Archive for August, 2011

We are so lucky in AJ Panda’s hometown of St. Louis to have so many fun events that celebrate Chinese culture. From the Chinese Culture Days at the Missouri Botanical Garden to multiple Chinese New Year celebrations, we can always find somewhere to celebrate, share and learn more about Chinese culture.

This past weekend, the annual International Institute’s Festival of Nations was held in Tower Grove Park. This event showcases dance, music, crafts and food from cultures from all over the globe. Festival headliner was COBU, an all-female dance troupe that fuses Japanese traditional Taiko drumming with tap dance that traveled all the way from New York to perform. Students from St. Louis Modern Chinese School performed Mayila,a Kazakah dance.

Festival attendees were able to sample cuisine from 40 nationalities. My personal favorite from the day was Turkish borek, a pillowy pastry stuffed with spinach and feta.

If you weren’t lucky enough to attend this year’s event, you might want to mark your calendars now for next year’s! For more information, visit their website at www.festivalofnationsstl.org.


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Time to start gearing up to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival! This festival, sometimes called the Mooncake Festival, is for worshipping the moon when it is at its fullest and roundest. It takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, which falls on September 12 this year. The celebration dates back 3,000 years to China’s Shang Dynasty.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in China, second only to Chinese New Year. On this day, friends and families gather to admire the bright-autumn harvest moon and eat mooncakes. Traditionally, thirteen moon cakes are piled in a pyramid to symbolize the thirteen moons of a “complete year,” being twelve moons plus one intercalary moon.

Visit AJPanda.com for the complete Mid-Autumn Festival history and mooncake recipes!



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