‘Moon Festival’ begins Chinese Mid-Autumn celebrations

Music, dance, and traditional foods attract peoples of all cultures to this annual outer East Portland event …

Eastport Plaza Shopping Center swirls with color and sound, as the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival gets underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Throughout September, many Asian communities celebrate mid-Autumn celebrations at many locations.

But this “Mid-Autumn Festival” – also called the “Moon Festival” – was the first, and perhaps the largest, of these gatherings. It took place at Eastport Plaza on September 14.

No matter what their cultural heritage, all kids – including these costumed dancers with Portland Art and Cultural Center – love getting a colorful balloon from Eastport Plaza Shopping Center General Manager Dianne Gill.

Eastport Plaza Shopping Center General Manager Dianne Gill was on hand to help out with the celebration.

“We’ve become a venue for many in the community to present culturally significant events, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival. We love finding new ways of bringing the community together.”

A singer with the Shao Chinese Music Chamber band performs at the festival.

Event organizer Nannette Tran, from the Portland Art and Cultural Center, and Portland Chinese Times Publisher Charles Hui, are two of many volunteers who put on the annual cultural celebration.

“The significance of Moon Festival to Chinese people is that is a time for gathering families together,” said organizer Charles Hui, the Portland Chinese Times Publisher.

“In a way, it’s like an American Thanksgiving celebration,” Hui told East Portland News. “In our history, it is also a time for remembering good people from a long time ago, trying to save the country. It’s a time when we appreciate our ancestors.”

Jian Hua “Susan” Zhang shows off decorated tins of Moon Cakes, the traditional treat of the season.

Regardless of their own native language, everyone enjoys the antics of Cha Cha the Clown.

Throughout the day, the celebration included traditional and modern Asian music, dance – and the appearance of three “good luck lions” that performed for the crowd.

“People also enjoy the Moon Cake,” Hui said, “Its something to pass along to family and friends.”

Members of the N.W. Dragon & Lion Dance Association excite the crowd with their antics.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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