The 3,500 year-old Mid-Autumn Moon festival is a celebration of family gatherings where families come together, eat dinner and observe the moon while eating a moon cake. The root of this festival began during the Shang Dynasty from 1600 to 1046 B.C. when emperors used to worship the moon as a thankful gesture towards an upcoming bountiful harvest. The official celebration of moon festival this year was on September 8th. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month each year, but the dates change every year. On this particular day, special foods such as roasted duck, dumplings and moon cake are the center of the dinner cuisine.
The Asian Culture Society celebrated Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in the Grind of Clark University on September 25th. The evening consisted of a martial arts performance, a band performance, and solo and duet music combos that sang in various languages of the countries that celebrate this festival. These countries include Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan. The cuisine for the event consisted of homemade dishes such as “kimbap” or “gimbap” (which essentially is a Korean sushi roll) fresh summer rolls with peanut dipping sauce, vegetarian vermicelli noodles, crab Rangoon, and of course moon cake.
The décor of the Grind consisted of red themed decorations. When I asked a student I interviewed, he explained that red in many Asian cultures signifies good luck. Additionally, the sharing of a moon cake signifies the unity of families and friends. Despite the fact that many attendees of the festival knew very little about the special occasion, such as myself, members of the Asian Culture Society were more than happy to share and educate their fellow Clarkies on the significance of the festival.
Please enjoy these photos from the celebration:
Photos by: Demi Senturk