Mid-Autumn Festival Holiday Teaches Traditional Chinese Culture on Campus

Photo Credit / Charlese Freeman Memebers of the Jinyin Temple of Sino Esoteric Buddhism shows audience how to draw Chinese characters.

Shavonne McLamb

Staff Writer

The Modern Language department collaborated with the Chinese club to celebrate the beauty of the Chinese culture with the Mid-Autumn Festival last week. 

The celebration showcased performance art including songs, poetry, dance, skits and games for the audience. Many Chinese families and students enrolled in Chinese classes participated in the festivities.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Moon Festival, is celebrated in China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, and many different East Asian countries. The festival celebrates the harvest and has been a tradition for over 3,000 years.

Symbolizing the moon, it originated during the Shang Dynasty. 

In Chinese mythology, the tale surrounding the celebration tells a story of a goddess, Chang’e, living on the moon. The moon, in Chinese culture, is associated with family and reunion.  

The ceremony was held in Beers Lecture Hall. As people walked in, they would be greeted by members of the Chinese club in traditional dress, and are invited to try traditional Chinese candy, tea, and mooncake in the lobby. 

The ceremony started off with Chinese International students singing “Looking Up to a Starry Sky”, followed by poetry with a calligrapher, drawing the Chinese symbol for destiny. 

There featured a video, explaining the history and significance of Mid-Autumn festival. After the video, participants played a round of Kahoot, testing their trivia skills. 

Students currently in Chinese II seemed excited to perform a skit in Chinese and hold a discussion afterward. Students who are currently enrolled in Chinese I then, sang “The Moon Represents My Heart”, in Chinese.

After a few American songs covers, round 2 of Kahoot followed. The game this time was about the traditions of the Mid-Autumn festival and how it originated.  The winners won Chinese lanterns as prizes.  

The expression of dance, created in Tibet, was performed called, Something Important in My Heart. The children of the Chinese community of the Poconos recited poetry. The poem was called The Hometown of the Moon.   

A traditionally Chinese square dance called, “You are My Little Apple” concluded the festival. The two dancers asked for volunteers and the majority of the audience (mostly children), enjoyed learning how to dance this traditional piece of art.

Fluent Chinese speakers were able to embrace their culture and speak in their native tongue with ease while praising their essence of the sacred holiday. The students enrolled in Chinese classes were able to improve their skills by speaking with fluent Chinese speakers and receive constructive feedback.

The traditional ceremonies of different cultures are important for students to be a part of in order to increase their cultural awareness. The Modern Language department and Chinese club did an amazing job of bringing this culture to life.

Email Shavonne at:

smclamb@live.esu.edu

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