Earlier this semester, the Chinese Student Association and the Taiwanese Student Association co-hosted an event to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional harvest festival celebrated throughout China and Southeast Asia. Despite the cool weather, the celebration took place from 3-6pm at the Potawatomi Park with food, entertainment and great company!
Similar to the Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States, without the turkey, corn bread and sweet potatoes, the Mid-Autumn Festival is dedicated to giving thanks to the gods for the harvest. Traditional celebration includes people spending the day of the festival in local temples in the morning participating in different ceremonies for current and future harvests. Later, all members of the family would enjoy a meal together around the round dining table typically found in Chinese homes followed by an evening spent observing the full moon while partaking in a piece of round mooncakes. (As rooted in the Chinese culture, round or roundedness is essential because it symbolizes unity and completeness). In modern days, in spite of the changes through modernization, the festivity remains significant to the culture.
As presented during the celebration last week, Joy Qiu, the Chinese Student Association president, gave us an insight on the variety of celebration of the same festival in different regions. In major cities of China, parades are a necessity for the valuable festival, as well as in other countries where Chinese people resides. In addition, Ethan Chung, the Taiwanese Student Association president, shared that the Mid-Autumn Festival is a public holiday in Taiwan. Carrying out the traditional fundamentals of the unity and completeness, the delightful evening concluded in harmony after delicious food, amusing games, and the consumption of the round mooncakes.
-by Ai Wan Choong