Chinese Students Organize Mid-Autumn Festival

Saturday, 21. September 2013

by Daniel Davis Wood

New student Chia prepares the meat for the festival.
Photo by Jody Lam.

Last night’s full moon marked the Mid-Autumn Festival, an important date in the Chinese calendar, and just before dinnertime the Ecole’s Chinese students came together to celebrate the occasion. The Mid-Autumn Festival honors the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e, and at the Ecole it was observed this year by six returning students from Hong Kong and Guangzhou (Canton) and one new student from Taiwan.

The makeup of the celebrants varies from year to year. Last year's festival was attended by eight students, two of whom graduated in June, as well as one Chinese teacher and a second teacher with strong connections to China. This year's festival, however, was attended only by students and was organized by them as well. Granted permission to sign out from the regular school dinner in the dining hall, these seven students gathered in the school kitchen to cook barbecued meat, to eat the traditional snack of yellow grapefruit, and to drink tea and enjoy a dessert of Chinese mooncakes: small, sweet cakes with a hardboiled duck’s egg inside.

Tina and Harry get ready to
dive into their festival feast.
Photo by Jody Lam.

After the meal, everyone cleaned up the school kitchen and then stepped outside to see if they could catch a glimpse of the full moon. With heavy cloud concealing the sky all day long, the odds weren’t in their favor -- but, at about nine o’clock, the clouds parted and the moon shone through to give the Mid-Autumn Festival a perfect ending.

The picture below shows five of the gang sitting down to enjoy the meal they prepared themselves. From left to right: Jody, Tina, Harry, Alex, and Chia.