Feature: Chicago celebrates traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in grand style

2022-September-13 09:34 By: Xinhua

by Jian Ping

CHICAGO, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of people gathered in Chicago's Chinatown Saturday to celebrate the traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

A make-shift platform rolled out performers from four to over 80 years old, who came from local communities, schools and professional groups to perform a lion dance, dragon dance, singing, traditional Chinese dance and Taichi.

Some 500 goodie bags were distributed to attendees at the scene, adding to the festive atmosphere.

"Our goal is to promote Asian culture in America," said Vivian Xu, founder of Asian American Culture Center, which organized the celebration. "Traditional holiday such as the Mid-Autumn Festival is a good opportunity to do so."

The celebration used to draw an estimated 30,000 people before the pandemic, Chris Huang, director of the cultural center, told Xinhua. He expects this year's attendees to be around 20,000.

"Chinatown is so vibrant and so rich in Chinese culture," Huang said. "We'd like to see people come to rejoice and celebrate family gatherings with us and walk away happily."

Embra Bolden, a 36-year-old karate amateur from Chicago, was at the festival with his fiance. He told Xinhua that they both love Chinese food and visit Chinatown to eat from time to time. They were pleasantly surprised by walking into the celebration that he described as "a good cultural exposure."

Shane Rivzi, 21, came especially for the celebration with a friend. The two were here last year and enjoyed the performances. They made a point to come back this year. "It's good to see more people this year," Rivzi said. "We loved the cultural experience."

Glenn Rhodes from Indiana came with his wife and two children. "We come to Chinatown for dinner and are delighted to see the celebration and performances."

The celebration in Chinatown was initially set to last six hours, but organizers extended the duration.

In addition to the celebration in Chinatown, the Field Museum and the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago, along with other organizers and sponsors, co-hosted a celebration at Set in Stone Gathering Space in the South Side of Chicago, with activities including Chinese folk dance, mooncake sampling, storytelling, lantern making, games and music.

Editor: Zhang Zhou
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