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China Night returns to campus Sept. 24

A group of participants on stage at a past China Night at South Dakota State University.
A musician performs on stage at a past China Night at South Dakota State University.

Experience Chinese culture right here in Brookings as South Dakota State University’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association hosts China Night 2023 on Sunday, Sept. 24, in the Volstorff Ballroom at the University Student Union.

The event, set for 6-8:30 p.m., will coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional holiday celebrated by Chinese worldwide. Performances will include a traditional lion dance, pop dances, instrumental music, vocal selections and much more.

The event is presented in collaboration with the Brookings Chinese Community, and all are invited to attend.

Tickets must be purchased online at SDSU’s Online Ticket Office. General admission is $17 for adults and $10 for SDSU students or youth. In addition to general admission, two sponsor-level tickets are offered. Amenities for sponsor ticket holders include priority seating and a special souvenir. Sponsors help make China Night financially sustainable.

Doors open at 5 p.m., and dinner starts at approximately 6:30 p.m. The menu features multiple regional Chinese cuisines, with several vegetarian options and six different flavors of mooncakes.

“This year’s China Night marks the first time it has been held since the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is also the first time for me to promote and experience Chinese culture as an international student in the United States. The Chinese food and the lion dance performance on Sunday are what I look forward to the most,” Chinese Students and Scholars Association President Jiahui Yuan said.

Qian Ye, a member of the organizing committee, added, “A taste of China has always been the biggest draw for China Night. Besides staples like fried noodles and fried rice, this year we painstakingly picked three popular Chinese dishes, including Hunan beef, mapo tofu and ‘three delights of the earth.’ I was on stage during China Night 2019. I cannot wait to see China Night returning to Brookings after four years.”

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This year it falls on Sept. 29, which will be a full moon. It is a day of celebrating the fall harvest as well as family reunions, just like Thanksgiving. Similar holidays are celebrated in many other countries in east and southeast Asia.

More information about China Night, including the program and menu can be found online.