The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Students Celebrate Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Graphic made by Leah Wu.
Graphic made by Leah Wu.

On Sunday, Sept. 27, people across several continents looked up at the night sky and saw the super blood moon, a combination of a lunar eclipse and a harvest moon. But even aside from the eclipse that night, Sunday was a special holiday in the hearts of many. In multiple Asian countries, people celebrate the harvest moon, the largest full moon of the year, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, known as Zhōngqiū Jié to the Chinese, Chuseok to the Koreans, and Tết Trung Thu to the Vietnamese.

“Even though we’re apart, we’re all looking at the same moon,” Angela Zhang ‘19 said, explaining how the moon is a symbol of reunion in Chinese culture.

The Mid-Autumn Festival occurs on the 15th day of the eighth month according the Chinese Han Calendar and the Vietnamese calendar. The specific day varies from year to year, but it normally takes place on the day of the full moon. sometime between September and November. Chinese people celebrate by eating moon cakes — baked desserts with either sweet, salty, vegetable, nut, or meat fillings — and fruits while admiring the full moon.

“Every festival, we make moon cakes and share them with the family,” Zhang said.

Vietnamese people also eat moon cakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival, but instead of celebrating family togetherness, Tết Trung Thu is a children’s celebration. Children parade around holding paper lanterns, following around a lion dance. Red envelopes are “fed” to the lion performers, pushed through the mouth of the lion costume, for good luck. The festival is often held at a Vietnamese community center, but families can also celebrate on their own.

“I remember standing on the porch with my family, looking at the sky and the moon while holding our lanterns,” Anthony Pham ‘19 said.

Another Mid-Autumn Festival is the Korean Chuseok, a holiday similar to Thanksgiving. Celebrators hold ceremonies in honor of their ancestors, then enjoy a family meal. Many Korean families also weed their ancestors’ graves, which is a symbol of dedication and respect for the deceased.

“We visit our family members,” David Lee ‘17 said. “Then at home we eat all kinds of food.”

The harvest moon is an event celebrated by many Asian cultures through family unity and delicious food. This year’s simultaneous lunar eclipse has made it even more special, and because of the rare event, people all across the world, Asians and non-Asians alike, were united in looking up at the same moon.

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Amy Vo
Amy Vo, Campus Editor
Aside from being a student, I dance and play piano. I’m invested in the arts, but also enjoy science, math, and logic. In my free time, I also obsessively shop for pens, pencils, and various office supplies to add to my growing collection. It’s my favorite hobby, and like the rest of the things I love in life, always a work in progress.

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