Mid-Autumn Festival-themed event held in Hungary to boost cultural exchanges
Published: Sep 05, 2023 10:30 PM
Photo: Courtesy of Chinese Embassy in Hungary

Photo: Courtesy of Chinese Embassy in Hungary

An event themed around Mid-Autumn Festival was recently held at the Kölcsey Center in Debrecen, Hungary, ahead of the upcoming traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, to boost Chinese-Hungarian cultural exchanges. 

The event not only offered local residents an opportunity to learn about the history, culture and traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival but also showcased China's culture of openness, inclusivity, harmony and coexistence, emphasizing the value of appreciating diverse beauty and shared experiences.

Jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy in Hungary, the Budapest Chinese Cultural Center, the Hungarian Tourism Office in Budapest, the Confucius Institute at the University of Debrecen and a local public welfare company, the event attracted more than 500 Debrecen residents.

Comprising six main segments, the event featured the fourth Hungarian Mooncake Workshop, a Suzhou city impression exhibition, a hanfu (the traditional Chinese clothing of the Han ethnic group) fashion show and experience, folk instrument performances, DIY rabbit lantern making and Chinese tea tasting.

Debrecen's Deputy Mayor István Puskás delivered a speech during the opening ceremony, said that this event would allow Debrecen's residents to experience the unique charm of Chinese culture and inject Chinese elements into the development of a diverse culture.

Sun Jie, cultural affairs counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Hungary, noted that with each Mid-Autumn Festival, this event attracts numerous Chinese and Hungarian friends, becoming a highlight of Chinese-Hungarian cultural exchanges. 

This year, the event made its debut in Debrecen, and it is hoped that the people of Hungary can also experience the charm of one of the most significant traditional festivals in the Chinese culture, which symbolizes reunion, harmony and gratitude, Sun added.

The Hungarian Mooncake Workshop was the most popular segment of the event. The diverse forms and wide variety of fillings in Chinese mooncakes, a traditional sweet eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, amazed Hungarian friends. About 40 local residents, including international students from the University of Debrecen, participated in the workshop.

Hungarian pastry chef Kökény Ágnes made a giant Hungarian mooncake with a diameter of 40 centimeters during the event. Surrounding the mooncake were a group of rabbits, whether big or small, lying on it in various postures, gazing at the moon, resembling a family reunion during the Mid-Autumn Festival. 

This giant mooncake was made from traditional Hungarian sponge cake, adorned with Chinese-style decorative patterns, harmoniously merging the beloved traditional cakes of Hungary with Chinese mooncakes.

Live performances of traditional Chinese music, Hanfu experiences, rabbit lantern making and Chinese tea tasting also attracted a large number of residents who participated in the interactive activities. 

A 10-year-old local girl, intrigued by Asian culture, had the opportunity to create a rabbit lantern and try on Hanfu attire. A Hungarian mother, upon seeing the event notice on Facebook, brought her three children to participate. Although they missed out on making mooncakes due to fully booked slots, they were still enthralled by the elegant Hanfu, the Chinese tea and the captivating folk music performances. They expressed their hope to join similar Chinese events in Debrecen in the future.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, will fall on September 29 this year. 

During the festival, Chinese people usually hold family gatherings, eat moon cakes, admire the moon and celebrate good harvests.

Global Times