Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations
One of the most important and celebrated traditional festivals in Chinese communities worldwide is the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节), also known as the Moon Festival. Being on the other side of the world, in Auckland, the Festival coincides with spring rather than autumn. Nevertheless, the Confucius Institute (CI) opened its doors at Pembridge House, on 22nd September to welcome friends and colleagues, to join in an afternoon tea to celebrate the occasion, and to share in the spirit of friendship and harmony – two key aspects of the Festival.
Opening with a karakia blessing, short addresses were given by Professor Adrienne Cleland, DVC Operations; and Professor Robert Greenberg, Dean, Faculty of Arts. Both expressed their delight at being able to attend and acknowledged CI’s role in being a hub for Auckland to support Chinese language and culture as well as a bridge for fostering multicultural communication.
Professor Paul Clark, a renowned Sinologist in New Zealand and overseas and a member of CI’s advisory board, extended greetings in Chinese and then touched on the longevity of CI’s Mandarin Language Assistant (MLA) programme, which plays a pivotal role in Chinese language and culture learning in New Zealand schools. He also provided an insight into the history and stories behind the Mid-Autumn Festival and noted the similarities of celebrations revolving around harvests, unity, and harmony amongst different cultures.
Attendees on the afternoon, represented various areas within the University as well as those linked with the work of CI. Coinciding with Chinese Language Week, people engaged with each other, sipped on Chinese tea, sampled a variety of mooncakes and other delicacies, and had the opportunity to observe and experience cultural activities such as paper cutting, traditional Chinese painting, and calligraphy.
The event focused on and achieved the aim of cultural exchange, friendship, and celebration.
For more information on the Mid-Autumn Festival go here, or view the video below.