Kita Dance Company

Teachers' Notes

:: Performing Arts of China
:: Celebrations
:: Tricky Tales
:: Martial Funk: Martial Arts and Dance
:: Myths and Monsters of the Orient
:: Tales of the Moon... and other oriental adventures
:: Journey through Asia

Download Teachers Notes (PDF)


Celebrations (premiers in 2007)

Join Kita Performing Arts Company to experience the lively magic of Asian cultural celebrations.

‘Celebrations’ features a techno- version of the Indonesian plate dance ‘Tari Piring’, ‘So Go Book Chum’, a drum dance from the Korean Farmers Harvest Festival of Korea, ‘Monsoon’, a Bollywood-style celebration dance from India, the ‘Legend of the Moon Lady’ from the Chinese Full Moon Festival and a rambunctious Lion Dance from ‘Tet Trung Tho’, the Vietnamese Harvest and Children’s Festival.  The show incorporates dance, martial arts, drumming and song to enthral primary students as they learn about the movements, styles, stories and celebrations of different Asian cultures. ‘Celebrations’ includes many opportunities for participation. Students might be invited to join the dancers play Korean hand drums, sing like Indian villagers, act the part of one of the Ten Burning Suns or create the Parade of the Lion.


Suitability: Yr P-6

‘Celebrations’ Program

Please note that this program is subject to change, depending on cast availability

VELS Links:

LOTE, Asian culture; Dance; Music; Intercultural knowledge and understanding; Community Engagement.
‘Celebrations’ is the perfect show for multicultural celebrations or special occasions like Diversity or Harmony Weeks.


A range of workshop options in dance, music, drama, martial and visual arts are available to complement students' learning through the performance.

Teachers’ comments about our performance:

‘All teachers were impressed with the rapport the performers had with the children. Use of audience participation was fabulous!
The children got a real buzz out of this’

Our Lady of the Assumption School, March 2006

‘Student participation was excellent.  Really good appeal to different age levels.  A quality performance’
Elizabeth Northwood, Rangebank Primary School, September 2006

‘All teachers thought that the performance was interesting and entertaining.  Student participation was excellent. This fitted in well with our LOTE basic understanding and increased students’ knowledge of Asia’
Macarthur Primary School, April 2006

‘Staff and students greatly enjoyed the performance. Costumes were colourful and the music was great.  I would recommend it’.
Judy Summons, Balwyn Primary School, October 2006

‘All staff believed the entertainment and cultural value is high and the value to students overall is excellent.  Thanks a lot, Kita.  Great work’
Mont Albert Primary School, November 2006

Sabrina leads a workshop with ‘So Go Book Chum’ Korean hand drums

Preparation for our performance

A couple of ideas to enhance student's understanding of our program:

- Read through the stories in the notes, which give much more detail than our narration will on the day.

- Vocabulary: Introduce these new words: performing arts, performance; backstage; martial arts; feast; harvest; festival; celebration; village; monsoon; valiant; Emperor; Heavenly; archer; worship; Palace; Bollywood; wealth;

- Asian map exploration: Look at a map of Asia and identify the countries Kita members come from; Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and China, as wel as the countries whose cultures we will feature, India and, Vietnam.

‘Tari Piring’, Plate dance, West Sumatra, Indonesia

'Tari Piring', Plate dance, West Sumatra, IndonesiaThis piece is based on a traditional dance from West Sumatra, Indonesia,  where it is performed as a celebration after harvest.  ‘Tari Piring’ incorporates manipulation of plates held in the dancers’ hands to show everyday movements such as work in the rice fields and the preparation of food.  It portrays happiness, joy, togetherness, well-being and the prosperity of the Minang Kabau people.  While people waited for the celebratory feast to be cooked, they made music with their plates, banging them with rings, spoons and whatever else they could find.  Then some movements were added to the music and the dance was born. 

