Moon Festival, Moon Cakes, and the Chinese Culture Club
Wayne Country Day School has a new club - The Chinese Culture Club. Its founder, Peter Y., is one of WCDS’s many international students and is a member of the class of 2019. With the support and leadership advice of Benny Z. and Gavin G., Peter started the club as a vehicle to share his Chinese heritage with the larger population of the school, provide a forum for engaging in conversations with his classmates about both the similarities and the differences that Upper School students experience regardless of global citizenship, and as a means of forging new friendships. Suffice it to say that, so far, Peter’s mission has been met with much enthusiasm and impressive participation from the student body!
That the club’s membership is multicultural and fills the meeting room speaks to the apparent need and interest that students have for learning more about each other and themselves. That the opportunity for this type of intimate and educational interaction exists at all speaks to the benefits associated with being a student at WCDS, where knowledge and growth break the boundaries of traditional classroom experiences. The fact that we have a diverse population of students is not what makes WCDS remarkable. The fact that we celebrate and embrace our differences, that we seek to learn more about each other and, in doing so, form an interconnected, informed community makes us more than remarkable...it makes us extraordinary.
Peter, Benny, and Gavin have set their focus on sharing one of China’s most important holidays with WCDS, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, and have energized the club to help get the job done. Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest.
One of the traditions associated with the Moon Festival has to do with food...the Moon Cake. The Moon Cake is the special food of Mid-Autumn Festival. On that day, people sacrifice Moon Cakes to the moon as an offering and eat them for celebration. Moon cakes come in various flavors according to the region. The Moon Cakes are round, symbolizing the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of Moon Cakes under the round moon can evoke longing for distant relatives and friends. Nowadays, people present Moon Cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life.
WCDS’s Chinese Culture Club will be making Moon Cakes (from scratch!) to share with their classmates on October 4th. Peter personally secured the authentic ingredients from China, as well as the molds needed for forming the cakes - he’s also promised to help us all navigate through the recipe that is written entirely in Mandarin! The club is excited about this cultural adventure and looks forward to sharing this important Chinese celebration with the WCDS community!