A Crash Course On Mid Autumn Festival

A Crash Course On Mid Autumn Festival

Also called Moon Festival, here's some info on one of Asia's biggest holidays.
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A few weeks ago, a major holiday in Asian culture passed called Mid-Autumn Festival. In Chinese, it's called 中秋节 (Zhong Qiu Jie), in Vietnamese, it's called Tet Trung Thu... this could go on forever so I'll stop here. Anyway, this holiday, or a similar one, is celebrated across the majority of Asia. Because of this holiday's major influence, I thought I would give a short crash course for all those who don't know of it!

1. It's also called Moon Festival

The moon on this night is said to be the brightest and fullest of the year! The origin of this festival is also heavily focused on the moon, which is why variants of the holiday's name often have "moon" in it.


2. Mooncakes are the staple food of the holiday

On Thanksgiving there is turkey and on Mid Autumn there are mooncakes! Mooncakes are round pastries typically filled with red bean or lotus seed paste and other things! The round shape represents togetherness and the reunion of families. Many mooncakes have Chinese characters stamped on the top of them to further signify the many meanings of the mooncake.

3. The festival's origin has many legends/stories tied to it

The most popular legend about Mid Autumn festival goes like so: Long ago, there were 10 suns in the sky. The suns were burning down all the plants and people were dying from the excessive heat. So, an archer named Hou Yi shot down one of the suns and the earth was saved. As a reward, the Queen gave him a bottle of elixir to make him immortal. However, he didn't desire to be immortal but one of his students did. The student tried to steal the bottle from him when he wasn't home, so his lover, Chang E was the only one to protect the bottle. Faced with the student, Chang E decided to drink the bottle to prevent him from taking it but it made her fly to the moon where she would stay forever. To remember her, Hou Yi would worship the moon. Even now, people still look for her image on the moon as it's said she still lives there! Really interesting, right?

4. Lanterns are another staple to the holiday

A common activity for the festival is to make lanterns! You can, of course, buy them, but where's the fun? In certain cities in Asia, they release all their lanterns into the sky as part of the celebration of the festival.


Cover Image Credit: Abby Kihano

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10 Reasons Everything Is Better In The Summer

You know it is true.
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I know we're still in the middle of winter where the days are short and dark and the nights are below freezing. While the winter is fun and exciting, especially with the ever-prevalent hope of a possible snow day, a little bit of seasonal depression might be kicking in for some of us. That is what inspired me to take a step back from the cold and reminisce about what makes the summer the most special time of the year.

1. There is no school

This means no responsibilities no waking up early, no homework, no classes and no studying. These past few summers, I've had to work, which in some way still requires getting up early and having responsibilities. But, come on, summer jobs are nothing like the real world, or the strict school calendar.

2. The days are SO much longer

I can't wait for when it isn't dark at 5:30 and the day feels like it's over even before it really begins. In the summer, getting dinner at 7 p.m. and driving to the beach to watch the sunset seems like the perfect plan. Waiting to eat dinner in the winter until 7 p.m. is the WORST because it's already been dark for close to two hours and my internal clock gets so thrown off.

3. No makeup

There's something that happens when you're tan and happy, the need for makeup goes completely out the window. Either you're going to the beach later that day, or you just don't even think of it because your skin is finally clearing up from the dryness of the dark winter days.

4. Bathing suit and shorts—NO COAT

Not being able to walk outside without bundling up in a coat, hat, gloves, scarf, two pairs of pants, and snow boots is getting a little old. In just a few months, we'll be sweating in just shorts and a tank top, and I cannot wait.

5. Better vibes

For whatever reason, everyone is genuinely more kind and happy in the summer.

6. Bonfires with best friends

This is something my friend group executes perfectly and it is the best because I grew up around fires every Sunday in the summer and a week-long vacation where every night was closed around a bonfire.

7. Driving with all the windows down

Coming home from the beach or work with all the windows down, but the AC still blaring— I don't really know what it is but it's amazing.

