Students celebrate East Asian culture at Mid-Autumn Festival

Attendees enjoyed lantern and origami making, treats and the less-traditional chopstick races

If you were craving mooncakes last weekend, you probably found yourself at Trinity’s Jim Potter Intramural Field attending the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival was an event thrown by the Japanese Culture Club, Filipino Student Association, International Club, Chinese Language and Culture Association and South Asian Student Association to celebrate and bring awareness of East Asian culture to Trinity students.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a very important event in East Asian culture. Grace Khan, junior and president of the Chinese Language and Culture Association, explained the history and significance of the festival.

“It [the Mid-Autumn Festival] is also called the moon festival. It is tied to celebrating the moon and thinking about family … you can all look at the same moon, even if you’re in different places. There’s also a couple of different myths connected to it that are also connected to the moon. It is also a festival celebrating autumn and the harvest,” Khan said.

The celebration at Trinity had a mix of traditional and fun elements from the Mid-Autumn Festival and East Asian culture as a whole. For instance, people were able to participate in traditional Chinese crafts.

Illustration by Sydney Bennett

“We’ve got lantern making and that’s very traditional. They make the lanterns and float them off into the air. Ours don’t do that, but we can decorate them. They’ve also got origami making, where they’re making little rabbits. There’s a myth tied to the rabbit being on the moon,” Khan said.

However, they also had a less traditional activity that was very popular, according to Julie Bondy, junior and event coordinator for the Chinese Language and Culture Association.

“We have these chopstick races. People take an Asian candy and they’re dragging it and trying to get it in a bucket. If they get the candy in the bucket, they get to keep it,” Bondy said.

They also had free desserts, mochi and mooncakes that helped expose people to East Asian culture. Sophie Radi, sophomore and president of International Club, was especially a fan.

“[Mooncakes and mochi] are traditional desserts in China, especially during the holiday. My favorite is mooncakes. I am half Chinese, and my family loves them,” Radi said.

As much fun as the Mid-Autumn Festival was, it meant a lot more than that to Trinity students. The Mid-Autumn Festival is about community, and having a Mid-Autumn celebration at Trinity was a way for students to foster community.

“We had over 150 people sign up … the Mid-Autumn Festival is when usually families get together and just connect with people, [so] I felt that the Trinity community is getting together in the same way,” Bondy said.

This gathering of Trinity students was especially important because it wasn’t just people who already had a connection to the festival or East Asian culture that came to celebrate this holiday. It was people of all backgrounds.

“It’s really cool … that not everybody is of Chinese background, and we love that all cultures are coming together to learn about this holiday. It’s just super cool to see unity at Trinity,” Radi said.