The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Guests ‘Moon’ Over Culture at the Great Park Mid-Autumn Festival

Friends and family gathered in Great Park to celebrate East and Southeast Asian culture and tradition at the City of Irvine’s Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 29. Local sponsors and organizations provided various activities, cultural goods and performances free of charge to visitors of all ages.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, is a 3,000 year old Chinese tradition to celebrate successful harvests by providing offerings to the Moon. Nowadays, several Asian cultures celebrate this custom by enjoying cultural clothing, food and music, according to volunteer and junior Isabel Gan.

Gan celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival by sharing her culture with Pocky sticks and traditional calligraphy services at a festival booth.

“I think my Singaporean-Chinese heritage is something that should be spread and cherished,” said Gan. “Volunteering is a great way to do that.”

The Mid-Autumn festival revolves around cultivating a united community through culture. For sophomore Kylie Liao, a performer at the Great Park event, participating in Chinese traditional dance fostered the opportunity for her to learn more about her Chinese heritage.

“I wanted to get more involved with my culture and try a dance style that’s more traditional,” Liao said. “We’re not just dancing to songs and wearing costumes; we are actually getting taught about different Chinese ethnic groups and the significance of the movements within the dances.”

Beyond culture, wellness is also an important aspect of keeping communities connected, according to booth organizer and director of the Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center (AASCSC) Luna Lu. Lu’s booth provided various East Asian snacks, Covid-19 rapid testing kits and information about physical and mental healthcare.

“I think the analogy I always use is that the Mid-Autumn Festival is like Thanksgiving,” Lu said.” “It is about getting together and celebrating unity and harmony, and it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase not only cultural heritage but also all the wonderful services the booths provide.”

The Great Park Mid-Autumn festival unified visitors and volunteers by providing a place for Asian American locals to spread culture.

To further promote diversity, the Great Park will be hosting the 22nd annual Global Village Festival on Oct. 14, this time highlighting cultures from around the world.

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About the Contributors
Alice Ahn, Social Media Team
Alice Ahn is the co-social media manager for her first year on the Portola Pilot. As a new staff writer, she feels honored to have her work on newspaper pages and the internet for the very first time. Apart from proofreading her own writing an unhealthy number of times, Alice frequents novels with entrancing titles but mediocre plots. She wants to make the most out of not only this school year, but also her Spotify Premium subscription, and would love to hear any of your music recommendations.
Kayley Winata, Staff Writer
Kayley Winata is a staff writer for her first year on the Portola Pilot. She is looking forward to getting to know and working with fellow Pilot members. Outside of the classroom, you can find her listening to an excessive amount of music and crying about not having spotify premium while adding useless pictures onto her Pinterest boards.
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