts and craft activities.

If tracing figures can be created or borrowed from other toys, a Montessori inspired activity can be prepared before or after practise singing this bilingual nursery rhythm. (Read more on Montessori metal insets)

A bilingual song-- I see the moon

By Claire's Bilingual Music Channel

Mandarin Immersion Program Melbourne

My Playroom

We recommend using gestures to make the shapes of the crescent, full moon when singing this song.

2. How do you say 'Happy Mid Autumn Festival!' in Mandarin?

“中秋” is the name of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinese. This word has been directly translated by its literal meaning, so “中” means mid, “秋” means autumn. You might know how to say 快乐 from Happy New Year! Happy Birthday! Yes, 快乐 means happy. It's a very useful word to know.

If you want to send your greetings on the Mid-Autumn Day, you can use this phrase: " 中秋快乐 " which means “Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!”

3. What Chinese words and phrases should you know for this festival?

Chinese Phrases for Mid Autumn Festival
Download • 173KB

4. In this section, I'll briefly introduce Montessori curriculum on Culture studies. Then, I'll explain my understanding derived from the Montessori approach for second language learning purposes. Also, I'll share some ideas on how to prepare a language rich environment.

If you're interested to know more about the Montessori curriculum in culture studies, please follow the link and read the article. Cultural-learning-in Montessori Classrooms by Kingsley Montessori Insights.

The Montessori Cultural curriculum refers to an integrated study that includes History, Biology, Geography, and Physical Science, as well as the Arts.

"While Language and Math are major and essential components of the Montessori classroom, Cultural lessons remain an equally important and vital part of the student’s day, throughout the age levels. Incorporating Cultural lessons into a student’s educational experience enables them to enrich their understanding of the world and their place in it."

"The child puts each puzzle piece into place by means of a little knob. The introductory map of the world has a separate puzzle piece for each continent. After working with the world map, the child can explore the six continent puzzle maps, in which each country is represented by a separate puzzle piece. "

Montessori World Map Puzzle

The Cultural curriculum introduces children to the physical world of plants and animals, the exploration of differences and similarities among people, and the opportunity to see, hear, taste, smell, and manipulate the real things that make up their unique cultural environment.

The book above shows us desserts from all over the world

Can you find your favorite sweets ? Can you find mooncake in the picture?

Which continents / country's dessert does the mooncake belong to?

We should all agree: Culture is essential when studying languages.

How do we apply the Montessori approach to culture and language studies?

The answer is:

  • Provide classic bilingual picture books in the reading corner

  • Create and accumulate Cultural related photo albums (easy access for children)

  • Display traditional handcrafts and cultural related items

  • Tell stories about Festival and culture diversity.

  • Activities relates to cultural and events.

Moon Books

Traditional Mid- Autumn Festival handcraft 兔儿爷

The slideshow below include the following cultural resources.

Montessori Language Around The World Figurines Collection 1

World Landmarks Montessori Language Figurines Collection 2

Horned Chinese Dragon Figurine

Paper Chinese Lanterns

Paper Fan

Papier Mache Drum

Cultural Resources

Mandarin 'Today is' Calendar

Today is Chinese Calendar
Download PDF • 486KB

You can make a Mandarin Calendar for your classroom or playroom by using the above resources created by Mandarin Immersion Program Melbourne--My Playroom.

It is a very useful tool in both teaching and organizing the day. Use the calendar to bring attention to the purpose of the day and upcoming events.

Home Calendar FromJennifer

Year, Season, Month 年四季月

Mandarin Montessori Resources from My Playroom

5. The Chinese Character moon ' 月 '

The original of the Character 月 ( 月字的由来 )

My Very First Chinese Reader

The Chinese Character 'moon' is originated from a picture of the crescent moon.


How to pronounce 月 ( 月的发音 )

First Words - Mandarin

You may find the English way of pronouncing 月 ( yoo-eh ) in the above picture very easy to read. It can help some parents or high school students. But to be able to speak fluent Mandarin, we still recommend young kids to learn Pin Yin--the standard system of romanized spelling for transliterating Chinese, after they've been exposed enough to Mandarin-speaking environments.

The Initial "y" pronounced " ee " as in Bee in English. Make a smiling face, spread out your mouth, and make the sound out.