Kita’s version of ‘Tari Piring' was choreographed by Soepri initially for Melbourne’s Indonesian Festival 2006.  Soepri describes this as an east-meets-west version of the dance, with music and movements based on traditional styles performed with a contemporary flavour that makes for better communication and more enjoyment for Australian audiences.  It includes some techno-style Indonesian martial arts ‘Pencak Silat’.  The music is contemporary Indonesian underpinned with traditional flute music.



‘So Go Book Chum’, small hand drum dance, Korea

Soo Yeun plays the Jango ‘So Go Book Chum’ is performed as part of ‘Pungmul’ also known as Nong-Ak, a big outdoor celebration in Korea that involves dance, music. songs and drama.  ‘Pung mul’ is a little similar to a western musical, but has very different aims and origins.  Performing ‘Pungmul’ expresses wishes for a rich harvest of rice and grain and a good catch of fish. It also promotes friendship among villagers, while encouraging co-operation and a sense of identity as Koreans. 

‘Pungmul’ may be performed when villagers gather and share drinks after harvest in the autumn, or in the spring when farmers transplant paddy rice and wish for a good harvest.  It is sometimes performed at annual events or on holidays.  ‘Pungmul’ teams start their performance at a playground or a community hall and then visit every house in the village.  Each house offers food, drinks, grain or honey.  Money is donated for the benefit of the community. 

Musical accompaniment usually includes a small gong, an hourglass shaped drum called Jango and small hand drums, So Go Book.  In Kita’s performance, we also include a djembe, an African drum!


In ‘So Go’, the performers wear a version of ‘Hanbok’, Korean traditional costume. These are similar to the outfits worn by nobility centuries ago.   Hanbok is characterized by simple lines without any pockets. The women’s hanbok comprise a wrap skirt, ‘chima’, underskirt ‘sok-chima’ and a wide sleeved bolero-like jacket, ‘jeogori’. This is tied with two long ribbons to form an ‘otgoreum’ knot.
The mens’s costume is made from roomy pants bound at the ankles and a short jacket.  Hanbok are now worn by Koreans of all ages, particularly on traditional holidays and for special events.

More about Korean costumes

Discussion questions

‘So Go Book Chum’ is a drum dance performed as part of festival parade, when people in Korean villages go from house to house singing and playing music.
Do people in Australia ever take part in parades?
When, where and why?
Have you ever been in one?
What did it feel like?

Research project

Festivals around the world
Find out more about festivals and parades in other countries-
What special occasions do they celebrate?
What do what people wear? 

Kita dancers performing ‘So Go Book Chum’ at Lunar New Year celebrations, Melbourne 2006

‘So Go Book Chum’- small hand drum dance Korea

Long version: This is a version your students may learn in a workshop.

Starting position:  Dancers face in to the centre of the circle,  holding drum in left hand, stick in right hand.
Introduction: 8 counts or drum beats

PART A:  In and Out of circle.

Counts 1-4: Skip towards each other into centre of circle
5-8: Skip backwards to original place.
9-16: Repeat skip in and skip out.
Drum beats: One beat for each skip, stick hitting flat against the drum's skin.  Drum moves up in front of the body to finish above head height as you skip in, and comes down to finish close to the body as you skip out.

PART B: Turns to right and left

Counts 1-4: Make a full circle around yourself, turning towards your right shoulder, feet step R, L, R,  together, finishing with small knee bend
5-8: repeat 1-4, turning to L side.
9-16: repeat turns to R and L side.
Drum beats: One beat for each step, stick hitting flat against drum's skin. 
At the end of each bar (counts 4, 8, 12, 16)  beat side of drum as you hold drum out to the side at shoulder height.

PART C: Spinning on the spot. 

