Mid-Autumn Festival brings Chinese culture to RU


It is time once again to celebrate the joyous and rich heritage of China at the Radford University Mid-Autumn Festival.

The festival, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. in the Covington Center, honors what is, after New Year celebrations, the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar: the harvest and thanksgiving celebration.

The festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth month, according to the Chinese calendar. The festival always falls in autumn, at a time of year when the moon is at its roundest and brightest. For this reason, many know it as the Moon Festival.

"This is a great opportunity to gather the students, faculty and community to celebrate this holiday together," said I-Ping Fu, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

The RU festival will include:

  • The story of Mid-Autumn Festival, as told by RU Kirk Scholars
  • Blacksburg Chinese School’s children dancing and singing
  • Performances by 15-50 Dance Group
  • A Chinese yo-yo demonstration
  • A Dragon-Tiger-Eagle Wushu Kungfu demonstration
  • The Evergreen Singing Group
  • Free moon cakes and refreshments

This year, Kirk Scholar candidates will emcee the festival. The Kirk Scholars Program was created in 1999 by former Board of Visitors Rector R.J. Kirk. This endowment supports eligible RU students as they travel to China for a three-week summer program.

The Kirk scholarships pay for tuition for the summer abroad experience.  Students in the program must also complete two semesters of Mandarin Chinese, earning at least a B in their language courses.  

According to John Burke, Kirk Scholar candidate, this year's Mid-Autumn festival will begin a fundraising effort on behalf of the Kirk Scholars. While the event is free to attend, donations will be accepted to purchase school supplies for an orphanage in China that the scholars will visit on the 2015 trip.

"The children in the orphanages in China are very poor," Burke said. "We wanted to help so we’re going to bring them gifts and school supplies."

Burke is also the president of the RU Chinese Club, whose mission is apparent in the hosting of this festival.

"We’re about spreading the Chinese culture," he said. "This event is a chance for people to see a different culture and how they do things."

The celebration is hosted by the RU Chinese Club and Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and sponsored by the International Education Center.

Sep 23, 2014