Community Embraces Chinese Culture

Celebrating Moon Festival

Glen+SooHoo+of+Phoenix+Imports+sells+confetti+poppers.+LA+Chinatown+Mid-Autumn+Moon+Festival+on+Sept.+15%2C+2019.

Denise Ng

Glen SooHoo of Phoenix Imports sells confetti poppers. LA Chinatown Mid-Autumn Moon Festival on Sept. 15, 2019.

Denise Ng, Staff Writer

Hundreds of people of all ages celebrated the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown on Sept. 15, a tradition that the Chinatown community started in 1938.

The celebration included live entertainment, food trucks, crafts, calligraphy lessons, lion dance and kung fu shows.

It also included a tea ceremony and a lesson on the significance of moon cakes with samples given to the public.

The moon festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month of each lunar year and is the second most celebrated holiday in the Chinese culture, with Chinese New Year being the most celebrated.

Chinatown Business Improvement District Special Projects Coordinator Shirley Zhang said, “Celebrating the moon festival is like Chinese Thanksgiving.

“It brings families and the community together, especially immigrants who have no family here, we become their family.”

Traditionally, this was a celebration of the harvest, but now it marks the end of summer and a new beginning.

At the calligraphy table were Wanda Ramos and her wife Samantha Cheyne, owners of the Los Angeles business Eric’s Architectural Salvage, who wrote calligraphy on two banners.

One banner represents the year; calligraphy starts at on the top and bottom then meets in the middle to represent the autumn festival. On the second banner, calligraphy also starts at the top and bottom then meets in the middle to represents the moon.

Ramos said, “It’s like a romantic love story where you have everything meeting in the middle.”

Nori Shirasu, 45, a fine artist has given lessons in calligraphy at the moon festival for 13 years.

Shirasu said he teaches calligraphy art at the Pacific Asia Museum, the Chinese American Museum and LACMA.

“People have a passion for Asian art and culture so enjoys volunteering,” Shirasu said.

Little girls dressed in cheongsams, a Chinese dress, flocked to the craft table to make Chinese lanterns and lucky knots.

Helen Li, a student volunteer, helped children make lucky knots said, “Chinese lucky knots are believed to scare away evil spirits and bad luck.”

Li age 13, is a student at Bravo Medical Magnet in Boyle Heights and volunteers at every community event in Chinatown to fulfill her community service hours.

“There’s a lot of culture in Chinatown and it’s fun,” Li said.

Two telescopes were placed at each entrance of Central Plaza for star gazers to glance at what is believed to be the biggest and brightest moon of the lunar year.

As the evening progressed, attendees continued to celebrate while watching the East Wind Youth Foundation lion dance show, and the moon cake demonstration given by Wonder Bakery owner Chris Cheung.

The celebration finished with people filling the sky with color confetti and watching it fall on to them making it a perfect photo opportunity.