Counts 1-4: Spin around yourself on the spot, with 8 small fast steps, turning first towards right shoulder.  On the last count face in to the centre of the circle and lift left foot just off the floor.
5-8: Spin on the spot to the left side, lifting right foot on count 8.
9-16: repeat spins to R and L
Drum beats: fast beats on the drum, one for each step.
At the end of each bar (counts 4, 8, 12, 16), hold beat side of the drum as you hold it out to the side at shoulder height

PART D: Skipping through the space

Counts 1-12: Skipping anywhere in the space
13-16: Skip into a straight line facing the front
Drum beats: 1-4 Beat the drum on counts 1, 2, and, 3, and, 4; 
bringing drum gradually up in front of the body
5-8: repeat same pattern, bringing drum back down close to the body.  
9-16: repeat whole pattern

PART E:  Sideways galops

Counts 1-4:  4 galops to the right
5-8:  4 galops to the left
9-16:  repeat to right and left
Drum beats:   1-4: hit the front and back of the drum alternately
on counts 1 front, 2 back,  3 front, and back, 4  front
5-8:  1 back, 2 front,  3 back, and front, 4 back.


Bring feet together, arms in front of body, elbows held out to the side.
Drum is held in the left hand, stick in right hand, hidden behind the drum.
Small bow forward from the waist and return to standing.

Short version: this is a short version your students will learn in during a Kita performance

Starting position:  Dancers face the audience, holding drum in left hand, stick in right hand.
Introduction: 8 counts or drum beats

PART A:  Journey to the ricefarm

Counts 1-8, and 9-16 :     Skip on the spot, tapping the drum on every second beat

PART B: Planting the rice seeds

Counts 1-8, and 9-16:    Squat on haunches, using drum handle as rice planter
With right hand, tap drum on ground, R, L, R, L, R, L, R, L
Left hand holds drumstick on waist at L

PART C: Harvesting the rice

Counts 1-8:    Galloping to R x 4, 
Clap drum with stick in front of body, open both arms to side, clap drum with stick in front of body, open both arms to side.   Repeat to L,R,L

PART D: Celebrating the harvest

Counts 1-8: 1-2 Jump down into squatting position, hands touch floor,
3-4 Jump up, arms opening wide to side, 
5-8 hop on spot  R, L, R, L .    Repeat all

Finish:  skip off stage clapping drum


Bring feet together, arms in front of body, elbows held out to the side.
Drum is held in the left hand, stick in right hand, hidden behind the drum.
Small bow forward from the waist and return to standing.


white clothes and party hats adorned with flowers.


traditionally accompanied by orchestra of percussion instruments, Jang Go (large hand drum), Ching (large gong), Gweng Ga Ri (small gong), Book (large drum). Dancers play So Go Book Chum (small hand drums)

NB.  Sets of these drums can be borrowed at no charge from the LMERC Library in Palmerston St, Carlton.  Ph: 9349 1418

‘Monsoon’ dance, India

We got the idea for this dance from watching the Indian movie ‘Lagaan’. The dance is the villager’s celebration of the coming of the monsoon rains. The village depicted in this lively movie is situated on the dry and dusty plains of the princely state of Avadh, (now Uttar Pradesh), so locals look forward with great anticipation to the rain season. 

This dance is based on the style of `Dandia-raas' or 'stick' dance, in which pairs of men and women join the dance circle, holding small sticks, facing each other. ‘Dandia raas’ dances come from Gujarat and the southern parts of India. Similar group dances are very popular in Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.  ‘Dandia raas’ dances are similar to Western social dancing, although they have religious origins.  The enjoyment comes from participation rather than watching as an audience member.  This makes them distinct from classical Indian dance forms such as bharatanatyam and odissi that are intended to be performed for audiences. 

‘Dandia Raas’ dances are often enjoyed at ‘Navratri' or the 'Nine Nights' festival held in October. Navatri is celebrated in honour of the Divine Mother (The Power or The Force), representing Nature. This festival combines religion, devotion, culture, and recreation. People worship, offer prayers, visit temples, and celebrate for Nine Nights.

In our presentation of this dance, there is an element of Bollywood style which came from the movie!

