Celebrating the Moon Festival on Campus

World Languages Faculty and Upper School Mandarin teacher Ariel Tu organized a Moon Festival celebration for Lower School and Upper School Chinese classes. The Moon Festival, also called the Mid-Autumn Festival, is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. The holiday is often associated with a type of pastry known as a “mooncake.” Mooncakes, usually molded in the shape of the full moon, are the special food eaten on this holiday, and Winsor students had the opportunity to participate in the tradition.

In 2021, the Moon Festival fell on September 21 and so in Chinese classes from September 20 to 24, students learned about the history and folklore of the Mid-Autumn festival. Using homemade playdough, Winsor students learned how to make mooncakes with several different fillings. Students in all grade levels were excited to participate. They even got to bring a mooncake home to show their family. 

To add to the festival, Culinary Director Heather Pierce created a menu featuring San Bei Ji (three cup chicken), San Bei Tofu (three cup tofu), and Chao nan Hua (ginger braised kabocha squash).

“This holiday is also celebrated in many other Asian communities besides China. Similar holidays are celebrated in Japan (Tsukimi), Korea (Chuseok), and throughout Southeast Asia,” said World Languages Faculty Baoying Qiu, who teaches Lower School Mandarin. “In China, it's a reunion time for families, just like Thanksgiving, while in Vietnam (Tết Trung Thu), it's more like a children's day.”  

Qiu Laoshi (teacher) shared her favorite place to get freshly baked mooncakes: a bakery owned by a local Chinese immigrant family called Hing Shing Pastry, located next to the Boston Chinatown Gate. Instead of the famous lotus seed paste mooncakes, Qiu Laoshi’s favorite flavor is the red bean paste filling that she calls “Chinese chocolate.” Mooncakes can also be found at some local Asian supermarkets, and are only available for this special occasion. 

So don’t wait, go get a mooncake before they disappear until next year!