8. Laying on top of the covers

Even though you're only wearing an oversized T-shirt and the AC is on, for whatever reason, there's just no way u can stay under the covers. You'll probably wake up in an hour sweating profusely but, still, there is something amazing about this.

9. Vacations

Whether it's a mid-day road trip with no destination or week-long trips to the beach, everything is just so much more fun and enjoyable.

10. Staying up and waking up late

In the wise words of Luke Bryan, "Sunrise, sunburn, sunset. Repeat."

Cover Image Credit: Maryanne Mahoney

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12 Reasons To Be Excited For Spring This Year

It's been a long winter, we deserve this.
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It seems as though the weather (especially in the midwest) seems to be incredibly unpredictable around this time year. We are in a very weird transition between the back end of winter, and the early months of spring. Yet, before we know it, we will be in the months of April and May all within the blink of an eye.

Students, in particular, anticipate the arrival summer all year. This anticipation usually distracts people as they move into the spring months, and always causes people to ignore all the awesome things about spring. While we're waiting, perhaps we should take more time to appreciate all the good that comes with spring.

1. It is a new beginning

Spring is the renaissance month of the four. It is a chance to be reborn again and prepare for the rest of the year with a clear mind. Many people are doing the annual "spring cleaning" and getting a fresh start.

2. The sun is out longer

The winter solstice is the promise of longer days in contrast to the shorter days of winter. Longer days turn into long nights and allow for both outdoor and outdoor activities to be extended into the day. Plus, it doesn't always feel like it's as late as it should be.

3. The sun is hotter

While the weather is still sometimes cold throughout spring, you can still feel how hot the sun is in your head and your face. Even when the weather is still fluctuating, the sun is the one thing that feels good.

4. Everything is colorful

The presence of the sun means that everything starts to gain its color back. The dry, yellow grass of winter turns into a vibrant green. The disappearance of constant gloomy clouds turns into the beautiful blue sky. Everything from nature, to animals, and even people seem to have a brighter shade of happiness to it.

5. The weather is just right

While it may fluctuate, at least it's not winter. Most of the time it isn't cold enough to wear a winter jacket, but not hot enough to just go into a t-shirt. A sweatshirt and jeans are the best bet every day and it brings a stable amount of comfortability.

6. Everything is in bloom

Because the weather is just right, life starts to bloom everywhere. Flowers of all kinds litter fields and gardens. Flower buds cover the tree branches and eventually turn into vibrantly colored leaves. Life is happening everywhere.

7. Even the rain is beautiful

They say, "April showers bring May flowers". Something about the rain in spring is soothing though. It serves as a reminder that the gray blanket of winter is being washed away, and we are getting a cleansing for the upcoming season.

8. It's always a long winter

Winters in the midwest seem last forever. They are always very cold, unforgiving, and relentless. The drag of winter leads to the onset of seasonal depression and eventually becomes a nuisance altogether. Entering spring means the end of a long internal and external battle against the weather.

9. Everyone is coming out of hibernation

Birds, animals and even people are starting to wake up again and become more active after the long winter. Everything feels new and fresh and opportunity is everywhere.

10. It is almost the end of the school year

Spring break is the most fun time of year. Letting loose for a week with friends and family after making it through winter serves as the best reward. After spring break though, there is only a couple of weeks until finals and then we're out of school for the summer.

11. Driving with the windows down

Once the weather gets warmer, it finally becomes bearable to drive with the windows down without experiencing harsh cold. Driving with the windows down is the epitome of summer nostalgia and serves a reminder that summer is near.

12. We are that much closer to summer

Literally one season away.

Although the arrival of summer is the most anticipated of the year, spring is the beautiful pathway to that season. We get to watch summer bloom into warmth, beauty, and relaxation; and that just builds up our anticipation that much more. The seasons always go too fast, and they always have something to offer. Perhaps we should slow down and appreciate them in the moment before they change again.

Cover Image Credit: Allef Vinicius

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