BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Asian Studies Program
and its Confucius Institute will celebrate the Chinese Moon
Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, on Sept. 30 at 7
p.m. in Slee Hall on UB's North Campus.
The free public event will feature live performances of
traditional Chinese music and dance designed to evoke the spirit
and traditions of the Chinese people.
Student artists from Beijing's Capital Normal University will
perform on the guzheng (similar to a zither), erhu (a two-stringed
instrument played with a bow) and gourd flute. They also will offer
dancing and acrobatics that involve the Chinese yoyo and
The Moon Festival has been celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese
people for more than 3,000 years. It dates to the practice of moon
worship in the ancient Shang Dynasty, and remains one of the most
important celebrations in the Chinese calendar.
This is the third year that the Confucius Institute has
organized a performance tour in conjunction with the Moon Festival
This year, the tour will take place the week following the Sept.
30 performance. The Capital Normal University students will perform
in several Western New York schools to help local students and
teachers better understand traditional Chinese culture.
"Students in the Buffalo area are interested in Chinese culture,
and have enjoyed the school performances by the Beijing students in
the past two years," says Eric Yang, executive director of the
institute, "and we are pleased that both the celebration and school
tour have become annual events."
The Moon festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month of
the Chinese calendar. This year, it falls on Sept. 22, the same
date as the 2012 autumn equinox, when the moon is at its
"The Moon Festival is a legal holiday in China and several other
Asian countries, and farmers celebrate the end of the summer
harvesting season on this date," says Qiaomei Lu, associate
director of the UB Confucius Institute.
"Traditionally," she says, "the Chinese will gather with family
and friends to admire the harvest moon and eat moon cakes and
pomelos under the moon."
Lu explains that the moon cake -- of which there are many
varieties -- is the traditional food of this festival, which is why
the celebration is sometimes referred to as the "Mooncake
Festival." The pomelo is a citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia.
The planting of mid-autumn trees, dragon dances and burning incense
are also associated with the celebration.
The UB Confucius Institute, part of a network of 350 such
institutes around the world that promote Chinese language and
In Western New York, it is a collaborative program involving the
UB Asian Studies Program; Capital Normal University, a UB
educational partner in Beijing; and the Chinese Language Council
For more information about the Confucius Institute and the moon
festival celebration, contact Eric Yang at 716-645-7919 or firstname.lastname@example.org.