Dandia Raas

More about ‘Dandiya Raas’ dances

The Moon Festival, China

Moon ladyThe August Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the biggest holidays for Chinese people. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, celebrated in Australia on the 15th August. On this day, which comes at the end of the harvest season, Chinese families celebrate the end of the harvest season with a big feast that includes all kinds of delicious food, especially mooncakes. Friends and relatives also send mooncakes to each other as a way of giving thanks.

Chinese legends say that the moon is at its brightest and roundest on this day.  Family members enjoy a holiday to gather together to sit and watch the moon. Under the bright autumn moon, friendships are made and renewed. It is a perfect time to fall in love. Chinese poets write about long lost lovers finding their way to each other on this special night.

The August Moon Festival is often called the Women's Festival. The moon symbolises beauty and elegance. While Westerners worship the sun (yang or male) for its power, people in the Far East admire the moon. The moon is the 'yin' or female principle and it is a trusted friend. In fact, many ancient August Moon folktales are about a moon maiden. On the 15th night of the 8th lunar moon, little children on earth can see a lady on the moon. On this magical occasion, children who make wishes to the Lady on the Moon will find their dreams come true.

Reference: Bet Key Wong ,
There are many Moon festival stories that explain how the Lady came to live in the Moon. On the 15th of August, Chinese parents tell their children stories about her. The dance Kita performs is based on this story below:



‘The Legend of the Moon Lady: Hou-Yi shoots the Sun’

Sabrina and Ten Burnings Suns at the North Richmond Autumn Moon Festival

Long, long ago, there were ten different Suns. They came out one by one, so that on each day, only one sun was in the sky. But the suns began to feel lonely when they were out in the sky, because they were always on their own with no playmates. So one night they hatched a plan. Each day for the next ten days, after the sun came out, it didn't go home to bed, but stayed burning brightly in the sky. After ten days, all the suns were shining all day and night long. The Chinese people were feeling very worried about this, as they were very very hot and they couldn’t sleep without the cool darkness of night. Plants began to die from the heat and the water began to dry up.

The people called upon the famous archer, Hou- Yi, to save them by shooting the suns down from the sky. Hou Yi did as requested and shot nine of the suns down so that order was restored to the land again. The people were so grateful to him for saving them that they made him their King.

Unfortunately, Hou-Yi did not use his kingly power wisely, as he did not treat his people well. He enjoyed being King so much that he began to look for the secret to eternal life, so that he could stay in power for ever. He got a chemist to make a special tablet, the Pill of Immortality, so that he would never die. Hou-Yi's wife Chang Er was very worried about this tablet, as Hou-Yi was such a cruel and despotic King. She thought that if Hou-Yi stayed King forever, he would eventually starve or kill all of his people. When the chemist produced the Pill for Hou-Yi, Change Er quickly took it and swallowed it before Hou-Yi had the chance to take it. Her body became so light that she floated up to the Moon, where she lives forever as the Lady in the Moon Palace. Chinese people look up Chang Er, the Moon Lady, and feel grateful because she saved their lives. Living with Chang-Er in the Moon Palace are many beautiful Fairies. They are dressed in silk robes, so that when they move, the silk floats and looks like clouds.

Here is another story about The Moon Lady. It has the same characters, but some parts of the story are quite different.

A long, long time ago, there was a beautiful lady named Chang Er who was married to the heavenly archer Hou Yi. They did a lot of very brave and kind things together to help the people on earth, the most famous being saving the earth from the Ten Suns that scorched the earth. One time, after they built a big new jade palace for the Queen Mother of the West (Xi Wang Mu), she rewarded them by giving them a special magic Pill of Immortality, saying, 'If you eat this magic pill, you will live forever. But you can’t eat it right away. It has very strong magic, so you have to wait one year and eat special foods and sit quietly (fast and meditate) to get your body ready for the magic.'

Hou Yi took the pill home and told Chang Er about it. Then he put it in a secret hiding place until they were ready to eat it. But after three or four days, Chang Er wanted to take a closer look at the magic pill. So she took the box out from its hiding place and opened it up and took out the pill. It was so beautiful, like a pearl, glowing white from the inside with a rainbow of colour shimmering just under the surface, and it smelled like peaches.

