SF Chinatown attracts nearly 40,000 visitors during Autumn Moon Festival celebration

  • San Francisco’s Chinatown held its annual Autumn Moon Festival celebration on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Jenny Chan, the assistant director of the celebration, explained that they decided to hold the event last weekend “because we wanted for people to get the mooncake [and lanterns] ahead of time so they can actually celebrate at home with their family on the day of the Moon Festival,”
  • This year’s actual date of the Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is Sept. 10. 
  • The streets of Chinatown were filled with vendors, music and several events, including a Bruce Lee look-alike contest.
  • Around 40,000 visitors reportedly went to Chinatown to celebrate and help support small businesses.

Nearly 40,000 visitors went to San Francisco’s Chinatown over the weekend to celebrate this year’s Autumn Moon Festival.

The event typically occurs every September, but organizers decided to celebrate early this year.

The Autumn Moon Festival is actually the second biggest festival in the Chinese culture, and it’s been celebrated for thousands of years – think of it as a Chinese Thanksgiving,” Jenny Chan, the event’s assistant director, told ABC7 News on Friday.

We celebrate it with lanterns [and] mooncake,” Chan explained. “And the mooncake is shaped like a moon because the moon signifies reunion in Chinese culture, and it is celebrated on [a] full moon, which is, this year, it’s September 10th.”

Chan then explained that they decided to hold the event on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 “because we wanted for people to get the mooncake [and lanterns] ahead of time so they can actually celebrate at home with their family on the day of the Moon Festival.”

The streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown were filled with vendors, music and several events, including a Bruce Lee look-alike contest.

Speaking to ABC7 News, Chan said that the emperor “would wish for a bountiful harvest” in ancient times, but now “we are wishing for a bountiful years [sic] for our neighborhood and also for better days to come.”

For the last two years, we have been very hard hit in our community, as you know. So this is about casting away the bad juju that we have been experiencing and also [about] a renewed energy,” Chan stated.

Miss Chinatown USA 2010 Crystal Lee was also present at the celebration to greet people and take photos with attendees.

It is so great to come back and to have this Moon Festival. It is really important to bring in all these tourists and to let people know that San Francisco’s Chinatown is still alive. We are still here,” Lee told ABC7 News. “It is so great to have these people come in and support the small businesses.”

The Autumn Moon Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or the Mid-Autumn Festival, is a significant holiday in Chinese culture that occurs on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years.

Featured Image via giantsrocdaworld

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