Chinese Student Association celebrates cultural holiday with on-campus Mid-Autumn Festival

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A portion of the student group K-Beat, a K-Pop inspired dance organization, perform at the Chinese Students Association’s annual Mid-Autumn Festival at the Gregory Plaza on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019.

Photo Credit: Erin Dorney | Daily Texan Staff

Surrounded by K-pop dancing, boba tea and Asian cultural displays, dozens of students celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival on campus Tuesday.

During the event at Gregory Plaza, on-campus organizations provided snacks while attendees played minigames. Chinese Student Association president William Huynh said the festival marks the end of the autumn harvest, but since UT students don’t have any farming to celebrate, they wanted to host the festival in their own way. 

“There are no rules about how to properly celebrate it, (but) usually there’s a feast in Chinese culture — mooncakes, lanterns and the like — but we decided to celebrate it by putting on a festival,” mathematics junior Huynh said. 

The association has hosted the cultural festival for more than 70 years, but the festival dates back over 3,500 years in China, as The Daily Texan previously reported. Huynh said he asked many UT organizations to come and celebrate, whether through performances or tabling.

The festival featured performances from several groups, including K-pop Beat, Spitshine Poetry and the Texas Dragon/Lion Dance Team. K-pop Beat president Lisa Li says the event is a way for students to explore East Asian culture and learn more about it. 

“I personally (celebrate it), but I know that most of my group does not,” petroleum engineering junior Li said. “We’re here to explore the culture and get to know the culture more.”

Business freshman Sophie Zhang came out not only for the free food and performances but also as a way to celebrate the holiday away from home. 

“At home with my family, we eat mooncakes and look at the moon,” Zhang said. “It’s nice just getting to celebrate it here since I wasn’t able to celebrate with my family.” 

Justin Eng, a Chinese, international relations and global studies, and economics senior, said celebrating the event was an important way to connect with other students culturally and build a family away from home.

“It’s really important to come together with people you can easily identify with and share the same common culture to have a celebration,” Eng said. “There are a lot of different orgs promoting other interests within Asia, so it’s pretty cool to see many different cultures that celebrate this and many different orgs that can connect with this. We’re away from our families, but here, we have another family.”