LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Chinatown will observe the Moon
Festival, one of the most important Chinese holidays, with two days of
cultural entertainment and activities on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30.
But this year's festival will take on a different tone from previous years'
celebrations, as the nation mourns the loss of American lives as a result of
the terrorist acts on Sept. 11.
Since the Moon Festival is traditionally a time to gather with family and
be thankful for the bounty of the summer's harvest, organizers of this year's
event, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles
Chinatown Business Improvement District, have pledged to support victim relief
efforts by collecting donations.
"While all Moon Festival activities are free, we will be accepting
contributions from attendees," said George Yu, Interim Executive Director of
the Chinatown Business Improvement District. "Many Chinatown businesses have
already contributed to organizations providing aid to those affected by these
tragedies, and we wanted to create another way for Chinatown to reach out to
the families that are missing loved ones and have suffered great losses."
The Moon Festival will commence at 2 p.m. on Saturday with opening
ceremonies in historic Central Plaza, at 943 North Broadway. The ceremony
will feature a traditional lion dance, which the Chinese use to ward off evil
spirits, and a moment of silence for the victims. Then children from Los
Angeles-area schools will participate in a lantern parade. Lanterns are a
special tradition during this festival, as parents take children to high
vantage points to light their lanterns and watch the moon rise.
The lantern parade will begin at Central Plaza and conclude at the Chinese
Historical Society's Heritage House at 415 Bernard. After the parade, the
Heritage House will offer activities for children, including dragon-making
crafts, story telling, and face painting.
Cultural entertainment scheduled for both days on the main stage at
Central Plaza includes Asian musical acts, Chinese acrobats, martial arts
troupes and a feng shui seminar. On Sunday at 5 p.m., there will be a
showcase of costumes from various Chinese imperial dynasties.
Also planned for the main stage are demonstrations of the making of moon
cakes. Every Chinese holiday is accompanied by a special food, and for the
Moon Festival, moon cakes are eaten. These pastries are made with sweet
fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates.
Sometimes an egg yolk, which represents the moon, can be found in the middle.
The demonstrations will be held Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.,
and will be presented by representatives of Phoenix Bakery, one of the oldest
bakeries in Chinatown.
The events for each day of the festival will conclude will the official
Moon Festival Ceremony and moon viewing, which will begin at 8 p.m.
Other events in Chinatown during the Moon Festival include a Crime
Prevention and Safety Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At this free
event, attendees can see up close fire trucks and police cars, watch martial
arts demonstrations and listen to speakers on self-defense and safety. The
fair is being held at Castelar Elementary School.
For more information on the 2001 Moon Festival, call (213) 680-0243 or
MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
SOURCE Los Angeles Chinatown Business Council