Legend of Moon Festival has many versions in China. The one I like the most the Chang E to the Moon ( 嫦娥奔月). A few days ago, my daughter’s school invited me to read a story about the Chinese “Moon Festival” because the Mid-autumn Festival is coming up on the 1st of October. Why do they call it the Moon Festival? I have no idea. Maybe it’s easier to say “Moon” than “Mid-autumn”.
The thing is I don’t have a book about the “Moon Festival”. I looked everywhere but couldn’t find any storybook with Simplified Chinese, Pinyin, and English in it. So, I thought, this could be a perfect opportunity to write my storybook. And I did.
The one I use in the video is in A3 size because I want kids to see the pictures and the texts. For you at home, you can make one in A4 size.
I’ve also made eight double-sided flashcards with the Simplified Chinese words I picked from my storybook. You can use these flashcards to help your child learn the keywords of this storybook and play some word games in the future.
To add a little bit fun to the kids, I’ve included a Bunny Jade headband templates for them to color, cut and wear on their heads after the storytime with me.
If you like what you see here, you can download this whole set of learning resources for FREE. Yep, this is how I say thank you for connecting with me.
How to make a DIY an ancient Chinese storybook?
Because I wanted to give kids a Chinese cultural experience, I made this book cover look like an ancient Chinese book and bound it with the cotton twine.
After downloading, depending on the size of the book you want to create (either A4 or A3), here is how you do it:
For creating an A4 size storybook:
- Paint two A4 size white papers to dark blue.
- Punch 3 to 4 holes near the book spine.
- Print out the A4 story copies on adhesive papers in the downloads.
- Print out the book title ( for A4 size) in the downloads.
- Prepare an A4 size scrapbook.
- Glue the two blue papers you painted in Step 1 on the front and back of the scrapbook as the book cover.
- Glue the A4 size book title with texts “ The Legend of Moon Festival 中秋节的传说” on the front cover.
- Peel and stick the story pages on the adhesive papers into the scrapbook as per the page numbers.
- Bind the book with cotton twine using the holes you punched earlier. Then you are done!
For creating A3 size storybook:
- Paint four A4 size white papers to dark blue. If you have A3 size papers at home, then you only need two pages.
- Punch 6 -7 holes near the book spine.
- Print out the A3 story copies on adhesive papers in the downloads.
Print out the A3 size book title in the downloads.
- Prepare an A3 size scrapbook.
- Glue the two A3 vertically, or four A4 blue papers horizontally that you painted in Step 1 on the front and back of the scrapbook as the book cover.
- Glue the A3 size book title with texts “ The Legend of Moon Festival 中秋节的传说” on the front cover.
- Peel and stick the story pages on the adhesive papers into the scrapbook as per the page numbers. You can refer to my video to see how it looks like.
- Bind the book with cotton twine using the holes you punched earlier. That’s it!
You now have an ancient Chinese storybook “ The Legend of Moon Festival”.
What’s the “Legend of the Moon Festival”?
As I mentioned earlier, there are different versions of stories about the Moon Festival. I re-wrote the folklore to the way that’s suitable for kids, added Pinyin and English.
My purpose is for non-native kids to learn Chinese and Pinyin. It’s not about how technically correct I might be in terms of telling the facts about the Chinese Moon Festival, or Mid-autumn Festival.
With that said, here is my version of the legend of the Moon festival in English. If you want to have the Chinese version with Pinyin to create a bilingual book, download the Freebies.
Once upon a time in ancient China, there were ten suns would rise in the sky each day scorching the crops and people on the land.
A brave archer named Houyi (后羿) came to rescue and shot down nine suns from the sky. He left one sun to keep providing light and warmth.
On hearing Houyi’s feat, people came from far and wide to learn archery skills from Houyi. Among them was a greedy man called Pang Meng（庞蒙）.
The queen of Heaven had noticed Houyi’s good deed. To reward this brave young man, she gave Houyi an elixir, which would make Houyi immortal.
Houyi had a beautiful and kindhearted wife named Chang E (嫦娥). Houyi loved his wife very much and decided to share the elixir with her. He gave the elixir to his wife, planning to drink it together after he returned from hunting.
Little did they know that their conversation was overheard by Pang Meng, the greedy apprentice who wanted to become immortal himself.
So, after Houyi left for hunting, Pang Meng forced Chang E to hand over the elixir. Chang E knew she couldn’t defeat Pang Meng, but she didn’t want the greedy man to get his way either. Chang E had no choice but drinking the elixir.
Right away, Chang E felt her body lifting off the ground. In her haste, she grabbed her pet bunny Jade (玉兔) and started ascending to the sky. Change E decided to fly to the Moon because the Moon was the closest to the earth, where her be-loved Houyi lived.
When Houyi got home that night and found out what happened, he was so sad and prayed to the sky for his wife’s return. All of a sudden, he saw Change E on the Moon waving to him with her pet Bunny Jade by her side. Unfortunately, Chang E could no longer return to earth.
Since then, to remember his dear wife, Houyi started to worship the Moon with offerings that Change E loved including the “round cake”. People also heard about Houyi and Change Es’ story, they, too, started doing the same as Houyi by making offerings to the Moon.
Because the “round cake” looks like the Moon, people also call it the “ Moon Cake (月饼)”.
As the night when Change E left was on the 15th of August, which was the mid-autumn in China according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Moon Festival was also called the Mid-autumn Festival（中秋节）.
This legend was passed down for thousands of years. The “Moon Festival” has become one of the most important traditional festivals in China. During the “Moon Festival”, Chinese families would get together, enjoying the moon cake, good food, and good company under the Moon.
If you look carefully, on the night of the Moon Festival, you may be lucky to see Chang E and her pet Bunny Jade waving at you.
This comes to the end of my post this week.
I can’t wait to read this story to the kids in my daughter’s school!
The way I’ll do it is to walk into the classroom with this storybook covered first. I’ll then tell the kids that I have a book from an ancient China with my mysterious tone. I’ll then unwrap the book and have my daughter as a little helper holding the book on one side ( imagine how proud she’d be). I’ll point the texts with my Chinese paintbrush…
Why am I telling you this? I want you to have FUN reading this book with your child.
It’s a simple book. But you can go beyond reading this story. For example, you can show your child what an ancient Chinese book looks like, buy some moon cakes and enjoy the full Moon on the night of Moon Festival.
Learning culture is also a part of learning the Chinese language.
How are you going to celebrate the “Moon Festival” with your child? If you find my book useful, please do share with me by leaving your comments below or go to the Panda Mama Chinese Facebook community to join the conversation. Happy Moon Festival 中秋节快乐！