More than 500 hundred students attended the 8th Annual China’s Mid-Autumn Festival on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, to celebrate the holiday of autumn and enjoy delicious moon cakes.
Stony Brook students from all different backgrounds came down to the Student Activities Center Auditorium to get a little taste of a Chinese tradition dating back to more than 3,000 years. Hosted by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), the Mid-Autumn Festival is a very important holiday in the Chinese calendar. April Feat and Shengxi Li, the President of the CSSA are singing the song “Just You and Me,” at the Mid-Autumn Festival, on September 16th, at Stony Brook University campus, in Stony Brook, NY.
Shengxin Li, a second-year graduate student, majoring in Computer Science, who is also the President of the CSSA says: “For our organization, it is one of the two biggest festivals, and we will hold such a gala evening every year for international student. We reunite on this day just like a big family. We enjoy moon cakes and sing and dance together so that we don’t feel lonely abroad anymore.”
According to the Yuhang Liu, sophomore, Computer Engineering major, and the Vice President of the CSSA, there were plenty of those who feel a little lonely or just want to get the taste of their own culture while being so far from home. Liu says that on this day, Chinese people always stay with their family, and do thanksgiving and praying. Therefore, this holiday is considered to be an equivalent of Thanksgiving celebration. Mid-Autumn Festival symbolizes family reunion and celebration of the harvest, and is the second most important holiday in the Chinese culture, with the Lunar New Year being the other one.
Fumi Honda, a senior, Computer Science major says: “I came, because I wanted to feel more involved. This holiday is meant for family gathering, so I can feel like home, which is China, while being here at Stony Brook University.”
The event began with a dynamic black-light illusion dance, followed by some singing performances. In addition, raffles were held throughout the night, to give away various prizes ranging from boxes of moon cookies, and printers, to a high definition flat screen TV.
“I have attended similar events before, but this is my first time at this event. I really enjoyed all the performances tonight, especially the little kids signing,” says Honda.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated
by ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese people, and is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar, during the night of a full moon, between early September and the beginning of October. The festival is an important public holiday. At the core of the celebration is the worship of the moon, which serves as the symbol of rejuvenation along with the water. The origins of the Mid-Autumn Festival can be traced back to 16th to 10th century BCE.