Hou Yi came in and found her holding the pill and asked, 'What are you doing?'. Chang Er hid the pill behind her back and said, 'Nothing'. He said, 'Are you eating the Pill of Immortality? We’re not supposed to eat it until after one year. It’s too strong.' She said, 'No, I’m not eating it.' He said, 'Let me see your hands.' She took one hand out from behind her back. He said, 'Let me see your other hand.' She switched the pill and showed him the other hand. He said, 'Let me see both hands.'

Chang Er didn’t know where else to hide the pill, so she quickly popped it in her mouth and showed him both hands and mumbled, 'See, nothing.' She was so afraid of getting in trouble that she began to run away from Hou Yi.   He chased her around the room; on top of the tables, under the chairs and around and around, until, 'gulp,' she accidentally swallowed the magic pill.  Her body suddenly felt weightless, and it began to glow with a bright light and she started to rise up into the air.  He said, 'Where are you going? Come back down!' She said, 'I’m sorry, it was an accident! I didn’t mean to swallow it. I was just looking at it!'

The window was open and she floated out the window. He couldn’t reach her, but he saw her pet, Jade Rabbit, sitting on the porch looking up at her, and he tossed the rabbit up to her so that she wouldn’t be all alone wherever she was going. She caught Jade Rabbit in her arms and shouted, 'Bye bye!' And she floated up up up to the moon, where she lives until this day in the Cold Palace of the Moon.
People say that when the moon is full, you can see them there. The Jade Rabbit is busy pounding a new elixir of immortality. And on the night of the Moon Festival, you can look up at her on the moon and ask Chang Er for a secret wish…

English activity:

Compare and contrast these two stories:
What were the differences between them?  Which one did you like the best? Why?

Research project:

Can you find any more stories about the Moon Lady, or other stories about the Moon?  Many other Asian cultures have moon stories.

Discussion topics:

These questions could be adapted to be relevant to all dance pieces. They could stimulate children’s reflection on the story, Kita’s presentation and the artistic elements of the performance including choreography, music and design. This could lead to development of original stories and choreographies

 Soo Yeun and Sabrina as Fairies in the Moon from ‘The Moon Lady’, Photo: Catherine Acin

Story-writing and dance-making

Write your own story to explain why and how the Moon Lady ended up on the Moon. You might like to set the story in Australia – and have Australian characters in the story with her.  These ideas could be turned into your own dance about your characters. 

Activity:  Dance-making: 

Create your own dance to tell your story
Think about the movements you saw Kita performers make in ‘The Moon Lady’ performance including:

You could use some movements that you saw Kita dancers make, or your own ideas.
You might work on your own (solo), with one partner (duet), or as a group. Make sure your dance has a clear beginning and ending.

Moving words:

Think of words that describe the way your character moves.  Write these down.

Developing a movement repertoire:

Then one at a time, try making these movements- how can you use your body to show the way your character moves? 

Create a movement sequence:

Now think about how those movements could be connected to create a sequence.  What would the character do first?  Then? And after that?

Dance form: solo or group work

Then decide whether you want to make a solo dance (by yourself) or work with other classmates to create a group dance. A small group, between 3-4 people is usually best for beginning choreographers. 

A starting point:

Think about where your character might be at the beginning of the dance.  Decide the shape you will make in that place. Decide what movements you want to include in the dance

In the middle:

Group work: Will all the characters in your group make the same movements at the same time, will some of them be doing the same thing but before or after the others? Will some be doing different movements?
Experiment with different combinations. You can make the same sequence of movements over and over in your dance, or you might like to make many different ones.

Movement qualities: 

Make sure you use your movements to show the qualities of the character’s movements that you are thinking about.  That is, show how the character moves.

