Ancient celebration brings East Asian culture to campus
Lafayette students will be able to attend the Moon Festival, a traditionally East Asian celebration, this Sunday in the Marlo Room.
The festival originated years ago around the time of the Zhou Dynasty. The lords of the realm realized that the moon’s movement was closely related to the changing of the seasons, and agricultural productions. To show their thanks to the moon for these changes, and to celebrate the harvest, the ancient Chinese developed this festival, otherwise known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, in her honor.
Today, the Moon Festival is a harvest festival celebrated in China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and many other Asian countries. The traditions of the festival are slightly different in each country, but they are all celebrated on the night of the full moon.
Sony Matthews, the president of the Asian Cultural Association, one of the student groups hosting the event, provided some insight as to what we might expect from the Moon Festival.
“For this year’s event, we’re hoping to be more inclusive of all Asian cultures that celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival,” Matthews said, “And we’re inviting anyone and everyone to come and participate in the event. It is very much open to all people, regardless of where they come from.”
The menu for the event will include mainly Chinese food, as well as Vietnamese and Chinese moon-cakes. During dinner, attendees will enjoy several performances given by members of the Lafayette community. The performances will include singing of traditional songs, performances of traditional dances, an act by a magician and an action-packed show of skills presented by the Tae Kwon Do Club.
Students and faculty will also share how their countries and families celebrate the festival.
“Those presentations will definitely give you a unique idea about what the celebration is really about,” Matthews said.
Attendees can enjoy a number of games at the Mid-Autumn Festival.
“One of the games is the Chopstick game, in which participants have to use chopsticks to pick up various nuts and place them in a bowl within a record amount of time,” Matthews said
Matthews said that in the past, this festival has attracted large crowds of students and faculty members who have enjoyed the festivities.
“This year, we’re hoping to deliver the best Mid-Autumn Festival Lafayette has yet to see,” Matthews said.