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University faculty, staff and students celebrate Chinese Moon Festival

By Xiaorong Shao

Appalachian State University reference and library instruction librarian

moonfestival_t.jpgBOONE—Students studying Chinese at Appalachian State University and families and friends of the Chinese community in Boone gathered Sept. 25 on campus to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival.

The event was sponsored by the Office of International Education and Development and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance. It featured Chinese food, moon cakes, games and performances.

The Moon Festival, also called Mid-Autumn Festival in China, falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, and usually comes sometime between the second week of September and the second week of October. This year, the Moon Festival fell on Sept. 25.

The festival dates to the Tang dynasty (618 A.D.) and celebrates the biggest and brightest full moon of the year, the harvest moon. At this time, the moon’s orbit is at its lowest angle to the horizon, and most closely aligned with the earth and the sun, making the moon appear brighter and larger than any other time of the year.

To the Chinese, this festival is similar to the American Thanksgiving holiday, celebrating a bountiful harvest. It’s also an occasion for family reunions. Chinese families and friends usually gather to eat moon cakes and watch the sky on Moon Festival night.