SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ --  Union Catholic, which has a very diverse student body, continued its commitment to making its students feel at home by celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival on Friday at the school.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is the second biggest festival in China.

During the lunch periods at the school on Friday, international students joined with American students who are enrolled in the Mandarin Chinese classes, and faculty members to celebrate the occasion by having “moon-cakes,'' which were prepared by UC faculty members Ms. Ya Wen and Ms. Jane Du. Ms. Wen, who was born in China, teaches Mandarin-Chinese and ESL at UC. Ms. Du, also born in China, teaches Mandarin-Chinese.

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The Mid Autumn Festival celebrates three fundamental concepts:

  • Gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting;
  • Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions;
  • Praying (asking for conceptual material satisfaction), such as babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future.

“The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is an event that the Union Catholic Community looks forward to each year,’’ said Mrs. Jennifer Dixon, Union Catholic’s Director of School Counseling. “We recognize the sacrifices that our international students make in being away from their families to study here in America. This is one of the many ways we celebrate the strength of our diversity by coming together as a community to learn about other cultures.’’

Ms. Du, in her first year teaching at UC, was very impressed with how Union Catholic celebrated the event.

“The international students here are a long way from home,’’ said Ms. Du. “So to do something like this makes the students feel at home, makes them feel welcome. It’s a really nice thing to do.’’