We might also include some Mandarin Immersion Program Level 1 words when practicing this sound in a class setting. This includes: 一 ( learn numbers in Mandarin ), 鸭子 🦆 ( Movement Game), 牙 ( body parts ),椅子 ( Classroom Environment ),爷爷 ( family members ) ,摇一摇 ( TPR: total physical response for learning verbs ).

ü Group Final: üe

This is a rising diphthong made by saying ü first, then spreading the lips and opening the mouth wide, placing the tongue at the front lower gum. Be sure to pronounce ü short and light, but pronounce the "e" long and loud.

The two dots over u, indicate an umlaut in Chinese. It only appears when it comes with the initial " l " or initial " n ". So in this case, when we spell the pinyin for 月,it‘s initial y + final üe, appears as yùe.

We might also include some Mandarin Immersion Program Level 1 words when practicing this sound in a class setting. This includes 月 ,雨 (Parts of Nature), 鱼 (animals in Pictographic Matching Cards甲骨文配配卡) .

Like Chinese PinYin Flashcards 小象拼音

Please check our article on Teaching Mandarin in Montessori Way For more details on how our exclusive Mandarin Immersion Program teaches Mandarin in Montessori Way? How to apply the Montessori teaching method into Mandarin teaching? How to raise a bilingual child through Montessori Inspired language activities. And also a step by step three-period lessons in Mandarin teaching.

Hand Writing Chinese Character 月

In our classroom, we firstly introduce the order of the strokes by colour coding.

  1. 'This is 月this is how we write the moon in Mandarin.

  2. Now watch, pointing to the red dot first and say hóng sè 红色.

  3. Trace the stroke from the red dot until finish.

  4. Then, pointing to the green dot say 绿色 lǜ sè.

  5. Trace the stroke from the green dot till the end.

  6. Do the same for the yellow and blue dots.

This is 月. For students who's familiar with the basic storkes, the lesson can be done by

  • pointing to the colour dot first (silently),

  • stop for 3 second,

  • call the name of the stokes while tracing.

How to write 月 by trainchinese.com

For advanced learners.

Radical 月 95% of the time, represents body parts

How do we prepare other Mid Autumn Festival-themed activities?

Mooncake Making

Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival

This recipe is from the book "Celebrating the Mid - Autumn Festival" , story and illustrations by Sanmu Tang.

The photos below should only be used for language learning purposes.


Soak the red beans for 2 hours. Squeeze out water from the red beans.

第二步:准备带面粉的面团、鸡蛋和水。 倒一些油在盘子里。

Prepare the dough with flour, egg, and water. Oil and plate.

第三步: 把糖和油搅拌进红豆泥中, 搅拌好后的红豆泥分成小份倒入盘子中。

Mix in the sugar and oil into the red bean paste. Break off small pieces and put them on the plate.


Shape the pieces into little balls. Now you are ready to make moon cake.


Wrap the dough around the filling and close it. Place the moon cake into a mold.


Gently shake it out of the mold. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

The photos above should only be used for language learning purposes.

3. Make a Paper Lantern

Making colorful lanterns is a happy activity between families and children. The lanterns have different shapes and can also resemble animals, plants, or flowers. Children love making colorful lanterns. They make them in different shapes to be hung in trees or houses or floated on rivers. Parks will also hang up colorful lanterns, which provide a beautiful view at night.

How to make Chinese Paper Lanterns in 1 minute by CHALK Academy

Lantern Printable
Download PDF • 62KB


  1. Cut the handle 提手 out from the printable. ( Follow the dotted line ).

  2. Cut the strip " 中秋节快乐 “. This will be the top edge of the lantern.

  3. Cut the strip ”Happy Mid -Autumn Festival". This will be the bottom edge of the lantern.

  4. Fold 折 the paper in half ( Follow the solid line ).

  5. Cut along the dotted line though both sides of the paper, until the red stop 停 line.

  6. Seal 粘贴 edges on both ends with glue.

  7. Seal 粘贴 the two strips on the top and bottom edges.

  8. Glue the handle on the lantern's top edge.

  9. Let's celebrate The Mid-Autumn Festival!

If you like this blog, please support Mandarin Immersion Program Melbourne ---- myplayroom.com.au by sharing this article in Chinese community, Early Leaning Centres, Bilingual Study organisations and anyone who likes to know more about Chinese Culture and this special Festival.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival ! 中秋节快乐

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