Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recreational and Educational Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Juan Wang, Visiting Professor of Chinese from Xidian University, reports on the Mid-Autumn Festival:

The moon was especially bright and round on Oct. 1 with more than 150 persons from Missouri western and the St. Joseph community celebrating this important Chinese festival. The celebration begins with an introduction of the Festival’s customs, legends and food. Amy Grier is a great story-teller, who introduced the legends in such a fantastic way that caught the whole audience’s attention.

The introduction of the customs, culture and food vividly showed the significance of this celebration in China. It is a great occasion for families to get together and celebrate the harvest.

All the students in CHI 100 and 101 classes worked hard to prepare for this celebration. I admire that passion and enthusiasm in learning a new language and culture. And of course we enjoyed a lot of fun together doing the rehearsal.
The comic dialogue, three sentences and a half (三句半), one of the folk arts which is quite popular in various celebrations in China, just broke everyone up. Clapper talk, another folk art, was also highly spoken of by everyone.

Fred Weems did great in singing the popular song which every Chinese can sing a few sentences, “Mouse loves rice”. It seems that in China there is no cheese, so Mouse chooses to love rice.
Poems are always an indispensable part of Mid-Autumn Festival. Poets in different dynasties wrote hundreds of great poems. Students recited a few poems and sang one of the most famous poems by Sushi (song dynasty) together as a chorus.

Between the performances the audience got actively involved in playing such games as musical chairs and shuttercock (the rules to which are similar to hacky sack's).

More than 10 types of different tea were served. How graceful those tea leaves look in the water!

The mooncake, the jade rabbit candy, the dates and fruits such as grapes and apples are all traditional food of the festival. Lotus roots, Chinese pasty chips and meatballs prepared by Juan Wang and all the other food shared by the Chinese community were so popular.

The only regret is that we didn’t release the sky lanterns since the wind was strong that night. But the good news is that we will save it for the celebration of Spring Festival, the most important Chinese Festival! See you then!

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