Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with ADPIC
Humboldt State University students gathered to celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival, an annual event hosted by the Asian, Desi, and Pacific Islander Collective club On Sept. 24.
ADPIC President and Vice President Nikki Xiong and Tammy Phrakonkham presented the history of Mid Autumn Festival, also referred to as the Moon Festival. During the presentation they discussed the origin of the holiday and why they celebrate.
“My favorite part is celebrating with family and friends, celebrating culture and traditions, and being able to keep this alive– especially in a rural community,” Phrakonkham said.
After the presentation, came live musical performances for the crowd to enjoy. Tables set up in the back were filled with crafts for students to partake in including coloring, origami, and writing Chinese symbols in ink. Booths were set up surrounding the room as different clubs on campus tabled and handed out information about their groups as well as creating a sense of diversity as they taught students about their own culture and religious organizations.
This event was welcome to all Humboldt State University students, even if they had no clue what the holiday was about. For many students, this was their first time learning about Mid Autumn Festival and celebrating the Full Moon. Amanda Madden was one of these students attending for the first time as she worked at the event.
“I really like how everyone from all different places come together to hang out, eat good food, and learn about different cultures,” Madden said.
After the activities, a buffet was held including dumplings, rice, and moon cakes- a traditional Chinese dessert eaten especially at Mid Autumn Festival.
Mooncakes are round and meant to symbolize the full moon. They consist of lotus paste with an egg yolk filling which is meant to visually represent the moon. Mooncakes usually have elaborate designs on the top, or shaped as unique figures such as various animals. Mooncakes can be found in a multitude of flavors such as red bean paste, chocolate, green tea, and many more.
The yearly harvest festival occurs on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. This special day is commonly celebrated by southern and eastern Asian countries near the Pacific Ocean including China, Vietnam, India and South Korea.
This festival celebrates the harvest season, as well as the first full moon of autumn, which lies in the middle of the lunar calendar.
Just like Thanksgiving, families often join together around a table to celebrate and eat a lot of food. Mid Autumn Festival is the second most common lunar holiday to celebrate succeeding Lunar New Year.
The event held was not meant to only introduce and educate HSU students about Asian cultures, but to also bring a sense of “home” to many of the students who typically celebrate this holiday back at home with their relatives.
HSU student Lauren Dirosa said she enjoyed the event held on campus as she celebrated an important holiday in her culture and to her family.
“It’s one of the many times where we actually get together and hang out,” Dirosa said. “It’s a time where we get to appreciate our culture.”