BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Confucius Institute at the University at
Buffalo will celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival on Oct. 1 with the
presentation of a free public performance of music and dance by
highly accomplished student artists from the College of Music,
Capital Normal University, Beijing.
The performance will take place at 7 p.m. in Slee Hall, UB North
In the days following the Oct. 1 performance, the Beijing
students will perform at several Western New York schools to help
students and teachers better understand traditional Chinese
culture. The sites they will visit include City Honors School, the
Depew Union Free School District and the Silver Creek School
The Moon Festival, a popular harvest gala, has been celebrated
by Chinese and Vietnamese people for more than 3,000 years. It
dates back to moon worship in China's Shang Dynasty (roughly 1556
B.C. to 1046 B.C.) and remains one of the most important
celebrations in the Chinese calendar.
This is the second year that the UB Confucius Institute has
organized a performance tour in conjunction with the Moon Festival
celebration. Last year it hosted a performance by the Chinese
Eric Yang, executive director of the Confucius Institute at UB
says, "Students in the Buffalo area are very interested in Chinese
culture and really enjoyed the school performances by the Beijing
students last year. We are very pleased that the celebration and
school tour have become annual events."
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
actual festival date fell on Sept. 12, 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," says Xiaopeng Du, the Confucius Institute's
Chinese director, "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 under the moon
Du explained that the mooncake -- 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, similar to grapefruit,
native to Southeast Asia and also associated with the Moon
Festival. The celebration is also commonly marked by the planting
of mid-autumn trees, the burning of incense and dragon dances,
believed to have begun as part of the farming and harvest culture
in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to A.D. 220).
The UB Confucius Institute is part of a network of 300 such
institutes around the world and 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 Moon
Festival celebration, contact Eric Yang at 716-645-7919 or email@example.com.