Finishing your dance:

When you have included all the movements you would like to make, or when you feel your dance is long enough, you need to think of a way to finish it.  What shape would you like to make for the end: the same shape as at the beginning or a different one?  Where will you be when you finish: do you want to be back where you started or in a different place?
Will all the characters be in the same place, or in different positions?
At the end, make sure you come to a complete stop and a hold your position for at least 10 seconds so that your audience knows that your dance has finished.

Music accompaniment: 

We used traditional Chinese music to accompany the Moon Lady story.  You might choose a favourite song you know or some music that is related to the theme of your celebration.  Or you may have some classmates who could make some music for you.  Or…you might create your own accompaniment

Create your own accompaniment:

Use body and instrumental percussion to create sounds to accompany your celebration dance. Think about the sounds that would be suitable to complement your character. For example, loud percussion instruments like drums, gongs and a gamelan (a marimba or glockenspiel would be a reasonable substitute) would make strong scary sounds if you were a large and scary character. Quieter instruments like triangles might be more suitable if you are making quieter movements.


Perform your dance for your class. You might like to see if your classmates can guess what the dance was about after they have seen it, or you might like to tell them before you start so they can look out for some of the movements that they are going to see.

Class discussion:

When your dance is over, your classmates can tell you the things they noticed about your dance, especially the aspects they enjoyed. They might have seen things that you intended they see, or they might see things you weren't expecting.


When you have finished you could write down your thoughts about the process of creating your dance.

More information about Chinese festivals

‘Tet Trung Thu’, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Vietnamese children with Tet Trung Thu lanternsThe Mid-Autumn Harvest and Children's Festival or Tet Trung Thu is celebrated across Vietnam on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, usually late September or early October.  The Festival dates back as far as 15-20,000 years ago in Southeast Asia.  Tet Trung Thu is a celebration and a prayer for the fullness and completeness of life.  During this time, the moon has a reddish glow and appears larger than at any other time.

Tet Trung Thu festivities last for several days.  Children parade in the streets, wearing masks, carrying lanterns and banging drums, and specially trained groups of young boys travel from house to house performing Lion dances. Parents buy lanterns and toys for their children and prepare their favourite dishes. Special cakes are made and exchanged, and fruits are plentiful.  In the evenings, pagodas and temples, especially those temples dedicated to goddesses, are open for worshippers to light incense and make offerings of flowers and fruit and to pray.  There are many legends associated with the Tet Trung Thu, including the story of the Moon Lady or Trang Yi, and the story of the carp who wanted to become a dragon or Cá hóa Rông.


‘The Lion Dance’, Vietnam

Kim met these young dancers, the champion Lion Dance team of Hue city, outside her hotel in September 2006The Lion Dance is an important aspect of many festivals including the Mid-Autumn Children's Festival. The Lion dance represents the earth and sky duality, the yin and yang of the world.  Dancing with the Lion is Ong Dia, the Lord Earth, who represents the wealth or fullness of the earth.  With his very round, happy smiling moon-face, he dances around the Lion, urging it on.

The meaning of the Mid-Autumn Festival has changed over time. Some say that the festival was not specifically for children. Vietnamese people believe that only when one is innocent and pure can they get close to the natural and sacred world. So by becoming like children, they can acquire attributes of the gods. However, others say that this celebration came about as a way for parents to make up for lost time with their children after the busy harvest season.  After spending much time working hard and away from the family, parents were anxious to spend time with their children and do something special with them, as well as celebrate the harvest.

In many ancient agricultural cultures, when the nights got longer and the light and heat from the sun decreased, there were prayers and ceremonies urging the sun not to forget to rise again the next year. The lanterns that Vietnamese children play with on this festival day recall the wish for the return of the sun's warmth and light. There are several different shapes of lanterns including the five-star lantern representing the sun and the frog-shape representing the moon. There are lanterns which spin around when a candle is placed inside, symbolizing the seasonal spinning of the earth around the sun.

