HAMMONTON - Laughter and music filled the third floor of Stockton University Kramer Hall on Oct. 11 for “The Moon, the Flowers and Love: A Celebration of The Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.”
“We came here today for a special celebration of the festival,” said Dr. Amy Situ-Liu, a professor with Stockton University and director of the Atlantic Chinese Community Choir.
The choir performed all of the traditional music and dance for the celebration. “A lot of the music and dance were arranged specially for this event,” Situ-Liu said.
Situ-Liu put the Atlantic Chinese Community Choir together when she recognized the need of Chinese immigrants to connect with each other so they do not feel isolated in their new country. The choir is made up of all first-generation Chinese immigrants, many of whom work full time or own their own business.
Since forming two years ago, the choir has performed at numerous places as a means of helping the community at large learn more about Chinese culture, which is how the idea to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Kramer Hall came about.
Some of their performances included a Beijing Opera dance, a Chinese Classic dance and a Zither Solo. A Zither is one of the most popular instruments in China.
Several students in Situ-Liu’s “Experiencing China” class provided presentations on the history and traditions of the Moon Festival. Christian Dy was one of those students by providing a general history of the festival.
“I was interested in this class because I am part Chinese and I wanted to learn about the culture and giving a presentation was part of the syllabus,” laughed Dy as he prepared for his presentation.
The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month. It was first celebrated as a means of hoping for a good harvest, but now it is more about family reunions and gatherings. It is also traditionally a time of prayer as families who gather together pray for peace and prosperity. According to Dy, the 15th day of the eighth month is always a full moon, which is where the moon aspects come in.
Kramer Hall provided a lunch comprised of Chinese food from local restaurant Eastern Phoenix. One of the items served was the traditional festival treat, Moon Cakes. Moon Cakes are round little cakes that can have all different types of fillings in them.
“Moon Cakes are round because the middle of the festival is for family reunions and the Chinese word for round sounds similar to the Chinese word for reunion,” said Rachel Giercyk, another student of Dr. Situ-Liu.
For more information on events at Kramer Hall, please visit www.stockton.edu/hammonton