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Full moon marks prominent Asian holiday, celebration

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Families from around our region will be gathering for tonight’s full moon, to celebrate a prominent Asian holiday.

On Saturday, Philadelphia Chinatown will play host to the annual mid-Autumn festival celebration.

Organizer Alice Vuong says this festival is one of the two big Chinese celebrations in Chinatown.

“Well, in Philadelphia we have the Mid-Autumn Festival, and then we also have the Chinese New Year,” she explained.

Wei Chen is with Asian Americans United.

“Those people who celebrate the lunar calendar, we believe the Mid-Autumn Festival is a day that the nature is showing the full moon as a symbolism for us to show that everybody comes back together to celebrate a reunion and also to celebrate the harvest because it’s autumn,” he said.

And that’s why, Vuong explains, this is a holiday that’s very closely associated with nature

“Folks gather under a full moon typically and they celebrate the harvest, being together and also the different folk stories that are associated with the mid-autumn festival itself,” she said.

In celebration of the full moon, it’s also customary this time of the year to eat round cakes known as “moon cakes.” 

The Chinatown festival and celebration will run from noon – 8 p.m. on Saturday.

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