China Institute’s Mid-Autumn Family Festival (online)

China Institute’s Mid-Autumn Family Festival (online)

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival online with China Institute’s immersive day of performances, activities, and culture on Saturday, September 18!

Join us for an interactive celebration featuring Chinese theater, music, art, and more!

About the Mid-Autumn Festival:

Next to Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn festival is the most important Chinese holiday, commemorating the fall harvest with wishes for prosperity and time spent with family.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a popular time in China to display lanterns of all types, to symbolically illuminate the path to success during the rest of the year. In addition, sweet mooncakes made of bean and egg yolk are enjoyed during the holiday. This is also a time for many Chinese games to be played, each with a theme of soulful adventure.

The holiday is celebrated as the Moon Festival throughout Asia on the day when the moon is brightest in the sky.

Download our Mid-Autumn Festival Activity Packet for Children.

Mid-Autumn Festival Family Activities:
10:00 – 10:45 AM:
[Free] Chinese Music Performance with BaBan Chinese Music Society
Enjoy a live performance from BaBan Chinese Music Society as they open China Institute’s Mid-Autumn Festival with a rousing selection of traditional Chinese folk music. Connect to Chinese culture and feel your emotions stir as these talented musicians showcase the Pipa, Guqin, and other instruments to create a unique soundscape sure to entertain and enthrall.
10:45 – 11:30 AM:
[Free] Festival Art Project with Dim Sum Warriors
Educational leaders Dim Sum Warriors provide a fun, festival art workshop for all ages! Participants craft their very own mooncake or Festival drawing, using materials from home. Bring your vision and all your markers, crayons, or pencils as you decorate and color, and be entertained by the team who will share cultural tidbits and stories.
12:00 – 1:00 PM:
[Ticketed] Chinese Theater Works Performance
The talented team at Chinese Theater Works brings their charming, live Chinese theater performances for children to China Institute’s Mid-Autumn Festival! This ticketed show will tell the story behind the origins of the Festival itself through traditional Chinese shadow puppetry, delighting children of all ages through amusing, creative plays that incorporate cultural elements and make history come alive.
Learn more
1:15 – 2:00 PM
[Ticketed] Chinese Lantern Making Workshop
Decorate a Chinese lantern in a ticketed workshop with educator Ione Wang highlighting Chinese vocabulary, traditions, and your child’s creativity. Using construction paper, this activity will offer anecdotes and exposure to Mandarin language as we work together to create lanterns to celebrate China’s Mid-Autumn Festival. This traditional practice is ingrained in Chinese popular culture and this is an opportunity to learn more about the Festival and how Chinese across the world celebrate this important, annual holiday.
For our youngest learners, there is also a special China Institute Immersion Preschool/Early Childhood Program Open House from 10: 30 – 11: 30 am to help parents become acquainted with China Institute’s School of Chinese Studies’ newest immersive educational program for children 18 months – 4 years of age, opening in January 2022. PARENTS: RSVP to meet our educators and explore the innovative curriculum >>

Tiger Tales:

Written by Kuang-Yu Fong, Stephen Kaplin and Ron Sopyla
Directed by Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin

45 minutes For ages 4 and up

Drawing on China’s two-thousand-year history of shadow puppetry, Tiger Tales features an artful blend of Eastern and Western, ancient and contemporary techniques that is the hallmark of all CTW productions. It is a show that excites audiences of all ages and has been widely acclaimed and performed across America, South Korea, Taiwan and China, notably at the 2005 First International Shadow Play Festival in Tangshan, China, where it won citations for Best Performance, Best Short Plays, and Best Voice-Over Narration. At the 2009 Shanghai International Puppet Festival, Tiger Tales was honored with awards for Best Directing, Best Puppet Design and Arts Innovation. Tiger Tales is performed in English accompanied by traditional Chinese music.

Based on popular Chinese folktales and literature, the story deals humorously with issues of power and survival of the small and powerless in the modern jungle, in which the proverb, “working for the emperor is as dangerous as working for the tiger” still holds true. The stories are narrated by a wise old rabbit, telling her granddaughter some of the adventures of her eventful life, including her hair-raising encounters with Tiger, the reigning King of the Jungle. 

CTW’s Stephen Kaplin, who designed the shadow puppets for Julie Taymor’s TheLionKing and Ping Chong’s Cathay (for which he won a Hewes Award), has created new acetate figures for this production based on 80-year-old, leather shadow antique figures. In performance, Mr. Kaplin solos as the live storyteller creating unique and detailed voices for more than a dozen of the characters.

The production is performed on an overhead projector, creating a cinematic projected image of up to 18’ square that allows the smallest details of the shadow images to be visible even in large venues. This format gives Tiger Tales the flexibility to play in any sized venue or adapt to any presenter’s needs – the only requirement is a screen or blank wall at least 12’ from the first row of the audience in a dark room.

Tiger Tales

About China Institute:

China Institute advances a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, art, and business. China Institute is the go-to resource on China—from ancient art to today’s business landscape and its rapidly shifting culture. Our programs, school, and gallery exhibitions bring to life the depth, complexity and dynamism of China.

Founded in 1926 by Chinese reformers Hu Shi (胡適) and Kuo Pingwen (郭秉文) and American educators John Dewey and Paul Monroe, China Institute is the oldest bicultural, non-profit organization in America to focus exclusively on China.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department Of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.