Celebrate the moon: Asian Student Alliance hosts Lunar Moon Festival

Anya Grondalski, Staff Writer

Emma Kogel

As the leaves begin to change and nights grow colder, most look forward to the Halloween season. But many within the Asian community are instead eager to celebrate their mid- Autumn traditions.

Quinnipiac University’s Asian Student Alliance (ASA) hosted a bingo night on Zoom to celebrate the Vietnamese and Chinese Lunar Moon Festival on Sept. 30.

It is known as the Mid-Autumn or Moon Cake Festival, which honors the moon and the season’s harvest. The holiday is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is a three-day celebration, and this year, it began on Sept. 21.

The Lunar Moon Festival is ASA’s most popular event of the year, and is the second-most important holiday in China following Chinese New Year.

“The Lunar Moon Festival is one of ASA’s biggest events due to the importance of the holiday in Asian culture,” said Dimytra Kowaleski-Pham, co-president of ASA. “Our e-board is very diverse with many Asian cultures so we all celebrate in unique ways with our families, yet we can always come together to give thanks and good fortune.”

The event began with an informational overview of the festival, where ASA’s Event Coordinator Jinxia Lin, explained that the full moon symbolizes the start of the holiday, as well as fulfillment and happiness. Lanterns symbolize a successful future, and the moon lady stands for inspiration to artists. Some even pray to the moon lady for peace and luck.

ASA spent this year making goodie bags containing moon cakes, lanterns and various Chinese candies for students to

reserve and enjoy later on. Moon cakes are typically eaten throughout the festival, and are said to bring completeness and reunion to one’s life.

Evan Chen, a sophomore health science studies major, explained the traditional food as “a pastry with a nice filling inside.” Chen listed some common flavor options like red bean, tarot and matcha.

The organization also hosted three rounds of bingo, making the shapes match the theme of the holiday. To kick off the event, ASA Vice President Ashley Hong played the popular 80s song “Stay With Me” by Miki Matsubara.

In round one, students were playing to cover their boards like a full moon, and the winner was H. Jewel Hu, a senior in the entry-level master’s physician’s assistant program. Hu won the tech bundle, which included an Apple Watch, JBL speaker and Airpod Pros.

Next up was winner Emily Balboni, a sophomore computer science major, who was aiming to make the shape of a lantern. She walked away with the cozy home bundle, containing everything from a Polaroid camera to a moon tapestry. To close the evening, attendees tried to mark their bingo boards in the shape of a basket and winner Colby Ainley, a first-year game design and development major, came out on top. Ainley won the “Shang-Chi” bundle, complete with “Shang-Chi” merch, legos and an action figure.

As more people continue to be vaccinated and cases drop, ASA hopes to continue building on this annual celebration.

“ASA has found our own way to celebrate Lunar Moon Fest with the Quinnipiac community in a way that’s both fun and educational,” Kowaleski-Pham said. “We hope to continue hosting such a large annual event in the years to come.”