The Mid-Autumn Festival, popularly known as the Moon Cake Festival, is widely celebrated among the Chinese communities throughout the world. It is also celebrated among the Vietnamese, Japanese and Koreans. It is the second most important festival after the Chinese New Year Celebration to the Chinese people. In ancient China, moon cakes were a kind of offering to the moon. Over time, these special cakes have become the most popular food of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Chinese people believe that the full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity and family reunion. On the Mid-Autumn Festival night the moon is at its brightest and fullest, which is why the festival is also known as the “Reunion Day”.
On Saturday, September 22, 2018, the eve of the 11th convocation of International Buddhist College, a celebration for the Mid-Autumn Festival was held at the lobby of IBC which was decorated with various types of colourful paper lanterns. Those who were present included IBC students, staff, volunteers, and faculty members, along with local and overseas friends, Venerable Sangha members, the Vice Rector, the Rector, and the Most Ven. Dr. Wei Wu, IBC founder and Council Chairman. They walked around the campus with brightly lit colourful paper lanterns in hand, and released floating leaf baskets (Krathong) with lit candles into the pond. They also played games, enjoyed refreshment, and sang pleasant-sounding songs in Karaoke including the IBC theme song. All these made this celebration a meaningful, enjoyable and memorable occasion.
The program was run in a truly international atmosphere arranged by our international young students who added elements of their own traditional and national customs and cultures into the event making it an International Moon Cake Festival. Program MC, Ven. Henrik and Ven Winnie began the celebration by paying homage to the Triple Gem. Then some organizing committee members introduced the Moon Cake Festival or similar festivals celebrated in their own countries around the same time. Ven. Henrik talked about similar sort of festival that is celebrated in Germany whereas Sis. Chong Lee Suan explained how Moon Cake Festival is observed in greater China. Sis. Dalipru Marma explained how an event similar to Moon Cake Festival is celebrated among the Indigenous Marma community of Chittagong Hill Tract in Bangladesh, and finally Sis. Phyo Pyae Sone Kyaw related how the ceremony is held in Myanmar.
The Most Ven. Wei Wu explained the significance of Mid-Autumn festival in terms of crop harvesting and family reunion among the communities. He pointed out that roundness of the moon symbolizes completeness and togetherness. Venerable further added that the festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, on the night of the full moon between early September and early October of the Gregorian calendar.
We are really thankful to shifu Ven. Wei Wu, all senior Professors, faculty members, staff, students, local and overseas guests for their presence and support, and of course, to all organizing committee members for their tremendous effort, support and contribution to make the Moon Cake Festival a successful one.