Moon Festival celebrates Chinese tradition

By Laura Shrake

The Kentucky Chinese American Association’s mission statement is to “promote the appreciation of Chinese culture and heritages and enhance cross-cultural understanding through educational programs.”

In an effort to support this mission, KYCAA will host a Moon Festival Celebration on Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the MoonDance Amphitheater, 1152 Monarch St., inside Beaumont Centre Circle.

“The event will have traditional Chinese food, musicians, artwork, and language activities,” KYCAA Vice President Bill Jing said. “We will also have 16 tables with displays by community groups and vendors.”

This annual festival will also include traditional chinese moon cakes.

Attendees will be able to taste flavors of moon cakes and cast a vote for the best freshly made cake at the festival.

Jing, chair of the Major Events Committee and co-chair of the Arts and Music Committee at KYCAA, said the
festival will feature Chinese artwork and dancers, as well as music.

In addition to traditional Chinese art and music, the Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, will include a Chinese-language essay and art contest for grades kindergarten to 12, sponsored by the UK Confucius Institute.

The Confucius Institute “has worked closely with KYCAA for many major events, including the Moon Festival and the Chinese New Year celebration,” said Huajing Maske, director of the UK Confucius Institute. “Last year, the language essay and art contest had about 100 entries, but this year it has about 200.”

Maske said a Moon Festival is one of the most traditional festivals in Chinese cultures and is still celebrated in China today and by Chinese people all around the world.

The festival takes place when, according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the moon is round.

“When the moon is round, it represents reunion and completeness,” Maske said. “It is the Chinese equivalent to Thanksgiving.

“It is a beautiful legend (in which) families come together to celebrate the universal values of love and family.”

Attendees will have free access to the Beaumont Centre Family YMCA facilities and lantern making activities. Admission to the Moon Festival Celebration is free.