Chinese Union hosts SU’s first ever Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at SU

Chinese Student Union hosts first Mid-Autumn Festival

The celebration aims to foster a community, while celebrating the moon
Published: September 12, 2022
A group performing at the Chinese Student Union's Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 10, 2022, at Goldstein Auditorium.
The ROC Dance Company takes to the stage with a routine to the song Tomboy at the Chinese Student Union's Mid-Autumn Festival Goldstein Auditorium.

As the full moon rose over Syracuse’s sky Saturday night, members of the newly organized Chinese Union hosted the first-ever Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in Goldstein Auditorium.

Before the start of the festival that is centered on the moon and its significance in Chinese culture for 3,000 years,  student hosts recounted the lore of the woman Chang’e who stole the elixir for immortality from her husband and was banished to the moon where her spirit now resides. 

At the door, students were also given mooncakes in honor of Chang’e. These small circular desserts come in various flavors and are an integral part of the festival, often made and shared by family members. 

Chinese Union vice president Xintian Liu described the organization within the greater context of the SU campus. She said that the organization plans events throughout the year so that Chinese students can gather as a community and find comfort in each other when they are missing family members far away. 

Her personal goal echoes the objectives of the organization as a whole, which is to help other international students and first-year students, in particular, become acclimated to campus and to being far away from family. 

For Wanlu Liu, the festival is a way to celebrate family and togetherness at a time when a family may be far away. 

“During the festival, people will sit together to appreciate the moon with their families,” Wanlu Liu said. 

The festival featured a long lineup of student performers, including dynamic dance routines, cover bands, solo vocalists, and instrumentalists. 

Silent Basement, a band started by SU students, opened the event with a cover of Radiohead’sStreet Spirit ” and lead singer Fengze Zhang gave a solo performance of Yuuri’s Dried Flower,” a song with Japanese origin that holds special significance to Fengze. 

“I really love that song, and I want more people to listen to Japanese pop music because not very many people do, so I wanted to sing it tonight.” 

Head of CU activities, Yuxuan Li, said that the CU organization hosted its Spring Festival and Chinese New Year earlier this year, but that this was the first Mid-Autumn Festival the CU had ever organized. When building a schedule for the event, Li met students with a wide-range of performing talent. She said she envisioned student talent would bring the festival to life. 

“I’ve met a lot of students who have a lot of talent,” Li said. “So when we wanted to do another showI called all of them and asked them to come,” 

Li herself wore many hats on Saturday. She performed a ballet routine to “The Last Autumn Leaf”  in a flowing white and blue costume accompanied by a pianist featured prominently on the left stage.

A performer at the Chinese Student Union's Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 10, 2022, at Goldstein Auditorium.
Zhiyi Huang performing Mei Li Zhong Guo, a song that prays for the prosperity of China

There were a number of dance performances as well, including appearances from Wentao Lu, the duo of Zhiyi Huang and Yimei Tang, and Creations Dance Company.  Dance group, ROC, was especially full of energy for their routine, where they danced to the song “Tomboy,” and earned enthusiastic acclaim from the crowd. Yugi Zhang gifted the audience with a rendition of ”La Vie en Rose” that captivated the audience. Shaohoa Peng and Haonan Xiong had the crowd singing along to their piano cover of “The Road to Ordinary.” One of the most popular acts that performed later in the evening was Yiyou Ma, who rapped the song “Black Benz” and had the crowd on their feet, throwing all their love and a few flying sneakers onto the stage to show their admiration. The audience responded with enthusiastic applause for every new act that came on stage.

Xintian Liu said the CU will continue to plan events to see what works and what doesn’t so that they can solidify a schedule going into the next academic year. She expressed her excitement to plan upcoming events this semester, and her hope for the future of the CU. Her sentiment was shared by President and co-creator of the CU, Ruohan Xu, who spent the night running to and fro to make sure the event was running according to plan. As the event came to a close, he took a moment to reflect on the festival as a whole. 

When asked how he felt after seeing the event through, Rouhan said that their success did not come without hard work. His team spent many hours during the week prior preparing for the event so it would run smoothly, and he said they were all looking forward to a good night’s sleep. 

“We wanted to give the best to the audience… I’m just so proud of everyone who helped,” Rouhan said. 

Out of the 50+ member staff that helped make the festival possible, Ruohan said over half were new, and he was especially happy with their contributions to making the night special. 

Even though family members may be far away, the CU made Syracuse a home away from home where the students are each other’s family away from family. As students look up at the moon tonight to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, they take comfort in knowing that halfway around the world, their families are looking up at the same moon, thinking of them too.