Mid-Autumn Festival and Mandarin Enrichment Class
We welcomed 16 students this year for our Mandarin enrichment class at Astor! We also celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival during Mandarin class.
The students learnt the origin of the festival, and why the moon is the roundest at this time of the year. The students were fascinated by the story of Hou Yi shooting down nine moons, and how he was awarded two immortality pills for his contribution to the world – one for him, and one for his wife, Chang-E. However, his disciple tried to steal the pills for himself. In a bid to protect mankind, Chang-E swallowed the two pills and inadvertently flew to the moon. Folklore said that Chang-E will only be able to reunite with Hou Yi during the Mid-Autumn festival as it is when the moon is closest to Earth. Hence, the Mid-Autumn festival is a time when families and friends gather.
In our international community, we have students from all around the world. Students from the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam explained how they celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival as well. We talked briefly about how it is also a festival to celebrate the harvest for the year in the olden days. After celebrating the harvest, people in the past would then start to can or preserve food in preparation for winter.
During the celebration, people often carry lanterns, eat mooncakes, and drink tea. In the lessons leading up to the celebration, not only did we learn about the folklore, but we made our own lanterns as well! The students decorated their lanterns, cut out parts of them, and adhered cellophane paper to them. We then had some pomelo and vegetarian mooncakes. The students learnt key words such as Mid-Autumn Festival, lantern, mooncake, and pomelo in Mandarin. Celebrations are a great way to get students involved in a different culture and try new food while learning a new language. Look at their beautiful smiles all around!