Mooncakes, lanterns, story telling, matchmaking and a full moon make up one of the most important holidays in China.
The Moon Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival, is celebrated in China and many other Asian countries like Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. It falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month according the the Lunar calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness. The BYU Chinese Flagship Center is celebrating this holiday with the BYU community on Sept. 27 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the JFSB courtyard.
Dr. Dana Bourgerie, a professor of Chinese and director of the BYU Chinese Flagship Center, said the celebration offers another way to get to know people from the Chinese culture.
“In addition to highlighting this event to the campus community generally, the event provides an opportunity for international students to get together and to interact with students interested in Chinese culture,” Bourgerie said.
The BYU Chinese Flagship program is meant to help undergraduate students practice and gain professional proficiency in the Chinese language. The program wants to create global professionals by helping students with the Chinese language within their field of study domestically and internationally. It closely correlates with the student’s choice of study and consists of three phases: individualized major-specific language instruction and tutoring, direct enrollment at Nanjing University in China and an internship in a Chinese institution related to the student’s interests.
Becky Sanderson, coordinator of the BYU Chinese Flagship Center, said the Moon Festival celebration will help students become more familiar with the program.
“We are celebrating this fun, traditional Chinese holiday to give students the opportunity to join in some Chinese customs and activities while they become acquainted with the BYU Chinese Flagship program,” Sanderson said. “We hope they will appreciate the Chinese culture. We also hope they see how they might take advantage of the Chinese Flagship program to enhance their career options after graduation.”
Jake Hsu, a staff member of the BYU Chinese Flagship Center, said celebrating the Moon Festival would be a good way to recruit those with interest in the program, and allow current Flagship students to meet with other participating students. The event will expose people to the Chinese culture.
“We invite all BYU students to come and enjoy the unique tastes, sights and sounds of China at this event,” Hsu said. “As they learn about China’s vibrant culture, and about BYU’s elite and nationally recognized Chinese Flagship program, students will expand their horizons and opportunities.”
Students should look forward to games, giveaways, unique Chinese mooncakes to sample, traditional stories of the Moon Festival, traditional Chinese music and information about the Chinese Flagship program. It will be a night filled with Chinese culture, food and connecting with others who are interested in China.