The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is a major holiday for Chinese families. The Evanston Public Library will honor that tradition and the Chinese culture on Saturday, September 19 from 12:30 to 2pm with a Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Storytimeconducted in both English and Mandarin. The entire family is welcome to attend the event.

Mandarin speakers and English language speakers can celebrate with stories in both languages, and by making Chinese lanterns and other traditional crafts. Evanston’s newest independent bookseller, Bookends and Beginnings will be selling children’s books in Chinese and “pinyin” at the event.

The program is a joint effort between Library staff and volunteers Brooklyn Guan and Wendy Cao. According to Martha Meyer, Library Assistant, EPL has created programming in direct response to a significant increase in Chinese speaking patrons at the Library, many of them families with young children. Previous recent programs included a celebration of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival and a Chinese Bilingual New Year Storytime, both with very high attendance.

The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the moon’s role in the harvest as families gather to eat a traditional meal together including mooncakes. They also take time to remember those loved ones whom they miss.

Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies and Evanston Township Students studying Mandarin Chinese have been especially invited to participate. The invitation is intended to give them the opportunity  to listen to and speak with native Chinese speakers.

“I am thrilled that we’ll be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival at the Library. This is a beautiful holiday filled with love of family. We’re going to have a lot of fun!” said Meyer.