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Asia-Pacific countries celebrate Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival


A moon-shaped installation for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 23, 2023/Xinhua

A moon-shaped installation for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 23, 2023/Xinhua

A moon-shaped installation for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 23, 2023/Xinhua

As the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Friday, overseas Chinese and their local friends in Asia-Pacific countries join activities in celebration of the moon festival featuring mooncakes, lanterns and moon gazing.

Taking place annually on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, the festival this year is celebrated with various events that not only heal the homesickness of overseas Chinese but also attract many local people to a feast of the traditional Chinese culture.

In Vietnam, the celebration started more than a week before the moon festival. At a traditional Chinese art evening in Hanoi, artists from the Guangxi Theater of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region won applause from the audience with Chinese traditional music pieces and excerpts of Chinese traditional opera.

Nguyen Thi Hang, a 20-year-old undergraduate from Hanoi University calling herself a Chinese culture lover, said she was impressed by the art evening performances.

“The art evening was wonderful, especially the Monkey King in the Peking Opera performance. It was very exciting. I look forward to seeing more such art in Vietnam in the future,” she said.

Chinese traditional music also grabbed the audience’s attention in New Zealand’s Christchurch in a concert staged on Tuesday night, played by some well-known New Zealand musicians, including Mark Menzies, head of performance at the University of Canterbury, together with over 30 musicians from China’s Gansu Province.

The performance won long applause from the audience. Menzies said he enjoyed the performance and the ensemble with his Chinese counterparts. “It’s so beautiful to play with the Gansu ethnic orchestra. They make such a unique sound.”

Among the more than 20 music and dance programs at the concert, a hulusi flute player impressed the audience with his interpretation of the Chinese folk music “Deep in the Bamboo Forest.”

The performer was David Stringer, who preferred to be called Qin Dawei, a Chinese name he really adores. He is a star in the Chinese community in New Zealand’s South Island due to his great mastery of the traditional Chinese musical instrument.

“From young, I was introduced to the Chinese culture. More recently, I have been learning Chinese and made many friends in the Chinese community in Christchurch. Like New Zealanders, I find them friendly and encouraging,” he said.

People buy decorations for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 23, 2023. /Xinhua

People buy decorations for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 23, 2023. /Xinhua

People buy decorations for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 23, 2023. /Xinhua

As the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, many places in Singapore are decorated with lanterns to celebrate the family reunion day for Chinese descendants, attracting locals and tourists to enjoy the Chinese traditional culture.

Gardens by the Bay, an iconic spot of the city-state, is open for Mid-Autumn Festival lantern displays that combine traditional Chinese architectural patterns like moon gate and pavilion with Chinese myths, the Butterfly Lovers and the Moon Rabbit, to convey Mid-Autumn themes of reunion, family affection and harmony.

Themed “A Journey of Love and Celebration,” lantern-like decorations are hung on the streets in Singapore’s Chinatown.

Residents not only enjoy the Mid-Autumn lanterns and delicious food by Jurong Lake but also have riddle guessing games. The riddle answers include Chinese idioms and words, Singaporean places and celebrities, martial arts characters, TV shows, and popular songs, among others.

“Enjoy lanterns and guess riddles are traditions for Singaporean Chinese to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The events can improve our knowledge and enhance friendship among neighbors,” said a resident surnamed Wong.

Decorations have also gone up in Malaysia’s shopping malls and Chinese communities for the festival. Mooncakes, a traditional pastry dedicated to the festival, and lanterns, are on sale, and public events like gatherings and lantern walks have been organized.

Consultant Aishah Afandi who is from Penang state and now works in Kuala Lumpur said she looked forward to the festival, especially for the mooncakes.

“Malaysians know this festival better as the mooncake festival. Previously it was more limited but nowadays, there are so many flavors and halal ones too. I can join in with my Chinese friends and better understand their culture,” she told Xinhua.

Australia’s largest supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles have put various mooncake gift boxes on their shelves, with many other grocery stores also keeping both sweet and savory flavors in stock.

A number of traditional fillings, such as five nuts, egg yolk, red bean paste and meat, are already no strangers to Sydneysiders.

Catering to younger generations and their taste, more innovative options like the bubble tea-infused mooncake have also been presented on the dining tables of many households across the city.

On Saturday, an assembly of more than 30 performers from northwest China’s Gansu Province will deliver an evening of Chinese folk music orchestra at Sydney’s Town Hall.

Also on Saturday, the opening hours of the Chinese Garden of Friendship would be extended for one night for a special “Appreciating the Moon” event, with the festive air expected to last throughout the whole weekend. 

(With input from Xinhua)



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