Celebrate Chinese Culture, Family, & the Full Moon at San Diego’s Mid-Autumn Festival
On September 24th, that great rocky, pock-marked natural satellite of ours will rise in full pearly glory over America’s Finest City. A couple of days before, the House of China will mark this Harvest Moon in the traditional Chinese manner: with a Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as a Moon Festival, and it’ll be yours to enjoy—the onstage performances, the hands-on crafts, and of course the mooncakes—just a short trip from your guest room here at the Sofia Hotel in Downtown San Diego!
The Moon Festival: Millennia of Tradition
The moon has been an object of general worship and great symbolism in China for thousands of years. By the 7th century, this reverence had merged with traditional harvest celebrations to formalize the Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival. Because Chinese culture associates the full moon with family, the Moon Festival also became an occasion for relatives to gather; indeed, another name for the event is the Reunion Festival.
By the 10th century, the Moon Festival—held on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month—had begun featuring what’s become its signature gastronomic element: the mooncake, a delectable round pastry typically filled with lotus-seed or sweet-bean paste.
Other hallmarks of the Moon Festival include lanterns and osmanthus, which blooms this time of year; a wine fermented from osmanthus blossoms is a drink of choice at the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The tradition of the Moon Festival has long become established outside of China in Vietnam and other corners of Southeast Asia, and today—in addition to serving its historical role honoring the Harvest Moon and family togetherness—it’s also an all-around celebration of East/Southeast Asian culture in many other parts of the world, San Diego included.
The 2018 Moon Festival in Balboa Park
The House of China—part of Balboa Park’s House of Pacific Relations International Cottages—invites San Diegans and visitors alike to the 2018 Moon Festival, held on Saturday, September 22nd in and around the Spreckels Organ Pavilion less than two miles from the Sofia Hotel.
The festival will feature a fabulous lineup of music and dance performances beginning at noon; the groups that’ll take the stage include the AmeriCal Youth Orchestra, Xian Jian Dance Studio, Hua Xia Dance, and the Preservationists Jazz Band of Mission Bay High School.
You’ll most definitely be able to enjoy some top-quality mooncakes as well, plus the fried crepes known as Jian Bing, eggrolls, dumplings, and other mouthwatering fare. Moon Festival activities and demonstrations will include gourd-carving and sidewalk calligraphy, and there’ll be a variety of crafts vendors on hand as well.
And if those feet of yours are itching for a bit of globe-hopping, take note: There’ll also be a raffle for a trip to China during the festivities!
Join the 2018 Moon Festival & Enjoy the House of China’s Other Offerings as a Guest at the Sofia Hotel
The House of China cottage is open each and every Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM and offers exhibits, travel information, and the chance to have your name spelled out in Chinese characters. And the organization also facilitates other holidays and special events besides the Moon Festival, including a Chinese New Year celebration and the December Nights Festival.
We invite you to take part in San Diego’s Moon Festival as a guest of ours here at the Sofia Hotel the night of September 22nd, and we also urge you to keep track of the House of China’s other offerings throughout the year!