By Julie Ann Morse
As the days become shorter and cooler and the leaves on the trees begin to change colour, I am reminded of what was the first international cultural event celebrated in the boarding house during my time as a House Mistress. The Asian “Mid-Autumn” or “Moon” Festival which falls this year on 1 October, is a time to gather together as a family, something particularly poignant this year as so many people are unable to do so due to Covid-19 restrictions. Fortunately, for many overseas and indeed UK pupils, boarding provides them with a second, extended family, the security and support of which will be a great source of comfort for both the students and their real families who are so far away in these unusual times.
I have such fond memories of making and displaying lanterns, celebrating the stories behind the festival and of course, eating delicious Moon Cake, a sweet pastry filled with ingredients which can include lotus seed paste, salted egg yolk, nuts and even in some cases, meat. The Moon Cake is meant to symbolise the moon and represents the desire for happiness and family reunion and is meant to be shared with family and in the case of boarding, friends to denote the unity of family.
There are many stories associated with the festival and this link gives a flavour of these.
I wish you all a very Happy Mid-Autumn Festival and look forward to more settled times over the coming months.