NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - West Essex High School Chinese classes learned about the myths associated with the Chinese Moon Festival and celebrated the festival during class last week.

Just in time for the Harvest Moon, West Essex Chinese Teacher Cynthia Ni used her iPad to show students images of the myth behind the Moon Festival. She told students the story about how the earth had ten suns which caused a drought. A warrior then shot down nine of the moons and was about to shoot down the last one when a woman stopped him. The warrior married the woman and decided he wanted to drink a magical elixir and live forever. Instead his wife drank it and became the moon goddess, resulting in the Harvest Moon.

West Essex High School Chinese Teacher Cynthia Ni   Credit: Allison Freeman

Sophomore Derek Gallagher, of Fairfield, said he observes the festival like many other Chinese families by eating sweets like moon cakes and then going out to look at the harvest moon. He also cut one of the moon cakes in the class.

Derek Gallagher  Credit: Allison Freeman

Ni celebrated the festival with all of her Chinese classes last week by enjoying moon cakes and other treats and talking about the festival in class. High School Principal Gary Suda also visited the class to talk to students about the festival.

From left: Derek Gallagher, Nabeel Siraj and West Essex High School Principal Gary Suda Credit: Allison Freeman

Sophomore Nabeel Siraj of Roseland and Kate Coulter, a junior from Essex Fells, enjoyed the class by studying the Chinese myths on the iPad and tasting the moon cakes. 

Kate Coulter  Credit: Allison Freeman