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The Hammond Holds Chinese Children's Festival

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - For more than 3,000 years, the people of China have traveled far and wide on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival to reunite with family. At the Hammond Museum, several dozen families who have adopted children from China celebrated the holiday in a less-traditional way. 

As they united with each other it became a somewhat different kind of family reunion.

Jennifer and Andrew Sussman from South Salem came with their daughter, Eva.

“This is her first Chinese event,” they said. “We brought cousins and friends along. We’re trying to maintain the connection with China.”

Debbie Shapiro of Ardsley said she has attended the event every year since she brought her daughter home from China.

“This is our third time,” said Shapiro, whose daughter, Frannie, is 4.

The Shapiros bumped into a family they knew at the Festival.

“Our two children lived in the same orphanage," she said.

The day’s celebration began with a dancing event, followed by a Chinese puppet show. The audience sang along and shouted out when asked. After, the puppets made an offstage appearance so the children could try their skills at bringing a puppet to life.

Alex and Debby Onorato from White Plains said they have been bringing their five-year-old daughter, Lily, since she was 18 months.

Painting Chinese paper lanterns was a huge success with the children. So was the snack, which was Chinese grapefruit and moon cakes.

When snack time was over, the children brought their empty grapefruit shells to the garden pond and gently floated them on the water. This is the Chinese custom for communicating with your ancestors.

The event was organized by Families with Children from China.

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