China Focus: Teachers' Day meets Mid-Autumn Festival

Culture 49

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TAIYUAN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Rong Hui, a music teacher living in Taiyuan, capital city of north China's Shanxi Province, is particularly excited about this year's Mid-Autumn Festival as it coincides with Teacher's Day in China.

Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on Aug. 15 of the lunar calendar. It is the first time that the two events have fallen on the same day since China in 1985 designated Sept. 10 as Teachers' Day.

As Chinese people have the same traditional respect for teachers as they do for family, many have decided to celebrate in a bigger fashion than normal.

Rong planned to prepare a Mid-Autumn family dinner on Saturday together with her mother-in-law, who was also a teacher before her retirement. "Normally on Teachers' Day, I stay with my students at school. But this year I believe it is also a joyful day of family reunion," Rong said.

Guo Jiguang, 60, is from east China's Fujian Province and he used to be a teacher. He is also a practitioner of the "Fumao Cake" craft, a form of intangible cultural heritage from Fujian.

To celebrate the dual festival, Guo designed a special mooncake with four Chinese characters, meaning "Remembering your teachers," sculpted on the surface.

He has made about 60,000 such mooncakes, and decided to give them away to local teachers as gifts. "Parents give us life, friends give us support, and teachers give us knowledge and guidance. They are the most important people in our lives. That is my belief," Guo said.

Peng Jun, a 34-year-old teacher in Wannian County, east China's Jiangxi Province, held an early Mid-Autumn celebration on Thursday with over 100 students whose parents are out of town as migrant workers. They sang, danced and shared their happiness with their parents through video calls.

"Our teachers are also our friends and families. They have been trying their best to take care of us," said Huang Caihong, a senior high school student whose parents are working in the neighboring Zhejiang Province on the east coast.

Peng has held such celebrations for over 10 years. "I hope the students can feel the warmth of family at school, and also understand their parents being away, working hard for their family and the future of their kids," he said.

Statistics released by China's Ministry of Education show that by 2021, the total number of full-time teachers in China exceeded 18.4 million.

Over the past decade, more than 4,500 teachers across the country have been awarded at the national level for their professionalism and dedication to education.

"The two festivals meeting is a rare and precious occasion, and it feels especially beautiful to see various traditional Chinese values celebrated harmoniously under the full moon," said Wan Jianzhong, a professor at the School of Chinese Language and Literature of Beijing Normal University. ■