Last Friday, Missouri Western students got to experience a little bit of a 1,500 year old tradition: the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Chinese instructor Yiming Liu was excited to share the Chinese culture with students.
“The purpose is to promote cultural exchange; I will show something unique about Chinese culture. I like to introduce these unique things to the audience,” Liu said.
To start things off, Liu gave a brief history on the festival.
The ancient Chinese noticed that the moon had a close relationship with the seasons and agriculture production, so they celebrated the harvest and the moon by sacrificing to the moon during these days.
This is a very important time for family and reunions. Families get together and worship and celebrate the moon and the moon goddess. The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth month and is also known as the Moon Festival.
The festival included different performances, such as a student read version of the poem “To the Moon Goddess”, written by author Li Shangyn. There were also challenges, such as a traditional Chinese game where guests had to use chopsticks to pick up marbles as fast as they could.
Western professor Dana Andrews was a guest speaker at the festival, and he talked about his one year trip to China and his experience. Andrews taught English and creative writing to the Chinese students. He said he had quite an experience and loved it.
Andrews recommends that students who want to study abroad prepare well.
“Study the language, take the class by native speakers and study your ass off,” Andrews said.
Liu also performed at the festival along with Fred Weems, who accompanied with guitar. They both sang the “Kang Ding Love Song”, which is a very popular Chinese folk song.
Food, such asMoon Cake, was also part of the festival. The Moon Cake is very important because it is a symbol of family getting together and celebrating the moon.
Liu’s favorite part of the festival was “all the students’ performances.”
The Mid-Autumn Festival is followed by the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. This is also a time for family reunions and is the most important festival.
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lantern Festival, takes place on the 23rd day of the 12th month and goes on into the 15th day of the first month. This year it will fall on February 7-13.