Celebrate Fall Cultural Traditions with Books and Food

by On September 19, 2013 in Childrens Books, Holidays, Recipes

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Around the world, people celebrate their harvests. Nigerians and Ghanaians have yam festivals, to commemorate their main crop. In the Czech Republic, wreaths of rye, wheat, wildflowers and straw are worn by celebrants who dance and feast.<!–more–>

The Chinese celebrate with a Mid-Autumn, or Moon, Festival, which, like many others, is based on the lunar calendar. The festival coincides with the full <a href="http://www.slowfamilyonline.com/2013/09/enjoy-the-fall-harvest-moon-and-equinox/" target="_blank">Harvest Moon</a>, which occurs near the <a href="http://www.slowfamilyonline.com/2013/09/enjoy-the-fall-harvest-moon-and-equinox/" target="_blank">Autumnal Equinox</a> and falls on September 19th this year. The Harvest Moon traditionally shone its all-night beacon to help farmers gather their crops before the advent of electricity.

<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/mooncake.jpg"><img style="margin-left:15px; margin-bottom:5px; margin-top:5px;" class=" wp-image-4060 " style="border: 0.2px solid black;" alt="mooncake" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/mooncake-300×298.jpg" width="270" height="268" /></a><div style="margin-left: 15px;"><p style="font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; line-height: 16px;">Photo: Jump into a Book</p></div>

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The Chinese offer thanks and offerings to the moon and its goddess, <a href="http://www.moonfestival.org/change.html" target="_blank">Chang E</a>, and children learn the legend of how Chang E came to be associated with the moon. Another tradition of the Mid-Autumn Festival are yummy traditional <a href="http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2011/09/traditional-mooncake.html" target="_blank">mooncakes</a>, which are featured in one of our new books for Autumn, <em>Mooncakes</em>. (You might want to try this especially kid-friendly <a href="http://www.dltk-holidays.com/china/easy_chinese_mooncakes.htm" target="_blank">mooncake recipe</a>.)

Two other titles that are brand new to Bookboard for Fall are <em>Little You</em>, which captures the close physical and emotional bonds of a First Nations (Native American) family with a new baby, and <em>Metal Man, </em>about a welder who transforms junk into art. Other books in our multicultural collection include <em>The Matatu</em>, an entertaining tale about transportation from Kenya; <em>The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred</em>, a colorful and rollicking cooking story from Mexico; <em>After Peaches</em>, a tale of Mexican fruit farmers attempting to make a life in Canada; <em>Seed Magic</em> about seeds that grow into something beautiful despite doubt, and <em>Clever Rachel</em>, which tells a traditional Jewish story about a girl who loves riddles.

What better time to celebrate the world’s variety of cultures and traditions with a new crop of books?

Enjoy the full Harvest Moon September 19th, the Autumnal Equinox (in the Northern Hemisphere) September 22, and your own celebrations of cultures, harvests, books and food.

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Suz Lipman is Bookboard's Head Mom. She has been an enthusiastic reader since early childhood. Suz is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her blog, Slow Family Online . She writes for the New York Times ‎Motherlode blog and the Christian Science Monitor's Modern Parenthood blog and is an outspoken advocate for children's literature and literacy as part of a rich and well-rounded childhood.

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