The Monrovia Association of Fine Arts, along with the City of Monrovia, will distribute free paper lantern kits for children on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at Lucinda Garcia Park (502 W. Olive Ave.) from 1-4 p.m. to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
In many Asian cultures, the Mid-Autumn Festival (or Lunar Festival) is a traditional harvest occasion that celebrates family, reunions, and gratitude. On this day, the Autumn moon is at its fullest and roundest, shining brightly in the night.
Mid-Autumn Festival is traditionally celebrated with crafting of lantern art, moon gazing activities, family dinners, and mooncakes. It’s customary to cut up a single mooncake and share it with loved ones to symbolize staying together. During this time many people also make and hang up paper cut art, with motifs of the moon and elements from old legends.
Mooncakes are eaten because, in addition to the full moon being present during the harvest, in Chinese culture the moon represents union of families and the bonds shared.
According to Travel and Leisure, there is a legend about a hero named Hou Yi who shot down nine of 10 suns as they overheated the earth. In recompense, Hou Yi was given an elixir, which would allow him to reach the heavens and become a god, from the Goddess of the Heavens. Chang’e, Hou Yi’s wife, drank the elixir to protect it from an evil man and flew to the moon.” Travel and Leisure writes that “The brokenhearted Hou Yi placed his wife’s favorite foods on his table every year afterwards on the day of the fullest moon, hoping she would appear.”