Kenyon College observed this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival, a Chinese harvest festival celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar, on Sept. 30 with a celebration in Peirce Pub. Kenyon’s celebration also encompassed similar East and Southeast Asian holidays, such as Tsukimi in Japan, Chuseok in Korea and Tết Trung Thu in Vietnam, according to an email from the Center for Global Engagement (CGE).
The event was sponsored by Jack Au ’73, CGE, the Asian and Middle East Studies department, the Kenyon Access Initiative, the Modern Languages & Literatures department, the Office for Diversity Equity and Inclusion and the Kenyon Campus Community Development Fund.
Tea and pastries were served at the celebration, including mooncakes, Chinese lotus-seed based pastries; songpyeon, Korean half-moon-shaped rice cakes; and dango, Japanese skewered rice flour dumplings. Fulbright Chinese Teaching Assistant Wei-Ting Yang and Carissa Kieger ’24 emceed the event as students shared their experiences celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. Among these students were Caton Lee ’27 and Katherine Choi ’27, who spoke about their experiences celebrating Chuseok.
“We discussed common games, food, and activities that are important to Chuseok. We just thought about what we did for Chuseok, at home, and did some research to see if there was anything we might’ve missed or cover things that our families don’t partake in,” Lee wrote in a message to the Collegian.
Chau Anh Nguyen ’27 and Susan Li ’27 also led a Kahoot! trivia game about the history and traditions of the Mid-Autumn festival. Associate Director of International Students & Scholars Rebecca Eckart estimated that over 100 people attended the event.
Ultimately, Lee emphasized the value of experiencing multiple cultural events while surrounded by friends and loved ones. “It was really fun being able to meet and talk to people about the different types of celebrations that different cultures partake in,” said Lee.