Enjoy traditional performances and activities at the annual Moon Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 22, at the Library Community Room and adjacent Library Park.

The event is free and open to the public.

Also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Mooncake Festival, the Moon Festival is celebrated in China and other Asian countries. In China, it is the second-most important holiday after the Chinese New Year.

The tradition originated 3,000 years ago as a way to give thanks to the moon for bringing in a bountiful harvest.

The occasion is also an opportunity to commemorate the “Year of the Pig,” which began Feb. 5. This animal is the 12th in a 12-year cycle on the Chinese calendar.

“The Moon Festival celebrates family reunion and harvest with the full moon and connects local communities through arts and culture and has attracted hundreds of people of diverse cultures,” according to a news release from one of the festival’s sponsors.

The South Pasadena Chinese American Club is the creator and 20-year sponsor of the event. The celebration has been held every year at various locations in the city.

Traditionally, and again this year, co-sponsors are the City of South Pasadena, the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library. New this year is co-sponsor SinoUSArts, a nonprofit group dedicated to Chinese art and culture.

The festival will feature a lion-dance, Fusion Duet music, a Peking Opera performance, a martial-arts demonstration and other cultural dances, according to organizers. 

Participants can also enjoy tea tasting, a chalk-drawing sidewalk art contest and cultural games. Art-making activities include lantern painting and musical-instrument making. 

A Hawaiian food truck will park onsite. Mooncakes, the traditional food for the holiday, and dragon beard candy will also be available.

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Sally Kilby, a South Pasadena resident, was City Clerk 2000-2013. Prior to that, she worked in health care as a nurse, medical librarian, advertising copywriter, writer and journal editor. She is involved in various community organizations. Her two grown children attended South Pasadena schools and work at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

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