Chinatown to Observe the Moon Festival Sept. 29 and 30

Family-Oriented Event Dedicated to Victims of the Tragic Events of Sept. 11;

Donations to Be Collected to Support Relief Efforts

Sep 21, 2001, 01:00 ET from Los Angeles Chinatown Business Council

    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
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SOURCE Los Angeles Chinatown Business Council