Korean, Chinese Holiday Festival Celebrated at PA

Children ate moon cakes and sang Korean and Chinese songs for the Andover community in celebration of annual Harvest Moon and Mid-Autumn Festivals. Andover Korean Outreach (AKO) and Andover Chinese Cultural Outreach (ACCO) sponsored the event. All the AKO and ACCO families attended with their children, adopted and not adopted. They were joined by several PA students and faculty members. Jeni Lee ’06 emceed a special holiday show in Kemper Auditorium. The evening began with an informational PowerPoint presentation by John Shin ’07 and Henry Yin ’07 that presented the Korean and Chinese roots of the holidays. The show continued with the ACCO and AKO children singing children’s songs from their respective countries. The ACCO children sang “Two Tigers” to the tune of Frère Jacques and the AKO children sang “Three Little Bears.” “They were really adorable,” said Elizabeth Chan ’08. To conclude the show, Vincent Siu ’06, Jasimin Baek ’06, Jean Pak ’06, and Henry Yin ’07 each played a traditional Chinese or Korean song. The two holidays are celebrated together because they occur on the same day: the fifteenth day of the lunar moon, which consistently occurs during the autumn months. In Korea, the holiday is called Chusok. It is a day to celebrate harvest and to pay respect to ancestors. Traditional Korean celebratory dishes, such as galbi (marinated beef), jabchae (a noodle dish), and jun (pancakes) were served after the presentation. The guests ate song pyun for dessert, which are half-moon shaped rice cakes. There is a Korean superstition that young women who make pretty song pyun for the festival will be blessed with pretty daughters. In China this holiday is called the Mid-Autumn Festival. Unlike the Korean Moon Festival, which has little historical background, virtually every young Chinese child is told a legend behind the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth, and fullest, moon of every year as a tribute to Chang O’s journey. For Chinese people today, the Mid-Autumn Festival signifies a day of family gatherings and togetherness. Plays, skits, and television programs often commemorate the holiday.