What comes to your mind when you think of the mid-autumn festival? Whether it is a mooncake, a lantern or even the moon, it is a festival celebrated by the Chinese on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. And for this year, the festival falls on the 1st of October. Besides mooncakes and lanterns, this festival is closely about family gathering. Furthermore, this festival also involves praying the moon for fortune and blessings. Celebrating the Festival: How It All Started? So, how did our ancestors come about celebrating this festival? These Chinese legends will explain it all. The most famous one would be about the great archer Hou Yi who shot down the 10 suns and his wife, Chang E'. Hou Yi was rewarded with the elixir of immortality and this was known by his pupil, Pang Meng. Thus, Pang Meng planned to get the elixir when Hou Yi was not around. Out of shock, Chang E' drank the elixir. She then flew and stay at the moon forever. To remember his lovely wife, Hou Yi and the other started to worship the moon with many offerings. That's how worshipping the moon started. How about eating mooncakes during the mid-autumn festival? It started during the Yuan dynasty where the Hongwu Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang wished to overthrow the Mongol dynasty. His military strategist, Liu Bowen suggested to spread the message of rebellion through the mooncakes. In each mooncake, the people would receive a paper slip saying \u201ckill the Mongols on the 15th day of the eighth month\u201d. Their plan turned out to be a big success. Thus, for the following mid-autumn festivals, everyone would get free mooncakes to celebrate their victory. Thanks to our ancestors, we can have delicious mooncakes while enjoying the bright moon during the mid-autumn festival. Since young, the mid-autumn festival is my second favourite celebration right after the Chinese New Year. Read on to find out my exciting experience during the festival. My Childhood During the Mid-Autumn Festival Photo credit to Unsplash As a child, I was always excited about the mid-autumn festival. I would start to make creative lanterns during the art lessons weeks before the festival. I would urge my mother to prepare candles for lighting up the lanterns during the exact day of the festival. This was what so exciting about the festival. During my childhood years, my neighbours would gather around during the festival. All the children would carry their unique lanterns and the adults would lead us to go around the neighbourhood. This lantern parade gave me the excitement to showcase my handmade lantern to my neighbours and also to join the other children in the neighbourhood. As I have sweet tooth since young, I also enjoyed eating mooncakes during the festival. Unlike the vast variety of choices on flavours and types of mooncakes available nowadays, I had simple options for mooncakes. My favourites were white lotus mooncakes with salted egg yolk and the Shanghai-style mooncakes. As time passed, we no longer had the lantern parade around the neighbourhood and I no longer craved for mooncakes as much as I did when I was a little girl. However, this sweet and joyful memory is worth recalling every year when the mid-autumn festival is around the corner. So, how can you make the mid-autumn festival a wonderful memory for both you and your children, even during the current COVID-19 pandemic? Read on to find out 3 simple and worth-trying activities to spend some quality time with your children during this festival. Don't miss out on other stay-at-home activities your kids too during the usual weekend. 3 Not-to-Miss Activities During This Mid-Autumn Festival Activity 1: Guess the Riddle Guessing the riddle is a common activity during the mid-autumn festival. Especially in a large-scale mid-autumn festival event, you can guess the riddles tied under the lanterns. You would have to go around the lanterns to guess the riddles and jot down the answer on a piece of paper. Due to the uncertain pandemic circumstances, we might not have the opportunity to enjoy the interesting and mind-cracking activity in any large-scale events. This does not mean that you should spend a fortune to buy lanterns to get a taste of the activity at home. Play this right at your home! Here's how you can still conduct this activity at home without spending more on your budget. Instead of tying the riddles under the lanterns, we can make our children hunt for the riddles around the house. First, we can research the riddles on the internet and write each riddle on paper pieces. Hide them well around the house and make this riddle hunt a friendly match among your children. Anyone who found a riddle and got it correctly will be rewarded with 5 points while those who either found a riddle or got it correctly will be rewarded with 3 points. The winner is the one who gets the highest point. The winner will then get to decide the meal for the following day or during the family weekend outing. This activity does not only get your children to move around physically around the house, they will also develop critical thinking skills on getting the correct answers for the riddles. Here's a simple start for this activity: Let's guess the riddle below. Sometimes it\u2019s curved like a smile and sometimes it\u2019s round like a plate. Check your answer at the end of this article and hope you will get this right on the spot. Activity 2: Candle Light Shadow Game Do you still remember playing with your fingers when the electrical supply breaks down? We would light up candles and form shadows of different animals reflected on the wall. Now, here comes the golden opportunity for this classic childhood activity for your children. Your children might not be able to carry their lanterns with the candles, but they can still enjoy exciting activities with the candles. You can first research on some animal hand shadows and save them into your phone. Then, you can either add a little drama by shutting down the power supply of your house during night time. Surprise your children about the sudden blackout with some candles and you may start the game. As your children are familiar with making hand shadows under your guidance, you can ask them to create their own animal hand shadows. You will then guess the animals based on the hand shadows created by your children. Both you and your children might have wet shirts after the activities, but I believe you will find the sweats worth having for the exciting and creative time with your children. Activity 3: D.I.Y. Mooncake (Both Edible and Display Only) Let's get started with some handmade mooncakes during this mid-autumn festival. You might be wondering..."Are there mooncakes that are nice to display but nasty to put into your mouth?" The answer is certainly yes as these mooncakes are made of clay. You can allow your little children or toddlers to experience the making of mooncakes without wasting any ingredients by playing with the clay. Be sure to stay by their side to avoid them putting this only-for-display mooncake into their mouths. With elder children, you can guide them to make traditional mooncakes and other variations such as the snow skin mooncakes and the jelly mooncakes. You can even develop their entrepreneurship skills by encouraging them to sell their homemade mooncakes to their friends and neighbours. Your children will certainly enjoy making the mooncakes besides earning extra money for monthly allowances. Keep the Spirit of the Celebration Despite the uncertain circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope you will savour the best moment with your family during this mid-autumn festival. As the celebration is mainly about a family reunion, we wish every one of you a Happy Mid-Autumn and stay safe with your family members during the reunion. Psst: Here's the answer for the riddle: the moon. Who got it right?!