Asian food, music, and dancing make up the Mid-Autumn Festival
Last Friday, students from the Singapore Student Association (SSA) and Awareness of Roots in Chinese Culture (ARCC) held a Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Full Moon Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. During this time, beginning in August and ending in September, the moon?s orbit is at the lowest angle to the horizon. Often referred to as the Harvest or Hunter?s Moon in the West, it marks the middle of autumn with respect to the lunar calendar.
This festival and the Chinese Lunar New Year are the two most important holidays in the Chinese calendar.
As lanterns designed to resemble the moon hung from the walls, the audience was entertained with songs about family coming home, martial arts demonstrations, and a lion dance that, according to Jing Jin ? the emcee of the event ? represented a person trying to see if the lion is awake and then interacting with the animal.
During this festival, the Chinese also celebrate the defeat of the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty ruled by Genghis Khan. The plot to overthrow the Mongols was led by Li Bouwen in the 14th century. During this time moon cakes ? a flaky pastry stuffed with a variety of fillings like egg yolk, lotus-seed paste, and coconut ? were used to secretly transport messages that stated, ?Rise against the Tartars on the 15th day of the Eighth Moon.?
The festival also featured a dance performance by six female students, who were dressed in red, gold, turquoise, and green silks.
On Friday at 5 pm in the UC Merson Courtyard, SSA will hold a separate food festival featuring a variety of interesting foods. According to the SSA website, ssa.web.cmu.edu, a portion of the proceeds will go towards helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina. SSA offers a ?community of support,? emphasized activities manager Alan Tan for Singaporean or Singaporean-American students. Secretary Teng Ji Lim explained that the SSA club members themselves cook the variety of foods from ?secret? family and home recipes.
This year?s showcase includes many of the native Singaporean foods such as popiah, guotie, chan ye dan, barebequed chicken wings, wan ton mee, and a newer dish called ?Sting Ray.? The festival will feature nine or ten stalls, with servings costing $2?$3, which is ?half the price of campus food,? stressed Lim.
Said Lim, ?We?re trying to get people to sample Singaporean food and just chill.?