The famous Mid-Autumn Festival (MAF) is an annual celebratory Chinese-Filipino tradition that calls forth prosperity and good fortune. The festival began on Zen Garden at October 7–9, 2015 and culminated with in an evening of festivities at Leong Hall Roofdeck on October 12.
Games, Merchandise and Fun at Zen Garden
The festival in Zen Garden attracted curious and unsuspecting passers-by with MAF-themed parlor games. Students enjoyed playing them for the light-hearted fun and for the freebies to be won, taking up the challenge to fill their “passport” with stamps from the booths to win prizes. Well-researched, mythological (maybe even historical) information printed in laminated cards accompanied the booth’s game whose themes were based on the legends surrounding MAF. The facilitators also explain the context behind the games’ thematic stories and myths before letting the participants play. One can’t help but be possibly enlightened by the Chinese-Filipino culture that Celadon incorporates into them.
Dice and Dare. Shoot the Moon. Mooncake Pairing. Pin the Tail on the Jade Rabbit. The obligatory photo booth. They showed the visitors Celadon’s take of the Chinoy tradition based on the Chinese harvest festival. It is an understatement to say that the participants were thrilled to play the games while having a cultural adventure.
For instance, when playing the memory game, Mooncake Pairing, the booth’s facilitator shared a brief recount why mooncakes are the main treat during the MAF. The mooncake proved to be a vital element in an uprising during the Yuan Dynasty, and since then, the mooncake has been a celebratory dish for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
With all the exhilaration surrounding the festivity, who were perhaps the auspicious ones this year, the facilitators or the guests? As the Mid-Autumn Festival signifies fortune upon all, perhaps it would be safe to say luck smiled down on both of them in the culminating night.
Celadoneans gathered around to celebrate MAF Night after a weekend. The area was decorated with large, round tables, each with prizes in the center. Guests took the opportunity to chat and reconnect with their friends while others took time to meet their fellow org-members.
Timothy Ching and Candice Tan admitted to being nervous before the program, but they hosted like naturals on-stage. The program started at 6:00 p.m. with opening remarks from Eugene Andojoyan, Associate Vice-President for Cultural Affairs.
He noted that Chinese people believed the full moon brought about good luck and fortune, seeing it is a symbol of prosperity, peace and family reunion. They regarded the event as the “Day of Reunion.” It was a chance for relatives to come together for one special night. Celadon provided this same sense of togetherness for the friends that gathered that night.
The dice game ensued. The excitement was audible from the tables, with loud screams of participants winning or losing during their turns. People were thrilled to see their pile of prizes grew bigger and bigger. And just like that, the prizes started diminishing at the center of the tables, pressuring the participants into the rush for the first prize.
In the midst of the commotion, everyone had a short dinner break and shared their experience of the event so far.
“I’m enjoying this event. I can tell that everyone is having a good time,” said Stacy King.
“Coming back here and seeing old friends [made me] nostalgic,” said alumnus John Richmond Go.
“Despite the busy schedules of the people during midterms week, we wanted the participants to de-stress. This festival is not just about the prizes but about leaving with new friends and new experiences,” said the project heads Leslie Uy, Joao Jose and Anthony Ong.
Written by Marella Lozada and Mieko Ma
Photos by Mark Yu and Erika Angeles