Chinese celebrations

For anyone interested in learning Chinese culture, juggling or eating mooncakes, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival was the place to be this past weekend.

To celebrate the festival, Chinese people come together to look at the moon, eat mooncakes and spend time with friends and family.

The mooncakes come into play because of an ancient Chinese legend.

During the Yuan Dynasty, Mongolians ruled China. Leaders from the previous Sung Dynasty were unhappy with this, so they wanted to stage a rebellion without being recognized. They ordered the making of mooncakes and placed messages inside each of them. On the night of the Moon Festival, they sucessfully overthew the government.

Mooncakes are an important part of the celebration because of this legend, according to the Chinese Center of San Francisco.

“We want our Chinese people to have fun and relax. We also want to provide mooncakes for everyone,” said Henry Zhou, president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), which sponsored the event.

The mooncakes at the event were a hit, even though they hid no rebellious messages.

“I really enjoyed the event. I have always been interested in Chinese culture and I especially enjoyed the mooncakes, as well as all the songs and dance acts,” Knox said. “It was a very beautiful display.”

Zhou appreciated the event’s overall outcome. He explained that the festival, held in the Union Ballroom, is a tradition for Chinese students that gives them a chance to enjoy themselves.

There are 200 people in the CSSA and all of the student and faculty members in the organization are Chinese.

Last year, 150 to 200 people attended the festival.

“We want people to become familiar with Chinese culture and traditions,” Zhou said.

The event had 11 performances, including singing, dancing, juggling and several instrumental performances.

A lottery was also held and several prizes were given away, including gift cards and mooncakes.

The Chinese Club also had a singing and acting performance, in which translations for a few of the songs were displayed on two large screens.

Candice Knox, one of the festival-goers, said she had fun learned about the Chinese culture.

“I am happy with the people coming, and especially with the performances. I am also proud of the volunteers because they came and helped for free,” Zhou said.