MOON FESTIVAL OVERVIEW
San Francisco Celebrates 26th Annual Autumn Moon Festival
Throngs of People Expected to Attend the Annual Chinatown Event
For the past 25 years, the streets of San Francisco Chinatown have been a lively center of cultural celebrations for thousands of people in the Bay Area. Organized by the Chinatown Merchants Association, this year’s 26th Annual Autumn Moon Festival returns to San Francisco on September 10th and 11th.
Weekend activities will take place on Grant Avenue, an iconic street that will be filled with attractive arts and crafts booths, cultural exhibits, children’s activities, food, corporate sponsors and non-stop entertainment. The festivities begin with the Grand Parade on Saturday at 11 a.m. on California and Grant, and will be led by civic officials, beauty queens, cultural performers and lion dancers. The famous Dragon appears on Sunday at 5 p.m. as the grand finale of the event.
Visitors can also sync up with more fun at various entertainment booths. With digital games available to play on the latest tech devices, there will be plenty of excitement and interactive competitions for families and friends. Other popular annual activities will be back at the festival, like photo contests, fashion shows, cooking demonstrations and the Annual Doggie Fashion Show, among others.
The Chinatown festival is more than just a place for entertainment. It’s a bargain shopper’s dream, with thousands of Asian arts and crafts, housewares, plants, jewelry and beauty products that will be sold at event-specific prices in well-stocked booths spanning several blocks of the city. Several vendors will be on-site to sell an assortment of treats, like the traditional moon cake and other unique ethnic foods. In addition, sponsors will provide free gifts, games and raffles.
There will be live entertainment throughout the festival, with many live acts performing on the festival’s main stage located at Grant and Washington Streets, with an abundance of dance and music ranging across many styles and genres. One notable performance will be from contemporary Chinese band Alice and the Wave. The leader of the band, Alice Lui has performed at the annual San Francisco New Year’s parade for the past three consecutive years, becoming the first live performer in the event’s history. Alice and the Wave is scheduled to play at the main stage on Sunday, September 11.
The event is free and open to everyone. Festival attendees are encouraged to use public transportation.
About the Moon Festival in San Francisco:
The Moon Festival has attracted San Francisco Bay Area locals and tourists from all corners of the world alike since 1991 when it was envisioned by a group of merchants who wanted to revitalize businesses in Chinatown. The festival has continued on a path of growth and prominence, with over 100,000 people now expected to attend the event year.
Moon Festival celebrations have been held throughout Asia for well over 1,000 years. This holiday is a time to reflect upon the bounty of the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon, and the myth of the immortal moon Goddess, Chang O. The Moon Festival is often compared to a sort of “Chinese Thanksgiving” because of its spirit of gratitude and its inclusion of abundant food — including the popular “moon cake”. Each year, millions of tasty moon cakes (flaky, round, semi-sweet pastries filled with bean or lotus-seed paste and topped with a duck egg mimicking the shape of the full moon) are gifted around the time of the Moon Festival as it is a delicious opportunity to share with others the generous culture of the Autumn Moon Festival.
The Moon Festival is a conglomeration of backgrounds and lifestyles from Chinese Opera singers and traditional dancers to martial artists. The opportunity to experience the diversity of one of the most unique San Francisco neighborhoods is truly a privilege for attendees.
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