The Chinese Culture Club plans on taking their annual Moon Festival in an entirely new direction.
The festival will replicate an authentic Chinese night market, where shoppers can trade in U.S. dollars for copper coins to be used at vendors’ booths. The Moon Festival is free of charge and will be from 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Dreyfus University Center Laird Room Sept. 19.
“Last year, people would come, sit and just watch performances,” said Bonnie Liao, a Chinese Culture Club officer. “But this year we wanted to make them feel like they were truly part of the festival.”
Yuchen Zhu, the Chinese Culture Club President, added to the list of festival upgrades.
“You will enter, and the first thing you will see will be the glowing lanterns,” Zhu said. “The further you walk into the room, the more authentic traditions you will experience.”
To enjoy the food, calligraphy vendors, Kung Fu performances and the shuttle play, Zhu encourages students to attend the festival.
According to chinahighlights.com, the Chinese view this holiday time to gather and have dinner with family and friends. It is commonly known as the “day of reunion.” To celebrate, the Chinese eat moon cakes and sing, while admiring the full moon.
The moon is viewed as a sign of prosperity, family and peace. The moon is at its fullest and most luminous during the eighth lunar month, according to China Highlights.
“The Chinese really value family reunion and that is the main point of the festival,” Liao said. “We want to share this type of cultural experience with other students and show how important it is to come together and celebrate family.”
There are multiple legends surrounding the origin of the Moon Festival, but one is considerably more popular than the rest.
“It is said that a beautiful woman, Cheng E, drank an elixir that flew her to the sky, and it is there that she stayed, resting on the moon,” Liao said. “The only thing she brought with her was a stray rabbit. That is why the image of a rabbit is often associated with the celebration.”
The Moon Festival is the second most important celebration after the Spring Festival to the Chinese. Every year the festival falls on the fifteenth of the eighth lunar month on the traditional Chinese calendar.