The JSU office of China Initiatives (OIC) held its 5th Annual Chinese Moon Festival Tea on Sept. 9 at JSU Student Center Ballroom A to celebrate the Moon festival. The celebration began to allow students to learn about Chinese culture and celebrate the festival.
The Moon Festival, also known as Mid-autumn Festival or Zhongqiu Festival is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese. Farmers celebrate the end of the fall harvesting season on this date. Traditionally on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelos under the moon together.
The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is at its fullest and roundest.
“Moon festival is an important festival for Chinese, and I’m glad that we can celebrate this festival here at JSU even I’m far from my home country,” said Shuai Chen, an exchange graduate student from China.
Student George Robinson said attending the event was a new experience for him.
“This was my first time participating in anything like this,” he said. “I was there to support my roommate. But I was impressed with the Chinese culture and might make plans to participate in the exchange program to China available at JSU.”
Being able to provide students with opportunities to learn about Chinese culture and to promote diversity is important to the OCI staff.
“We are happy that JSU has established such wonderful exchange program that benefits JSU students as well as the Chinese exchange students,” said Mei-Chi Chen Piletz, OCI Director.
“When the Chinese exchange students come here, the American students helped them out and built friendships. And the same applies when JSU students go to China for internships in the future, those exchange students will be hosting them in China. What a wonderful relationship established,” she added.
The OCI hosts many programs for JSU students, including Chinese language classes, internships and exchange programs to China.