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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates Chinese cultural traditions

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a celebration of unity and love. (Photo courtesy of Susanna Hontz ’24)

The Asian Cultural Association will host its annual Mid-Autumn festival tonight, an event that brings students from all backgrounds to explore the richness of Asian cultures.

Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival has been an annual college event for years, and it has been a part of Chinese culture for more than 3,000 years. The festival’s date varies annually, as it takes place every year on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar. This year, the festival falls on Sept. 29. 

According to oral traditions, the festival honors Chang’e, the Moon Goddess. Her husband, Hou Yi, rescued Earth by destroying nine out of 10 suns, earning him a magic potion of immortality. However, Chang’e consumed the potion and rose to the moon. To honor their separation, it is traditional for people to gather with family members and light lanterns while eating mooncakes to commemorate unity and eternal love.

Emily Rotola ‘24, co-president of the Asian Culture Association, encourages people of all backgrounds to attend the festival.

“For those who celebrate it, we want to offer a space for them to celebrate it or to bring their friends and share their culture with other people,” Rotola said. “For those who are interested, we encourage those to check it out as it is a great opportunity for people to be culturally aware and educated.”

At the festival, the college’s Chinese program will deliver a presentation to discuss the significance of the holiday. Students will also have access to numerous activities such as creating lanterns, making calligraphy notecards and playing games with prizes.

As a treat, classic mooncakes will be provided. The round shape of mooncakes represents the full moon, which is at its brightest during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Various mooncakes contain intricate designs on top that portray significant cultural meanings such as luck and prosperity.

Susanna Hontz ‘24, the other co-president of the Asian Culture Association, only started celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival once she got to Lafayette. 

“This is one of my favorite events,” Hontz said. “For other people [for whom] this is the first time celebrating and learning about the festival, I’m really excited for them.”

The festival will take place on the Quad outside of Farinon College Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The rain location will be Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center 260-262.

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