Assembly – Phil Ting

Autumn Moon Festival

by Assemblyman Phil Ting

Now that it’s September and our kids are back at school, we are officially done with summer and can welcome fall. Many cultures mark the change in seasons in a variety of ways. One tradition many San Franciscans of Chinese descent observe every September is the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is also known as the Harvest Moon or Autumn Moon Festival.

The Chinese have been celebrating the autumn harvest’s full moon since the Shang Dynasty in the second millennium B.C., and the tradition has spread throughout other countries in Southeast Asia. It’s a time to praise the bountiful crops and tell tales of the immortal moon goddess Chang-O.

The Zhuang people of southern China, the largest minority in the country, share an ancient fable of how the sun and the moon are a couple and the stars are their children. The moon’s pregnancy makes it round, and it becomes a crescent after giving birth to a child.

The Autumn Moon Festival is often considered a “Chinese Thanksgiving” because it celebrates gratitude and includes abundant food, including the popular moon cake.

For years here in San Francisco, the celebration was held in Chinatown.

Since I took office, my staff has worked to organize autumn moon festivals on the west side of San Francisco, where many Chinese and other Asian communities who celebrate this festival live.

To that end, I am pleased to invite the public to our second annual Richmond District Autumn Moon Festival, to take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., on bustling Clement Street, between Fifth and Eighth avenues.

This year’s event will feature cultural entertainment and booths offering resources for the community.

If you are joining us, please stop by my office’s booth. My staff will be there to answer questions and provide information on how state government can serve you.

Additionally, we will have Mahjong tables for open play; neighbors can sit down and build community over the tiles. If you don’t know how to play, feel free to ask someone to show you.

While you’re there, be sure to enjoy lively Clement Street. Have lunch and patronize the small businesses. I want to thank the Clement Street Merchants’ Association for hosting us and for all of their assistance in putting the festival together. We have always had a great experience working with merchant President Cynthia Huie and members of the association; so it is a pleasure to produce this community event.

I additionally want to acknowledge our sponsors whose monetary donations help us with expenses associated with the festival, as well as our media sponsors who help us spread the word about this event. I also want to thank our partners, including SF Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer and her staff, who have been indispensable allies in organizing this event, as have the staff at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center and Community Youth Center.

I hope you will join us on Sept. 8 for a fun, family-friendly event that will showcase the cultural diversity of the west side.

See you there!

Phil Ting represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the west side of San Francisco.

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