Lahaina Chinese Moon Festival Sept. 25 & 26
Lahaina Restoration Foundation will present a Chinese Moon Festival at Wo Hing Museum in Lahaina on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and 26, between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Admission is free.
Chinese around the world pay tribute to the autumn harvest during traditional moon festivals. Also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, moon festivals in China originated more than 2,000 years ago.
Chinese emperors chose the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar to worship the moon and give offerings to the moon goddess—yam, lotus root, star fruit, water chestnut, pomelo and taro.
It is believed that taro was the first food discovered in the moonlight. Gradually, the festival evolved into a celebration of thanks for an abundance of fruits, vegetables and grains from harvests. The moon cake—a round cake with a sweet paste filling or salted duck egg yolk in the center—and colorful lanterns are symbolic traditions at a moon festival.
During Lahaina’s two-day festival, attendees can see the wide variety of produce grown on the island at a Maui County Farm Bureau display and explore cultural activities such as Chinese knot tying and a talk on kau chim divination.
Kids can make paper lanterns and learn how to plant Chinese Lantern and Moon Flower seeds.
In addition to cultural exhibits on display in the temple and cookhouse, moon festival history will be presented at 2 and 6 p.m.
Between 5 and 8 p.m., Chinese tea and moon cakes will be served under the sky to the accompaniment of an instrumental erhu performance. A tea garden will feature samples of organic oolong, jasmine and herbal teas from PONOinfusions.
From 6:30 to 8 p.m., festival-goers can watch traditional Cantonese cooking demonstrations and sample gau chee.
Chinese vegetable and chicken dishes will be available for sale along with moon cakes. A decorative box of four large moon cakes costs $20 and one large moon cake sells for $6; fillings include taro, lotus and red bean. Moon cakes can be ordered prior to the festival by contacting Wo Hing Museum.
Chinese Moon Festival is supported by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.
Wo Hing Museum, located at 858 Front St., will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days.
For more information, call the museum at (808) 661-5553 or go online.