By Sarah Ta
My family is not the celebratory type, so most holidays end up passing without so much as an acknowledgement. However, Mid-Autumn Festival is one that we always celebrate. Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday that occurs on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. During ancient China, it was a day to celebrate the autumn harvest and to worship the moon, but over the years, it has shifted to become more of a day to spend time with family. Traditions today include eating mooncake with family, relaxing together under the stars, and admiring the full moon. Many people believe that the moon is brightest on this particular night, which is why admiring the moon remains a significant tradition.
For the past eighteen years of my life, I’ve always celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival with my family. Our way of celebrating is just sitting together after dinner and eating mooncake. As simple as it is, it gives us a chance to relax and enjoy each other’s presence. However, this will be the first year that I will be spending it away from them. Since Mid-Autumn Festival lands on Wednesday October 4th this year, I won’t be able to go home. Spending time with my family was something I took for granted, but I now finally realize that I should’ve appreciated it more.
To help lessen some of the homesickness, my friends and I are planning to head over to Chinatown’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival on October 7th to celebrate. Even though the festival is a few days after Mid-Autumn Festival, I’m sure that it will still be a lot of fun. I’m really touched that my friends suggested this, since none of them come from an Asian background. I can’t wait to show them how fun Chinese festivals can be.
I’m going to miss my family a lot on October 4th, but it’s a part of growing up. There are going to be times when I won’t be able to go home, even if I desperately want to. I know my family will miss me as well, but we both have to get used to not being able to see each other whenever we like. However, I’m looking forward to spending Mid-Autumn Festival with my friends. Even though we’ve only known each other for just over than a month, I already love them like family.
If you also feel homesick on Mid-Autumn Festival, I suggest hanging out with a couple of close friends. What you guys do is up to your friend group, but it will be nice to just do something really simple like watch a movie or play board games. It’s easy to get caught up with college life, so having a small get-together will be a good way to unwind from everything, reconnect with friends, and perhaps, admire the moon.
Featured image from Wikimedia Commons
Sarah is an undergraduate freshman from the San Gabriel Valley studying GeoDesign. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring L.A., trying new foods, and of course, meeting new people. She can speak conversational Cantonese, and is currently learning Mandarin. Even though her Chinese is limited, that doesn’t stop her from striking up a conversation with other international students.