Continuing the tradition of cultural celebrations at Silicon Valley International School (INTL), the school once again held their annual Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Moon Festival, this time on Friday, September 16th. The PTA brought to life the Chinese festivities for students and parents alike as the community's families met on Willows Campus in celebration of the fall. Celebrations like the Moon Festival are at the heart of what makes INTL a global community where we celebrate diversity and embraces cultures.
The Moon Festival is a deeply rooted cultural observance that dates back millennia. The event takes place across the world in celebration of the autumn harvest, when it is believed the moon is at its fullest and brightest in the sky."Moon Festival, also called Mid-Autumn Festival, is celebrated on the 15th of the eighth lunar month in the Chinese calendar,” explained Ya-Ching Chang, INTL’s Chinese Program Academic Dean. “On this day, families gather together to enjoy dinner and mooncakes, and appreciate the bright full moon in the night sky. There’s one saying on Moon Festival - 月圓人團圓 (yuè yuán rén tuán yuán) - which means the full moon symbolizes we are together. The festival is also a great opportunity to unify everyone across our language programs. I hope everyone enjoyed the celebration with their family and friends of the INTL community!”Thanks to the PTA and the volunteers who made it all possible, students were able to enjoy traditional mooncakes, listen to amazing performances, and take part in a lantern parade around the park.
After opening the evening with welcomes from Head of School Barbara Greiner, PTA President Erich Sonnberger, and Ya-Ching, the celebration took to new heights with a mesmerizing performance by new parent, Jodie Wang. Jodie performed for the crowd music on the Pipa, a traditional Chinese musical instrument that has been played for thousands of years.
In addition to beautiful music from the Pipa performance, and to the delight of the crowd, the children of the festival were then taught a dance by some of the teachers. After learning the dance, the young children came to the front to perform to Lady Moon.
The final performance of the evening were poems and stories recited by Fang Xi C., Paxton C., and Ethan J. The three performers are all 6th grade Chinese program students and they told the story of the Moon Goddess and her husband, a skilled archer, who saved the world from the heat of nine extra suns.
With the night winding down, Erich led the children on a parade of lanterns around the park next to the campus. The lanterns would light the night sky with the hope of bringing prosperity throughout the year.
“As a member of the INTL community, it’s wonderful that we have different cultural events,” said Erich Sonnberger. “The diversity of our school is something special that we can all be proud of. The PTA’s many events are designed to build long lasting relationships among our parents, children, administration, and most of all, teachers. Many of us only know parents from the grades our children are in. It’s important to reach out and talk to other kids and parents so our community becomes even more inclusive. These events are designed to do just that.”The Moon Festival is an integral part of the international and multicultural education at INTL, as students benefit from Chinese (Mandarin), French, and German programs thanks to the international, bilingual education offered at the school.
Relive some of the festival through the celebration's slideshow, created by Ya-Ching.
Reach out to learn more about INTL and the multicultural events that create the community of our school.