A beautiful display of Tet Trung Thu lanterns made by community groups from all over Hoi An, September 2006During the festival, children wear paper-mache masks of Ra Hu who looks somewhat like a tiger. According to the myth, during the creation of the world the gods stirred up the sea to activate the ambrosia of immortality. The demon Ra Hu, lord of the nine planets and ruler of the gods of the nine planets, stole it and the sun god punished him by cutting off his head. The myth also says that Ra Hu ate pieces of the full moon and that is why it has phases and eclipses. Children wear the masks and growl like tigers to frighten Ra Hu so he will not gobble up the entire moon. Nowadays there are also many kinds of plastic masks, including Mickey Mouse and Superman, to frighten off the monster.

Several types of special cakes called banh trung thu are eaten at festival time. These are not raised like Western cakes, but are filled with lotus seeds, orange peel, ground beans, and sometimes egg and pork fat for flavour. Traditionally the filling also includes a small yolk which represents the moon.  Vietnamese people often offer a box of these special cakes to someone that you want to please or owe a favour, like your landlord or the local police. Some cakes are shaped like carp, which in Vietnamese tradition represents the soul of the moon. Other cakes are round and white representing the moon, and others are square and golden brown representing the yang elements, or the sun.



‘Banh Trung Thu’,  Mooncakes

Moon Cakes

1/2 cup salted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup all- purpose flour
red bean paste (1 can) or
1 cup jam

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar and 1 egg yolk. Stir until creamy and combine completely.
  2. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.  Form the dough into one large ball and wrap it in aluminium foil.  Put this in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Unwrap the chilled dough and, with clean hands, form small balls in the palms of your hand.  These are the moon cakes.
  4. Make a hole with your thumb gently in the centre of each moon cake and fill with about half a teaspoon of your favourite jam or red bean paste.
  5. Brush each cake with beaten egg yolk.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bake the moon cakes for about 20 minutes or just until the outside edges are slightly brown.  Makes about 24 moon cakes.   Enjoy!

Recipe from

Tet Trung Thu Folksong

Lyrics in English:
At Mid-Autumn festival,
walk around with lanterns lit.
Take them all across the town,
singing to the autumn moon.
Lanterns all in different shapes, lantern angel, lantern dream,
Lantern fish, or lantern star, lantern swan or butterfly.
Take my lantern to the sky;
take my lantern to the moon!

Lyrics in Vietnamese:
Tet trung thu ruoc den di choi.
Em ruoc den di khap pho phuong.
Long vui suong voi den trong tay
Em mua ca trong anh trang ram.
Den ong sao voi den ca chep
den thien nga voi den buom buom
em ruoc den nay den cung trang.
Den xanh lo voi den tim tim.
Den xanh lam voi den trang trang
Trong anh den ruc ro muon mau.

Other resources


Asia for Kids: Moon Festival/Mid-Autumn Festival
Cathy Spagnoli Picture Books: Asian Tall Tales and Tricksters
Five great Asian tales, beautifully illustrated in different styles, are available individually or in packs of six from The Wright Group/McGraw-Hill:
Aaron Shepard, the American children’s author’s page has many folktales, fairy tales, tall tales and more. Aaron is a specialist in reader’s theatre, and there are also folktale scripts for reader’s theatre.
A comprehensive site devoted to storytelling. Includes information on retelling folktales, storytelling activities & lesson plans, and exploring cultural roots through storytelling.
Studies of Asia: A Statement for Australian Schools
Chinese educational resources including silk ribbons and traditional music


Asia Education Foundation Ph: 03 8344 4800 Fax: 03 9347 1768

LMERC: Language and Multicultural Education Resource Centre has an extensive collection of picture books, reference books, videos and other educational resources for the study of Asia.  
150 Palmerston Street CARLTON VIC 3053  (03) 9349 1418 (03) 9349 1295,

Books   (many of these titles are available for loan from the LMERC)

Brewer, W (1995), Many Flowers: Folk Stories from Asia, Curriculum Corporation

Cam, Nguyen Nguyet Cam and Sachs,  Dana Sachs (Editors), Two Cakes Fit for a King: Folktales from Vietnam.  This collection of Vietnamese folktales is suitable for older children or adults

Crowder-Han, Suzanne. Korean Folk & Fairy Tales, Hollym International Corp., Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Cung Vu & Vi Vi,  Mid-Autumn Festival, the history behind the festival and the centuries-old traditions that are still practiced suitable for ages 7-12.

