Traditional Chinese Moon Festival Celebration at UNH Manchester Sept. 27

Traditional Chinese Moon Festival Celebration at UNH Manchester Sept. 27

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UNH Manchester will host a traditional Chinese Moon Festival on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the college’s third floor auditorium. The event will include an ensemble of traditional Chinese celebration, including making Chinese lanterns and lantern riddles, a gourd pipe show, a chorus of Chinese love songs, a sample of Beijing Opera and some traditional games.

The Moon Festival (simplified Chinese: 中秋节; traditional Chinese: 中秋節), is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival Moon Festival, Moon Cake Festival, and Zhongqiu Festival.

The celebration honors the goddess, Chang’e, who stole the elixir of immortality and fled to the moon. She is known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality.

Today, the popular lunar harvest festival is celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese families. It is one of the few most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, the others being Spring Festival and Winter Solstice. Families offer sacrifice to the moon by laying out moon cakes in their yards and sharing the cakes with friends and family under the full moon.

Other cultural or regional customs are to display brightly lit lanterns, fire dragon dances, and the moon rabbit is the traditional icon. In some parts of China, matchmaking dances are held for young men and women to find partners. According to the Xinhua News Agency, "One by one, young women are encouraged to throw their handkerchiefs to the crowd. The young man who catches and returns the handkerchief has a chance of romance."

UNH Manchester is also hosting film screenings of the Chinese Films WU XIA (Martial Hero) on Monday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. and “If You Are The One” (film) on Monday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. Visit www.manchester.unh.edu/events for descriptions and more information.  

The Moon Festival at UNH Manchester is offered in collaboration with The Confucius Institute at UNH (CI-UNH). CI-UNH is a partnership between UNH and Chengdu University in China that engages the life of the university with the larger community, both locally and globally. The institute offers a full curriculum in Chinese language and culture. CI-UNH also provides opportunities for cultural learning and exchange for regional schools—primary through post-secondary. 

Contact Yang Bei  (bei.yang@unh.edu) or Xu Yuexing (greenland7@163.com ) for more information.