Well, one thing is definitely true about 2021, and it's that I did a much better job celebrating Asian holidays. When we're in Asia, I don't have to try very hard because it's all around me. And in 2020, I just kept thinking we would celebrate them the next year when we got back. But then 2021 came around and we were still in the States, and I just felt like, dadgumit, we're going to eat some mooncakes this year!
Also M had to memorize some little jingle about all the holidays of the year, and so after that she was always asking how long until the next one and also what special food do you eat for that one? So that kind of kept me on my toes. Anyway, mid-autumn festival is (obviously) in the middle of autumn and it lines up with a full moon. It's supposed to be the biggest moon of the year. So you have all these fall-type things and you also go outside and look at the moon. And you eat round (or sometimes square, which for some reason never struck me as bizarre until this very moment...) pastries which are called mooncakes.
There are as many variations on the mooncake as there are regions of Asia (as in, there are a lot), and H's mom taught me the one that they make where she grew up. It's basically pie crust with a meatball inside. The most typical mooncakes are all sweet, so it's kind of special that we eat a savory one also! We do buy the sweet ones at Asian grocery stores too though. We decorated with all kinds of fall decorations and ate lots of fall foods. At night, the moon was so low and bright orange looking, and we all went outside and looked at it. Then after the others were asleep, M got back up and looked at it with me again. It really is beautiful when it's so big and bright like that.
Anyway, I had an epic day of cooking because I made the mooncakes for lunch and then I also cooked a big dinner to celebrate. I think you're seeing what's really at the heart of Asian holidays here. The kids helped a lot with the mooncakes, but I was still pretty exhausted by the end of the day. Actually it reminded me a lot of celebrating American holidays when we're in Asia. Because when you're in the "right" place for a holiday, everyone around you is also celebrating and you just need to do a few things to contribute to the holiday feel. You know, like at Thanksgiving, you only need to cook one or two dishes and other people cook other things. Or at Christmas if you want to eat Christmas candy, you only need to make your one favorite type and you'll probably get to have other types at some random get-together or event. But when it's just you celebrating, it's all on you! It doesn't make it any less meaningful though, and I think everyone had a really good time enjoying the day and eating all the yummy food!