Chinese Flagship Program hosts Mid-Autumn Festival

Wen-Hua+Chang%2C+a+visiting+teacher+from+Taiwan%2C+gives+students+riddles+for+prizes+during+the+Chinese+Flagship+Mid-Autumn+Festival+in+the+Honors+College+and+International+Center+in+Bowling+Green%2C+Ky.+on+Sept.+9%2C+2022.

Sean McInnis / College Heights Herald

Wen-Hua Chang, a visiting teacher from Taiwan, gives students riddles for prizes during the Chinese Flagship Mid-Autumn Festival in the Honors College and International Center in Bowling Green, Ky. on Sept. 9, 2022.

Damon Stone, News Reporter

The Chinese Flagship Program hosted its annual Mid-Autumn – or Moon – Festival in the Honors College and International Center on Friday, Sept. 9, celebrating the harvest and paying respect and gratitude to those who have supported the program throughout the year.

The festival has been celebrated in Chinese culture for thousands of years and consists of several games and activities, like a tea ceremony, palm reading, fortune telling, sharing mooncakes and gifts and the Pitch-pot game, where students throw bamboo sticks into a vase to earn points. It is a traditional Chinese family game and has been tied with the festival for thousands of years. 

Additionally, boba tea was served to the people at the event, including flavors like mango, strawberry and taro.

Sam Gorecki, a Chinese Flagship student at WKU makes boba tea during the Chinese Flagship Mid-Autumn Festival in the Honors College and International Center in Bowling Green, Ky. on Sept. 9, 2022. (Sean McInnis)

Ke Peng, director of the Chinese Flagship Program and coordinator of the Chinese major and minor, helped to sponsor and jumpstart the event at WKU. 

“It’s one of the most important cultural events in Chinese culture,” Peng said. “… This is one of our biggest events in the fall semester. The meaning behind it is similar to Thanksgiving in American culture; it is a time to celebrate the harvest, the work of the year … it is a time to express gratitude to your friends and family.”

Yahong Wang, a Chinese Flagship professor at WKU makes tea during the Chinese Flagship Mid-Autumn Festival for students in the Honors College and International Center in Bowling Green, Ky. on Sept. 9, 2022. (Sean McInnis)

Peng explained during the festival most people will travel back home to their families and buy mooncakes and tea to give thanks to loved ones and coworkers.

Fang Jhu Lin, a Fulbright Scholar from Taipei, Taiwan, tutors in the Chinese Flagship program and said the festival offered students a glimpse of a different culture.

“I think the students all enjoy this event,” Fang Jhu said. “I think this event can bring people together to know more about Chinese and Taiwanese culture and can help them learn Chinese.”

Yahong Wang, a Chinese Flagship professor at WKU, pours chrysanthemum tea during the Chinese Flagship Mid-Autumn Festival for students in Honors College and International Center in Bowling Green, Ky. on Sept. 9, 2022. (Sean McInnis)

In Taiwan, the festival is celebrated with barbecue and people watch the moon rise together. The moon would be bigger and brighter at that point in the year than any other point, Fang Jhu said. 

Peng said the mooncakes themselves are symbolic for the hard work done throughout the year and are an easy gift to give to friends, family and coworkers.

Marissa Xia takes part in a palm reading during the Chinese Flagship Mid-Autumn Festival in the Honors College and International Center on WKU Campus in Bowling Green, Ky. on Sept. 9, 2022. (Sean McInnis)

The festival additionally served to celebrate the accomplishments of the Chinese Flagship Program throughout the year, including accomplishments like achieving national flagship certification, 53 Mahurin Honors College students enrolled in the program, flagship students representing all five academic colleges and a record 10 students preparing to apply for their capstone year in Taiwan or Monterey, California, in the coming year.

News reporter Damon Stone can be reached at [email protected]