With over 3000 years of history, the Chinese Moon Festival (中秋节）is an annual celebration for the Chinese club. “The Chinese Moon Festival is a family union festival. In ancient China, most emperors worshipped the moon annually; then, the custom was accepted and became more and more popular over time,” Chinese teacher Mrs. Yadi Yu said.
According to Chinese teacher Ms. Wenjing Hu, the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie) is one of the four most important Chinese traditional festivals. Celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, the festival is a time for families to congregate. Many families also enjoy eating together during this celebration. One traditional food that families enjoy eating is mooncake. Mooncakes come in many flavors including red bean, lotus and salted duck egg. The moon is significant because it is a symbol of reunion. The festival is known to have begun as a harvest festival and later developed mythical characteristics such as the lady in the moon, Chang-E.
The festival is an event for families to come together. “It’s like our Thanksgiving. Together, the full moon, the legend and the family gatherings during the event make the festival a great cultural observance. It’s a family tradition,” Mrs Yu said. With many native Chinese students on campus, Mrs. Yu wants the students to have a place where they can celebrate the festival with others and not alone. “It’s not easy for the young students living abroad without family during this important time,” she said. “The Chinese Club provides a warm welcome party which helps native Chinese students have a happy festival and not feel so lonely.”
“By learning about the Moon Festival, we learn how one treats the family and elders in China. Understanding Chinese culture and its influence on society is just as important,” Mrs. Yu said.
Junior Arthur Babosa and sophomore Ze Yu Jiang hold mooncakes they brought to share with their Chinese III class. (Photo submitted by Mrs. Yadi Yu)