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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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: Jade Rabbit Lantern Tutorial

For the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, we made Jade Rabbit lanterns. The Jade Rabbit lives on the moon with Chang-E, forever pounding away at his mortar and pestle. 
Photo Source: Wikipedia 
I wonder if we'll be able to see the Jade Rabbit when moon gazing. Have you ever seen the rabbit on the moon? 

Making our Jade Rabbit Lanterns

You will need:
scissors and glue
two colors of tissue paper
string, rope or yarn
disposable chopsticks or dowel
LED candle

1. Layer two sheets of each color of tissue paper together. Make sure each sheet is large enough to fit the rabbit template. Trace the rabbit on one sheet, and cut it out through all four sheets, getting four rabbits at once. 

2. Now it's time to cut designs out of the two outer layers. We first started with the eyes and ears. The easiest way is to fold the paper over (marked on the template) and cutting one half of the shape. As for the designs, we just kept folding parts of the rabbit and cutting out a shape. You can cut one large shape in the center, or many smaller shapes throughout the body. 

3. Next, glue the outer layers to the inner layers. Be careful and gentle, as tissue paper is fragile. We did it in sections. And if a piece rips, it can be glued back into place. Also, make sure to glue them in such a way that when joined together, the outer layers are actually facing outside. (It isn't fun trying to un-glue two pieces of tissue paper!)

4. Glue the rabbits together, just along the edges, leaving an opening in the center for the candle. Attach three lengths of yarn, following the markings on the template, and attach these to a chopstick.

We used purple glue along the edges of the inside of the rabbit
5. Turn the switch on your candle, and place it in your lantern.

This week, we'll be preparing for the moon festival by reading bookstasting mooncakes and learning how they are made, making lanterns to hang on sticks, reading and writing poetry about the moon, and honoring the moon on the 19th with tea, mooncakes, and pomelos. 

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