Major Cultural Festivals
Major Chinese Cultural Festivals Open to the Community
Chinese New Year Festival
The Chinese New Year Festival, also called Lunar New Year, has more than 4,000 years of history. Among the traditional Chinese festivals, it is the grandest and most important. The festival originated during the Shang Dynasty (about 17th – 11th century BC), and it is a celebration of hope for the advent of flowers blossoming in the spring. It features rich and colorful activities that engage the whole family and although different regions and ethnic groups celebrate it in different ways, the festival has a strong family-orientation, much like Christmas does in the West.
Since the festival marks the start of a New Year in the lunar calendar, every family cleans their home thoroughly and prepares a lot of food such as fish, meat, roasted nuts,seeds, and sweets. Children usually get new clothes and families adorn their home gates with red scrolls featuring complementary poems.
The festival comes on the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar–usually the 23rd day of the twelfth month to the 15th day of the first month, although the exact days are different in every year — and lasts for almost half a month. Among these days, the New Year´s Eve and the first day of the New Year are the most festive.
At CI, the Chinese New Year Festival is celebrated with a large event open to all of Miami Dade’s campuses and the city at large, in an effort to attract families of Chinese descent and lovers of Chinese culture alike, for a communal celebration of one of China’s major holidays. MDC’s celebration of Chinese New Year features a full-day of colorful performing arts shows, games and prizes for the whole family, children’s zones, Asian food courts, interactive arts and crafts and cultural shows.
Visit our links below for a sneak-peek of MDC’s celebrations of Chinese New Year Festival through the years.
Harvest Moon Festival
The Mid–Autumn or "Harvest Moon" Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, during a full moon, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. The Government of the People´s Republic of China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006, and it was made a Chinese public holiday in 2008.
The festival commemorates three key values: those of "gathering, thanksgiving and prayer." Since the harvest is a time of plenty that conjures feelings of gratefulness, community and shared blessings, the festival celebrates its founding values through family gatherings, formal acts of thanksgiving for the harvest and community gatherings and prayers for continued, year–long material provision and plenty.
At Miami Dade College, the CI celebrates the Harvest Moon Festival with an event intended to spark interest in Chinese culture and engage students and residents alike in a communal celebration of thanksgiving and sharing. MDC’s celebration of the Harvest Moon Festival features a program of traditional art performances, Chinese refreshments, mooncakes–the festival’s most traditional sweet–and a panel discussion on a China themed topic.
Asian Festival at MDC
At the Inter–American campus, Miami Dade College counts with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Committee: an organization which promotes understanding of the diverse cultures of Asia and highlights Asian American achievements. In collaboration with this committee, the CI sponsors the Asian Festival—an event that features artistic performances, fine arts exhibits, lectures and seminars that illuminate the cultural and historical influences of the diverse cultures which make up the globally important region of Asia.
Celebrating Shanghai Expo at IAC–MDC
During the 2010 International Education Week, the CI at MDC´s Inter–American Campus organized the event "Experience Shanghai" to celebrate China´s selection as the host country of the 2010 World Expo. Since World Expos are recognized as "galleries of human inspiration and thought" and prominent events for the exchange of economic, scientific, technological, cultural, historical and innovative resources and ideas across cultures, China´s selection as the host country marked a great achievement. The CI celebrated this milestone in China’s history with a campus–wide celebration of Chinese language and culture which featured professional Chinese artists, folk dancing demonstrations, fashion shows of traditional Chinese wear, Chinese photograph exhibitions, calligraphy demonstrations and a panel discussion led by CI´s Director Dr. Xuejun (Jim) Yu.