BUFFALO, N.Y. – Under dim lights, a female student artist
in a white flowing dress dances in a fluid motion, mimicking the
peacock, which in Chinese tradition is linked to luck and
Traditional dance, the music of two traditional Chinese plucked
instruments -- the guzheng and pipa,--along with the whispered
whistle of gourd instrument the clarinet-like bawu and Chinese long
flutes will fill the Slee Concert Hall (UB North Campus) stage on
Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. for the University at Buffalo’s fourth
annual celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival.
The event, presented by the UB Confucius Institute, is held to
promote campus and community interest in Chinese culture and
language. It is is free and open to the public.
The visiting students from Beijing’s Capital Normal
University art troupe have practiced the performance the entire
When the curtains open, they will present such traditional
Chinese art forms as the Peacock Dance, instrumental recitals and
martial arts demonstrations that date back to the Shang Dynasty,
nearly 2000 years BCE
Before and after the celebration, the troupe will perform at
Western New York schools to encourage students to be knowledgeable,
respectful and open-minded when faced with international cultures
and traditions in a rapidly globalizing environment.
The Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is one
of the most important events in the Chinese calendar and
traditionally involves the reunion of long-separated relatives in
celebration of the last day of the summer harvest, and the arrival
of the vibrant autumn moon.
“In the past three years, we have conducted dozens of
performance tours [for] WNY student audiences that so far total
more than twenty thousand,” says Eric Yang, executive
director of the Confucius Institute.
“I am very happy that students and community members
enjoy such performances,” he says, “This experience has
increased the desire of the student to learn more about and
appreciate Chinese culture.”
To date, eleven local schools have conducted Institute-sponsored
programs in Chinese language and culture and others plan to
implement the program next year, according to Yang.
The Moon Festival is a legal holiday in China and several other
Asian countries and is celebrated by everyone from farmers to
businessmen with the giving of moon cakes. The sweet, filled
pastries are considered an indispensable delicacy symbolizing
respect during this time of year. They are so closely related to
the holiday that the event is sometimes referred to as the
“Moon Cake Festival,” according to Qiaomei Lu, the
Confucius Institute’s Chinese director.
Other associated traditions are the planting of mid-autumn
trees, dragon dances and the burning of incense on the day when the
moon is at its fullest and roundest of the entire year.
The Confucius Institute is a network of more than 400
organizations around the world that promote the same ideas and
teachings. UB’s institute is a collaborative program
involving UB’s College of Arts and Sciences, Capital Normal
University, and the Chinese Language Council International.
For more information about the Confucius Institute and the moon
festival celebration, contact Dr. Eric Yang at 716-645-7919 or