Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Celebrating the Qixi Festival with traditional and modern customs


 After learning about the Qixi festival, and its various folk customs, (also known as Chinese Valentine's Day) we celebrated the festival by making the common treat, Qiao Guo (Thin Fried Pastes), and finding the stars for the mythical characters of the weaver maid and the cowheard. We also tried two of the customs: the traditional, folk custom of threading a needle to honor the weaver maid, and the modern custom of setting out a lantern into the water with a wish hoping to be granted by the weaver maid. 

Though the tradition to thread needles is by moonlight, and with special seven hole needles, we used our regular needle, and with the girls' fear of spearing themselves, we did it by regular light. I clearly gave them a needle with too large a hole because they threaded their needles nearly instantly. For some reason I thought it would be a challenge - it turned out to be a quick honoring :)



For our lanterns, we followed the tutorial at Filth Wizardry for the origami paper boats, using a regular sheet of paper. We wrote our wishes on the bottom of the boats, took a tea light and set them out on our pond. Though the wishes in China during the Qixi festival are for love, marriage, and children - the girls made wishes that pertained more to their hopes.



It was rather lovely, watching the glow of our lanterns at night. And maybe the weaver maid will pull some strings (pun intended), and our wishes will come true. 



To celebrate the Qixi Festival, we'll be reading the myth of the weaver maid and cowherd, finding their stars in the sky, making the treat Qiao Guo, trying the folk custom of threading a needle to plead for skills, and the modern custom of a wish lantern on the water. 


You can find more cultural and historical activities at the following linkups:

10 comments:

  1. Love the paper boats idea. I wish we had a creek nearby to try it out! Thanks for sharing this holiday.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! The boat were great, I'm sure we'll find other occasions to make them.

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  2. This is the second comment I'm leaving. The last one says there was an error (probably because I wrote a mini essay!) anyway, if that one comes through do feel free to delete this one!
    The gist of my last comment was 'You rock!!' although I said it much more eloquently with many more adjectives! Let's see if Mr Computer will accept this....

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    1. First comment didn't make it, but this abridged version brought a great big smile to my face! Thanks Claire :)

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  3. Oh, how beautiful. I want to do this now...wonder how I can fit it in our studies. LOL I am learning SO much from you. Thank you.

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    1. I'm just learning as we go along - glad to pass it along and that you are enjoying it! I just love floating lanterns, they add a magical element to the night.

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  4. What a wonderful festival! My son would love to make origami paper boats. Thank you for linking up at Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #7.

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    1. Paper boats are so much fun - there's so many ways to use them.
      Thanks for hosting the blog hop!

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  5. I just love the image of the boats glowing in the night. What a beautiful celebration! Thank you for sharing at the Culture Swapper!

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    1. I am always mesmerized by floating lanterns - so there was no question we were trying this! Thanks for hosting the Culture Swapper!

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