The University Center of Southern Oklahoma will host a festival with ancient significance this Monday.
Murray State College will bring the Harvest Moon Festival, a Chinese ceremony that’s been held for 3,600 years, to UCSO for the second time. A similar festival will be held on the MSC Tishomingo campus the following week. Students will be invited to try different kinds of tea, share mooncakes and tell stories together as part of the celebration. MSC Associate History Professor Rebecca Jacobs-Pollez said the event was created with a grant from the Interfaith Youth Council.
“They really wanted us to present events at schools that would increase awareness of other cultures,” Pollez said. “Anyone can come.”
Pollez said the event will be held outside, with different kinds of tea and snacks set up in the center’s lobby. Mooncakes, which are small cakes with an egg in the center, are commonly eaten to celebrate the festival.
“You slice them in half, and it looks like you’ve got the moon on each side,” Pollez said. “You’re supposed to share them with someone.”
Pollez said modern celebrations generally use strings of electric lights, but the festival will be decorated with traditional paper lanterns. While the festival originated in China, today it’s celebrated in several different Asian countries.
“We started this when we were trying to think of something to bring all the international students together,” Pollez said. “This is what we came up with, and last year it was really nice.”
The Harvest Moon Festival will last from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, September 24.