Curriculum Corporation, (1996), Access Asia: Primary Teaching and Learning Units, Melbourne.

Dong, Nguyen  ‘A Taste of Earth : And Other Legends of Vietnam’ A collection of twelve traditional Vietnamese folktales.

Garland, Sherry  ‘Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam’
"This is the best book of Vietnamese folktales for children. Colorful paintings illustrate a collection of fables from Vietnam in this lovely hardcover book." (Allison Martin)

Grant, J. (1999) A Balinese Dream: Childrens Images of life in Bali..for dreamers of all ages, TIRIAN Publications: Sydney
Han, C. (1995) The Demon King and Other Festival Folktales of China, University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu

Hatherley, Sheila, (1996), Our Asian Neighbours: Korea and Laos, McMillan, South Melbourne.

Hatton, Caroline  ‘Surprise Moon’
Celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival with Caroline Hatton's adorable children's book.

Hoffman, Judith. Harvest Festivals Around the World.

Hou, Guanbin, Chinese Folk Tales 1 and 2, Dolphin Books: Beijing

Korean National Commission for UNESCO (eds) (1986) Traditional Performing Arts of Korea, Seoul Computer Press: Seoul

Long, Hua. (1993) The Moon Maiden and Other Asian Folktales. San Francisco: China Books & Periodicals, Inc.

McKay, Susan,   Vietnam (Festivals of the World) including Tet, the Firecracker Festival, and the Ngoc Son Festival.

Nahm, A., Jones, B, Lee, G. (1991) I Love Korea, Hollym: Korea.

Peng, Tan Huay. (1991) Fun with Chinese Festivals. Singapore: Federal Publications, USA

Shafer, S,  Asian American Heritage (Our World).  A teacher's resource book with a number of projects and activities for the wonderful children's Vietnamese book "The Land I Lost."

Simonds, Nina, Swartz, Leslie, The Children's Museum, Boston and Meilo So
Moonbeams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes
Excellent book about Chinese holidays presents the history, tales and activities for celebrating five Chinese festivals - Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, Qing Ming, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Moon Festival. 2000, 80pp, 9 x 11.25, Ages 4-8.

So, S. (1997) C is for China, Frances Lincoln Ltd: London

Stepanchuk, Carol 1994, Red Eggs and Dragon Boats - Celebrating Chinese Festivals, Pacific View Press, Berkeley CA . This book contains stories related to Chinese festivals information on traditions, recipes, copies of original artwork and calligraphy. It is clearly written, and an excellent resource.

Thong, Rosanne,    Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes
A nice Autumn Moon Festival book. Asian objects illustrate shapes in this cheerful rhyming book. Upbeat and colorful for young readers or classrooms.

Young, P.J. (ed) (1987) Looking at Asia, Asia Teachers' Association: Sydney.
Zhu, Yifei et al, (1997) Chinese Fables and Cultural Stories, Shangai Foreign Language Education Press: Shanghai.

Resource sales

China Books Specialist in China and Chinese language materials
234 Swanston St, Melbourne  VIC 3000  Ph:  9663 8822  Fax: 9663 8821

Nusantara Indonesian Bookshop and Studies of Asia Bookshop
Specialist in Indonesian material for Studies of Asia, Asian cultural background material and picture books with Asian perspectives.
72 Maroondah Highway, Croydon  VIC 3136.  Ph:  (03) 9723 1195   Fax: (03) 9723 6650

Hamtech (Hansoi Bookstore), Korean resources: 
Shop 4, 324 Burwood Road, PO Box 336, Belmore NSW 2192
Ph: 02 9740 3592 Fax: 02 9750 2241


Tel: 0468 560 959 e-mail: