Asian Mid-Autumn Festival draws small turnout

Jack Heneghan, Staff Reporter

The annual Asian Mid-Autumn Festival took place on Sept. 24, bringing together the campus community in celebration of the East Asian harvest holiday.

The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the gathering of family and friends, as well as the gathering of crops during the fall harvest. The holiday is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar.

In Thwing Atrium, student groups were spread across tables run by various East Asian organizations. Some tables gave attendees the opportunity to learn about different cultural activities, including practicing calligraphy, folding origami swans and hearts and creating lanterns out of paper. Other tables offered Asian sweets as prizes for trivia and activities.

Many students were pleasantly surprised by the variety of cultures represented at the Mid-Autumn Festival. Cooper Reif, a first-year student, explained that he really appreciated the “variety of student life” that this festival offered as it was different from many of the other events around campus.

At the beginning of the event, food from different Asian cultures was served. Pavan Mody, a first-year student, said, “I was excited by the number of countries that were represented in the food.”  

The festivities exposed students to different aspects of Asian cultures, and the multicultural food did an exceptional job of drawing in a crowd of students. However, Mody observed that “it didn’t feel like there was much reason to [attend the celebration], especially once the food ran out.”  

Mody said this was because the event was comprised of only a few tables that were easy to walk through in just a few minutes.

Some students saw the large amount of advertising, especially the origin story of the Mid-Autumn Festival along the Binary Walkway, and thought the event would be larger than it ended up being. Michyla Lin, a first-year student, explained that she thought the event was “kind of underwhelming,” and she expected a larger event.  

She went on to explain that she is from San Francisco, where the holiday is more widely celebrated. This sentiment was echoed by other students with similar backgrounds.

Even though the festival might not have been as substantial as some assumed it would be, it still bridged the community with different cultures and helped participants appreciate East Asian culture.