Over the moon for Chinese culture

The China Cultural Center in Luxembourg celebrated its Chinese mid-autumn festival on Sunday with an evening of culture and music blending eastern and western talents. 

The mid-autumn festival, also known as the moon festival, is an important holiday for Chinese residents and diaspora and serves as a time to bring together families to celebrate the harvest. The tradition, which dates over three millennia, varies between mid-September to early October as it’s based on the lunar calendar with a full moon in the eighth month.   

Sunday’s “salon”, held at the private residence of Luxembourg composer and musician Camille Kerger, welcomed a range of Chinese and local talents who performed pieces with a moon theme. 

China’s new ambassador Xiaorong Yang, who presented her credentials to Grand Duke Henri on Friday, joined via video link to share her well wishes and focus on Luxembourg-Chinese relations. 

Among the performers was Kerger himself, who played percussion for the “Dance of the Yao People”, as well as trumpeter Gast Waltzing playing a jazzy “Blue Moon”. Guzheng player Yan Liu, who features in the upcoming October/November print issue of Delano, paired up with local pianist Michèle Kerschenmeyer to perform “Big Fish”, which energetically blended two classical instruments from eastern and western traditions.

Kerschenmeyer also performed Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and accompanied soprano Evelyn Czesla for her two solos. Jill Crovisier gave two dance performances--including the futuristic “Zement” which gave the impression of being robotic, modern and other-worldly--while Wan Jin performed the "Dance of the Dai People - The Moon". 

In the midst of the performances, there was also a tea ceremony with Oolong and green varieties, which participants sampled with mooncakes, a Chinese baked good typically eaten to celebrate the mid-autumn festival.  

At the end of the event, vice president of the Association of Overseas Chinese Calligraphers and award winning calligrapher, Zhang Shaohui, provided a brief lecture on how to appreciate calligraphy through history and as an art form. He took the time after his lecture to write the names of audience members.