One of the largest multicultural events of the year hosted by VSA and AASA.
The Vietnamese Student Association and the Asian American Student Association teamed up to host this year’s Moon Festival on Sept. 29. The event was hosted at Jackson Commons and lasted from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival or Tết Trung Thu in Vietnamese, is a common holiday celebrated in Southeast Asian countries to celebrate the upcoming harvest and changing of seasons. Although it felt more like a summer night, as the sun was blazing at roughly 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the beginning event. And while the moon’s rising brought a gentle breeze to the festival, it was still a relatively warm night.
There were several activities for students to partake in as well as an extensive menu of free food (unless you were not a TU student, in that case, food was $8). The activities included an origami table, a lantern-making table, a giant Connect 4 and cornhole. The food selections included vegetable curry, fried tofu, orange chicken, vermicelli noodles, spring rolls and more. Thai tea and mooncakes were sold separately for $4 and attendees could add ice cream to the Thai tea for an additional $2. The event was jam-packed with several spectacular performances for the night with Roxanne Ellison and Jay Patel, the external vice president and scribe from AASA respectively, serving as the MCs for the night. First, Teresa Nguyen, Sarah Tran, Ann Dao, Madi Doan and Sarah Basnett performed a Fan Dance to a medley of two Vietnamese songs titled “Bánh Trôi Nước” and “Bo xì Bo.” Afterward, I had the privilege to perform a Vietnamese song titled “Tiếng Hát Từ Nhịp Tim” which was followed by a dance from the China Rose Dance Troupe. Mason Chow, Henry Luttbeg, Mataya Woodard and Lara Cory performed a string quartet version of a Chinese folk song titled “Mòlìhuā” which translates to “Jasmine Flower.” In between each performance was a ticket raffle and a bingo game where people won several prizes. The night’s last performance was a skit explaining the origins of the Moon Festival. Athan Lau, president of the AASA gave a beautiful speech thanking Nguyen, the president of the VSA, for all of the hard work she put into planning the event before ending the night by giving all the attendees sparklers for pretty social media pictures.
As always, everyone who attended had nothing but amazing reviews for the event. Foreign exchange student Sarah Hamer remarked, “It was great! I had lots of fun. The only downer was that we didn’t get any seats so we couldn’t participate in the bingo and the craft stands were already out of stuff. But otherwise, it was so much fun and the performances were great!”
The Collegian Editor-in-Chief Shelby Hiens said, “The Moon Festival was fantastic. The performances were enthralling and the food was delicious. I’m glad I came half an hour early to get in line and score a good seat.”
Transfer Junior student Natalie Maldonado commented, “The celebration was wonderful and so well played out except for water quickly running out towards the end. The overall night was captivating, colorful and illuminating. The location added a feel of togetherness under the full moon, as it illuminated the performances and I could see the passion in the performers — there was so much energy! It was fun to experience a bit of South Asian culture on campus.”
Personally, I loved the event but I am extremely biased since I got to perform on stage and was surrounded by several of my friends. I did not get to partake in many of the other activities but the food I did eat tasted very good. I want to include a huge shout out to the volunteers, committee members of the VSA and AASA, and my fellow performers for spending so much time making this such a special event. I think I speak for everyone when I say TU can’t wait for the next school-wide event VSA and AASA have to offer.