Celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival at Lan Su Chinese Garden
On September 30 and October 1, Lan Su Chinese Garden celebrates Zhong Qiu Jie (中秋节) or the Autumn Moon Festival. With roots that go back thousands of years, the Autumn Moon (or sometimes known as the Mid-Autumn) Festival is an important traditional Chinese holiday, second only to Chinese New Year in cultural importance. Taking place on the fifteenth day of the eight month of the lunar calendar, the Autumn Moon Festival is traditionally close to the harvest moon during the autumnal equinox.
A time for family, stories, poetry and games, this year’s Autumn Moon Festival at Lan Su will be filled with a number of great activities. Autumn Moon Festival events include on both Saturday and Sunday:
|10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.||Story Time|
|10 a.m. – 5 p.m.||Mooncakes|
|10 a.m. – 5 p.m.||Calligraphy Demonstration|
|10 a.m. – 5 p.m.||Folk Art Demonstration|
|10 a.m. – 5 p.m.||Family Craft Activity|
|11 a.m.||Cultural Performance|
|1 p.m.||Lion Dance|
|3 p.m.||Cultural Performance|
|5 p.m.||Lion Dance|
All of Lan Su’s events during regular hours are included with your admission or membership at no additional cost.
Participating Community partners include:
- Chinese Friendship Association of Portland
- Lee’s Association Dragon & Lion Dance Team
- Oregon Hope Chinese School
- Portland Chinese School Yo-Yo Team
- Red Robe Teahouse & Cafe
- Viet Hung Lion Dance Team
- Village Sound of Spring
- White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance Organization
- Wisdom Arts Academy
- Zeming Zhao
Traditional Ways to Celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival
Gather Together with Family and Friends to Watch the Moon — The moon’s perfectly round shape forms the ideal symbol of family harmony and unity. The tradition extends to being reunited with loved ones who are far away as you both gaze up at the moon.
Eat Mooncakes - The round, sweet-filled mooncake (月餅) is made with pastry decorated with designs and filled with a variety of fillings including seeds, nuts, date paste and smashed beans. Today’s mooncakes are a few inches round. At one time, imperial chefs made them as large as several feet in diameter.
Tell Stories - Chinese storytellers have many tales about the Moon Palace and the inhabitants of the moon. One of the most endearing characters of many moon stories is a short-tailed rabbit that pounds the elixir of immortality with a mortar and pestle under a grove of cassia trees.
The most popular inhabitant of the moon stories is the goddess Chang Er. Her tale is a sad one in which she mistakenly swallowed a magic solution of immortality and rose up to inhabit the moon. Her husband, Hou Yi, is fated to govern the solar realm. They only meet when the moon is full. Visit Lan Su’s Garden Shop for more books on Chinese stories and festivals.
Read Poetry — The moon is often a subject for poets. Bo Juyi wrote this poem more than 400 years ago:
I, a traveler, came from south of the river,
When the moon was only a crescent.
In my long, distant journeying,
I’ve seen thrice its clear light in full.
At dawn I travel with a waning moon;
When night falls, I lodge with the new moon.
Who says that the moon has no feeling?
Play Games at Twilight — Many of the games played have to do with flights of the soul, spirit possession, or fortune telling.
Learn more about Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Autumn Moon Festival at www.lansugarden.org/autumnmoon
The Autumn Moon Festival is presented in part by the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, Collins Foundation, Jackson Foundation, Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, US Bank Foundation, and Juan Young Trust.
About Lan Su Chinese Garden
Located at 239 NW Everett Street, Lan Su Chinese Garden is one of Portland’s greatest treasures. A tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, Lan Su is a powerfully inspiring experience that takes you through time, offering a window into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. Daily admission is $10 with reduced rates for students, seniors & a special family rate. Open 10 a.m.–7 p.m. daily through October 31. Learn more at www.lansugarden.org.