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Food and Culture: Peddie Celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival

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Food and Culture: Peddie Celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival

Moon-cakes of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Moon-cakes of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Little Passports

Moon-cakes of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Little Passports

Little Passports

Moon-cakes of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Amy Zhang '19

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Peddie’s Chinese Culture Club celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival at Longstreet Library on Saturday, September 22. Club leaders, including Jack You’19, organized this year’s festival with the assistance of their club advisor, Language Department teacher Beverly Jiang.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important Chinese traditional festivals, held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar. Since the moon, a symbol of reunion, is believed to be the fullest on this day, the festival is known for the celebration of family reunion and peace.

Club leaders Anna Wu’20 and Jack You’19 began the celebration with a short presentation about the festival. Narrating one of the legends of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the Moon, the club leaders familiarized Peddie students and faculty with the origin of Mid-Autumn Festival.

“The celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival is a celebration of family reunion, friendship and harvest,” said Jiang. “During this holiday, many students from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as those from Asian countries cannot be with their families. The Chinese Cultural Club organized the celebration to bring them together and to make them feel at home and share the Chinese tradition with Peddie family.”

In addition to the significance of the festival, the club also highlighted Chinese cuisine in the celebration. Select fares prepared and served by the parents of Chinese students included hot dry noodles, red bean buns, and mooncakes. This exposed many student guests to foods from a culture new to them. Many of those who attended enjoyed the cuisine.

Of the variety of food available, the mooncakes were most prominent. Mooncakes are a sweet consisting of a thick filling made from red beans, lotus, or nuts, enveloped by thin pastry skin. Traditional mooncakes normally have an imprint on top indicating the flavor of the mooncake or a message of wishes for health and happiness. The round shape of the mooncake signifies the wishes for reunion and completeness.

“The foods were amazing, but the most astonishing part was the parents who all stood behind tables happily serving us food they’d prepared,” said Amanda Lindsay’19. “They were so excited to tell us about what was in the dish and the traditions behind it. After I got my food, I sat down and was just so grateful for the chance to experience the Mid-Autumn Festival, because I would never have gotten the chance to completely immerse myself in a different culture like that if it weren’t for Peddie.”

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Food and Culture: Peddie Celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival