Students feast during Mid-Autumn Festival

Richard+Liao+24+decorates+a+lantern+during+the+Mid-Autumn+Festival.+

Richard Liao ’24 decorates a lantern during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Mooncakes and a variety of Chinese cuisine from Han Dynasty made many students feel at home during the second Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in Hill history. On Sept. 22, international students and Chinese scholars were invited to the Wells-Davidson Soccer Pitch Tent for a dinner of 12 dishes and four types of mooncake, plus a presentation on the cultural background of the festival. Following the meal, attending students had the opportunity to participate in various traditional activities, such as decorating the lanterns or playing with the sparklers.

Tina Wang, a 6th form international prefect from China, said that celebrating the festival gained a greater meaning for her after she began to attend Hill. “It’s when I came to America, I realized that I may not be able to have this festival and unite with my family on this day for seven or eight years maybe, and that’s when I really feel this festival is kind of a loss to me,” she said. “But then, gladly, at Hill, we have the international ambassador organization. And last year I was not a member of it, but I was deeply influenced by the enthusiasm and compassion of the international ambassadors, and they made me feel at home.”

Wang also said that her perspectives about the festival have also changed after becoming an international prefect.

“I feel like these are two very different perspectives, because as ambassadors, we are really trying to think how we can create an atmosphere that students can relax themselves and don’t feel pressure to be who they are not, and to make them feel, not exactly at home, because that will be a very ambitious goal, but at least they feel closer to their families at this moment,” Wang explained. 

As international and family support manager and the organizer of this event, Helen Qiu said, “I have been thinking about this for a long time, and also proposed by Eddie Li, the head international ambassador, we felt it would be very nice to have an educational piece, so that’s why we decided to add a presentation into our event, to tell the story, the legend and the origin behind the Mid-Autumn Festival.”

Besides China, many other Asian countries also celebrate the festival; it’s just that the name and the celebration style can differ depending on the specific culture.

Annie Nguyen, a fourth former from Vietnam who attended the celebration, said, “I did feel homesick during the festival, just because usually I would be eating with my family, I would be playing with a lantern with my brother. Even so, because it’s been so long since I’ve been home, you guys really brought a piece of my home back to me. It made me very happy.”