Roll in the Mooncakes! ISA Hosts Mid-Autumn Festival

Roll in the Mooncakes! ISA Hosts Mid-Autumn Festival

By Alisa Samadani, Staff Writer Originally published in Issue 1, Volume 32 of The University Register on Friday, September 13, 2019

Ah, yes...Friday the 13th was a special day indeed. With the full moon and superstition in the air, many students would think evening festivities were limited. But no, the International Students Association (ISA) had other plans, as the full moon in mid-autumn signifies a very important tradition in China, as well as a few other Asian countries - the Mid-Autumn Festival. Along with learning about the festival itself, the club provided mooncakes, which are Chinese pastry products typically consumed during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The event was scheduled to be from 5-7pm, but all of the mooncakes seemed to be gone within the first half hour, with students clamoring to try all of the different flavors - red bean, egg yolk, and lotus seed.

After having a taste (which I encourage everyone to do if they have an Asian grocery store nearby), I sat down with ISA President, Camille Chu, to discuss the nature of the event, both on campus and back home in China.

“The Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family and friends to get together and watch the full moon,” Chu said. “It follows the lunar calendar so it is a different day each year. We usually eat mooncake because it has been a staple item in the festival for many years.”

Although the Mid-Autumn Festival has been a tradition for thousands of years, UMM has been celebrating it for at least five years. This year was Chu’s third time hosting the festival, and it went over very well amongst the attendees.

“More people seemed to come this year compared to previous years,” said Chu.” We were out of mooncakes very quickly!”

Chu hopes that the Mid-Autumn festival will continue to be a popular event, and stressed the importance of intercultural experiences.

“I think it is important to share the culture, not just for the students from China, but also for those who want to experience something new and share the sweet treats,” she said. “We try to combine people from different countries, for students from the States to share their culture with international students. We are a club that strives to make every student feel at home, no matter where they originally came from.”

ISA will be hosting more events throughout the academic year, so stay tuned!