Mid-Autumn Festival to connect cultures

Amelia Brett

The Mid-Autumn Festival is planned to celebrate Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese culture on Oct. 20 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Confucius Institute on campus.

The celebration, also known as the Moon Festival or Lantern Festival, will offer students a taste of the different cultures through refreshments, such as mooncakes or tea, as well as displays of traditional clothing by members of the event.

Additional features will be a photo booth, as well as games and prizes. All activities and refreshments will be free for students.

The Mid-Autumn Festival was first introduced to WKU’s campus last year for the International Year of South Korea, Jeyun Park, a member of the Korean Students Association, said. She said the festival has now been expanded to include Vietnam and China to offer their traditions since each country celebrates it differently.

“A lot of international students find this meaningful,” Park said.

She said the festival gives them a way to remember their culture.

One aspect of the tradition is the origin of the event through the story of a woman Chang’e who floated up to the moon after gaining immortality, Reuben Tang, a member of the WKU Chinese Music Club, said.

He said it is believed her husband made offerings of mooncakes to her, and this resulted in the Mid-Autumn Festival with gatherings and food.

“It’s a really important festival for us to have a family get-together,” Lu Dai, a member of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, said.

She said they usually admire the moon during this time.

Sam Le, a member of the Vietnamese Students Association, said hosting the festival is about encouraging an open mind.

“We have come all the way here to understand and try to fit into this society, so we want to kind of present our own culture,” Le said.

Le said it would allow Americans to switch sides by seeing these traditions.

Le said the event gives international and domestic students the opportunity to make new friends. It also serves as a reminder of home and traditional cuisine for students studying overseas, Le said.

“It’s an occasion to celebrate and have fun,” Le said.

Le said the members want to allow everyone to have a great time.

The international community that took part in creating the event included the Vietnamese Students Association, Korean Students Association, the WKU Chinese Music Club, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Project Pengyou and the Confucius Institute.