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An Unconventional Mid-Autumn Festival 2021

Written by: Tan Xuanmin (21S78) & Wee Yu Yan (21S66)

Photos by: Hwa Chong Students’ Council, YouTube Livestream

Councillors painting the banner

Every year in Hwa Chong, under the moonlit sky, many gather to sing those nostalgic songs, with voices echoing as one big family. In these trying times when we had to separate and isolate from each other, stress seemed to be always around the corner. Nonetheless, festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival (MAF) keep us energized.

Annually, lanterns and banners adorned the corridor railings. The pop-up door, constructed piece by piece, stood proudly in the central plaza. From afar, you could easily spot the full moons drawn in hopeful yellow, the neat Chinese calligraphy written in bold black and the red paper filled with Hwa Chongians’ wishes for the festival - 聚.

To spread the festive spirit, our 48th Students’ Council carefully selected a line-up of merchandise for Hwachongians to purchase as mementos. From laptop stickers with bunny designs to limited edition T-shirts to mark the special day, there was a wide range of goods available for the student population. Furthermore, the Council set up our very own photo-taking competition. With Hwachongians’ enthusiastic participation, the competition showcased the many talents among the school population and capturing the beauty of MAF.

Marcus Seet Kai Feng (21S76), the chairperson of MAF, shared, “One of the greatest difficulties in planning MAF this year was the ever-changing and uncertain Covid regulations. In previous years, the construction of the MAF gate was only possible with the combined effort and manpower of many people. However, at the peak of the Covid-19 situation, we could only work in maximum groups of five.” In light of these challenges, the Council ingeniously shared out the workload, whilst keeping everyone in sync and contributing to a well-executed MAF celebration.

Emcees introducing the MAF performances

The evening started off with a fascinating skit by Huang Cheng, painting the background of the performance and began the story by showing how a boy ate a mooncake and was transported back in time to the Yuan Dynasty. We followed him through the four acts to witness how the Chinese Han rebelled against the Mongols under the harsh Mongolian rule.

Chinese Dance performance

The Chinese Dance performance depicted the peaceful and serene life of the peasants, until the invasion by the Mongols. The dancers performed gracefully to the music that matched perfectly to the emotions they tried to convey – melancholic at the start, energetic in the middle and peaceful towards the end. Next, Wushu’s performance depicted the intense battle in the final revolt against the Mongols. I am certain that most of us were enthralled by their powerful kicks and menacing waves of their swords, which represented the peasantry grouping together to revolt against the past’s oppressive regime.

Our breaths were swept away by how majestic their movements were and this performance showcased and encapsulated the strength and determination of the people who rebelled against the Mongolians. These two performances effectively captured the essence of MAF by emphasising on war and reunion, prompting us to cherish the peaceful world we live in now and reminding us how lucky we are to celebrate this festival with our loved ones.

What do Hwachongians think about the performance? While speaking to Muhammad Zubair bin Mazlan (21S78), he felt that it was interesting because even though it was not a festival that he celebrates, he was quite invested in it as the performances were very good to begin with.

Time passed faster than ever when you were happy. The MAF livestream flew past in an instant, but the memories it created would stay with us forever.

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