BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Confucius Institute,
in partnership with the Chinese Club of Western New York with
assistance from the Nichols School, will present a gala celebration
of the Chinese Moon Festival Oct. 1 at Nichols, 1250 Amherst St.,
The celebration will feature lively music, colorful dance and a
performance by members of the Beijing Opera company, and will take
place in the Flickinger Performing Arts Center at Nichols from 7-9
p.m. It will be free of charge and open to the public.
The Moon Festival, a popular harvest gala, has been celebrated
by Chinese and Vietnamese people, for more than 3,000 years, and
dates back to moon worship in China's Shang Dynasty. It remains one
of the most important celebrations in the Chinese calendar.
The program will include traditional and contemporary
performances of song and dance by students from the College of
Music at Beijing's Capital Normal University, the Dance Troupe of
the Chinese Club of Western New York and the Performance Troupe of
the Buffalo Chinese School. In addition, stars of the Beijing Opera
will perform thanks to an arrangement with the Binghamton
University Confucius Institute.
Eric Yang, director of the Confucius Institute in the UB Asian
Studies Program, says, "In the days following this celebration, the
accomplished music and dance students from Capital Normal
University will perform in local schools to help Western New York
students and teachers better understand Chinese traditional
culture, and traditional music in particular."
Yang says the Moon Festival is traditionally held on the 15th
day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is usually
around late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar.
This year the festival date falls on Sept. 22, the same date as the
2010 autumn equinox in the solar calendar, when the moon is at its
fullest and roundest.
"The Moon Festival is a legal holiday in China and several other
Asian countries," Yang says, "and farmers celebrate the end of the
summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally, the Chinese
will gather with family and friends to admire the bright mid-autumn
harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelos (a citrus fruit common
to Southeast Asia) under the moon together."
He says 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 mid-autumn
planting of trees, dragon dances and burning incense are also
associated with the celebration.
The UB Confucius Institute is part of a network of 300 such
institutes around the world. It promotes the teaching of Chinese
language and culture in Western New York. The institute is a
collaborative program involving UB's Asian Studies Program in the
College of Arts and Sciences; Capital Normal University, a
longstanding UB educational partner in Beijing, and the Chinese
Language Council International (Hanban).
For more information about the Confucius Institute and the
festival celebration, contact Eric Yang at 716-645-7919 or firstname.lastname@example.org.