The Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, or Children’s Festival in Taiwan) is one of the most important holidays celebrated in Asian countries around the world. Akin to Thanksgiving celebrations held in November, the Mid-Autumn festival brings together family, friends, and delicious foods.
The festival, which dates back to over 3,000 years ago, is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar with a full moon at night. On this day, the belief is that the moon is at its brightest, to coincide with harvest time in the middle of Autumn.
Several students presented facts and stories about the holiday, including the myths and legends from which the festival originated. The students ranged in grade level from kindergarten through fifth grade, and they led their peers through an engaging exploration of this popular holiday.
Lanterns of all sizes and shapes are present at the festival, and represent a guiding light for prosperity and good fortune. Mooncakes, a rich pastry typically filled with sweet-bean, egg yolk, meat or lotus-seed paste, are traditionally eaten during this festival at round tables, symbolizing reunion. One of the third-grade presenters illustrated the story of Chang'e, the moon goddess in Chinese mythology, whose story is the basis for the holiday.
After the assembly, students continued their discovery in classrooms—discussing what they heard, reading stories related to the holiday, and learning more about Asian culture. For example, second graders wrote about what from the assembly was most interesting to them, and then shared their stories with their peers.
The Peck School has been hosting World Cultures Events for nearly 30 years, providing a fantastic opportunity for community members to share cultural experiences, heritage, and family traditions with each other. World Cultures programming operates as a joint partnership between the school and Parents Association. With assemblies occurring twice per year (and a spring festival highlighting cultures around the globe), our World Cultures events foster learning not only about each other, but also about the wider world in which our K-8 students will grow, and thrive.