At the New Year, ‘The Palace by Mirror Lake’ Party Turned Back Time

Vibrant colors, flowing robes, and sparkling jewels drifted through the crowds at the annual PKUSZ Festival, called Mirror Lake Party on Friday, 21 December. As night fell on this celebration of the Winter Solstice, or 冬至 Dōngzhì, everyone was slowly pulled back several centuries into ancient Beijing’s Forbidden City, or possibly just the set of the wildly popular drama series Story of Yanxi Palace. All sounds are sharper in winter, and it can be the most pleasant season at Nanyan. If there is one way to bid it farewell, it is through this lovely festival.

The theme was Mirror Lake Party: The Palace by the Mirror梦许南燕 Mèng Xǔ Nányàn. Student organizer, Han Qing, said, “Aiming at entertaining the residents on our campus and enhance the cultural environment of PKUSZ, the event chose a fashionable and highly entertaining topic: The Forbidden Palace. Many popular TV or internet series about love stories happening in the Forbidden Palace were of heated discussion in China this year. The furnishings, decorations, souvenirs, and cosplayers were all part of the big plan designed to serve the theme. The traditional lanterns glowed softly in the darkness –  a best wish for the coming 2019.”

The event was divided into two parts: the stage and the garden. The stage was for the most popular student club performances, such as singing, dancing, fashion walk, playing games, and musical performances. Some of the highlights included a cool street dance performed by飞跃Fēiyuè, a showcase of ancient Chinese fashion by 书生Shūshēng, an acapella rendition of 爱要坦荡荡 ài yào tǎndàng dàng, and an instrumental performance by the quartet Jasmine or 茉莉花 Mòlìhuā.

There were 34 booths in the garden.  The entrance, or 承天门 Chéngtiānmén (ancient Tiananmen), to the garden was the gateway to enjoying the games and foods. All schools of PKUSZ had their own booths and games and attracted lines of people. They served mini bowling, doll machines, candy, cuisine, desserts, cakes, snacks, and small gifts.

In the garden, international students added a special touch to the event. Two teams: one Southeast Asian and one Latin American volunteered and were great additions to the event. The Southeast Asian team prepared a menu of Indomie, Pecel and Tempe Goreng, all of which were cooked by the members in person. As if that wasn’t enough, just a few steps away you were transported to the beaches of the Pacific as the Latin American team introduced everyone to ceviche and spiced things up with tequila for those willing to try the famous spirit of Mexico. Both the international booths attracted lots of visitors. Moreover, the Latin American team brought some more excitement to the event with their group activities. They set up a piñata and volunteers hit the colorful paper pony with their eyes covered by the blindfold, trying hard to get rewarded. A great cheer would go up from the crowd whenever there was a direct hit. Later, they turned up the Latin music and a dance floor quickly formed. Once enough participants had joined in, the students instructed everyone on how to dance the Macarena and dancers from 5-55 were moving to the rhythm. 

The greatness of each culture is expressed in festivals. This party offered everyone a short break from the stresses of school, brought neighbors together, and filled the campus with beauty. There is nothing better than the Mirror Lake Party for shaking off the winter chill and turning campus life into a celebration before Christmas, New Year’s, and the Spring Festival!

Written by Claudia Fauzi

Photos by Zhang Wendou & Nathan Faber


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