By Angelina O’Donnell
“I am back here for only three weeks, but I already miss them [my parents],” said Jack Mao ’19, a Chinese student. “Because the Mid-Autumn Festival is coming soon.”
The Mid-Autumn Festival this year falls on Monday, September 24. Traditional to Chinese and Vietnamers students, “the Mid-Autumn Festival is based upon the cycles of the moon’s phases. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month,” said Mao. “For example, last year it was Oct. 4, but this year it will be celebrated on Sept. 24.”
“People that celebrate this holiday use the day as a time where they and their families come together in a reunion, similar to how people celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S.,” said a Chinese student, Haobo Wang ’19. Mid-Autumn Festival originated in China, and today it is primarily celebrated by the Chinese and Vietnamese. Since it originated it has spread to most of southeast Asia.
Similar to Thanksgiving food plays a big role in bringing the family together and mooncakes are the focus. “The cake is symbolic because the moon brings all things together, that is why people must get together to celebrate,” Eric Hou ’19 said.
Typical mooncakes are round pastries, measuring about 0.15 ft in radius and 0.13 ft thick, as small as the palm.
Hou emphasized that mooncakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy. Everyone stops their day-to-day lives to be together with one another. It is a time where family, no matter how
far, could travel back to their roots.
Chihning (Trista) Lu ’21 from Taiwan also celebrated the festival in 2017. She enjoyed the food and family reunion that the festival let her be able to do. “In the U.S. I never really celebrate the festival. I feel as though it is not my place to do so where it is not common,” Lu said.
Sonoka Hashida, a Japanese transfer student, said, “We don’t celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival traditionally but we do worship the moon for all that it provides. However, we enjoyed the full moon together as a family.”
On campus there has been no celebration of this holiday in the past. So far the school has not commented whether or not they will be celebrating this festival this year. But across the world more than thousands of people will be gathering under the mood. Even in the U.S., there will be those celebrating this old tradition that has been here for centuries.
“Although there is no campus activities to celebrate this festival, we have a plan to celebrate it by getting friends together for eating dinner,” Wang said.