Mandarin Club Starts New Tradition By Hosting the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival this School Year


Jada Montgomery

Students gather in a circle in the multi-purpose room to play jianzi(毽子) during the Mid-Autumn festival. The main value of the Mid-Autumn holiday in China is unity of friends and family which is one of the main reasons why this festival was started in the first place.

Jada Montgomery and John Leonardo

On Wednesday, Sept. 22, the Mandarin Club — with help from the Mandarin IV class — hosted a celebration for the mid-autumn festival in the multi-purpose room. The festival had activities such as mooncake tasting, chopstick relay race, Chinese knot/bracelet making, ink painting, and paper cutting. Some of these activities directly reflect Chinese culture. 


“In China, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the top three most important holidays. People unite with their families and friends to celebrate the moon with big meals,” Li Saleswki said. 

Saleswki teaches Mandarin for all grades here at the high school and was raised in China before coming to the United States. 


The Mid-Autumn Festival is comparable to the western holiday of Thanksgiving; it’s a holiday that enforces values of family and giving thanks to those important in your life. 


“After COVID and virtual school, we lost a lot of opportunities to see friends and family,” Saleswki told The Fanscotian. “I really wanted to unite the students in something fun and interesting! I felt like learning about a different culture while enjoying some games and treats was something students really needed.” 


Each table had a different activity and game for students to enjoy. The mooncake table had three different flavors of mooncake filling students could try including taro, lotus seed and sesame. In China, mooncake is a very popular treat that has millions of different flavors to try. However, in the U.S. these flavors are much more limited. 


Chinese knotting is a decorative art form with various colors of rope. It was also one of the activities available to students at the Mid-Autumn festival. 


 “It almost took an entire club meeting to learn how to make the Chinese knot and learn how to manage the events,” junior and member of the Chinese club and Mandarin III student Alden Nyamika said.  


Another major success was the ink painting activity. Students were able to learn the fundamentals of stroke order of mandarin characters (essentially in what order to write them). Students were also open to draw anything they wanted. One popular thing to draw with ink painting is koi fish.


In the future, the Mandarin Club looks forward to more festivities that students can partake in to learn more about Chinese culture. 


“With the experience we built this time around, we plan to have one for Chinese New Year and have it be even better than our Mid-Autumn festival,” Saleswki said.“So I encourage everyone to look out for that so they can come and enjoy the festivities!”