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'Moon Festival' begins SE Chinese celebration

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Members of the Northwest Dragon & Lion Dance Association excite the Inner Southeast crowd with their antics.Throughout September, many Asian communities celebrated mid-Autumn celebrations at many locations.

The “Moon Festival” – the first, and perhaps the largest of these gatherings in Southeast Portland – took place at Eastport Plaza, at S.E. Holgate Boulevard and 82nd Avenue of Roses, on Saturday, September 14.

“The significance of Moon Festival to Chinese people is that it is a time for gathering families together,” explained its organizer, “Portland Chinese Times” Publisher Charles Hui.

“In a way, it’s like an American Thanksgiving celebration,” Hui added. “In our history, it is also a time for remembering good people from a long time ago, who were trying to save the country. It's a time when we appreciate our ancestors.”

Throughout the day, the Eastport Plaza celebration included traditional and modern Asian music, dance, and the appearance of three “good luck lions” who performed for the crowd.

“People also enjoy the Moon Cake,” Hui smiled. “It’s something to pass along to family and friends.”

The shopping center’s General Manager, Dianne Gill, was on hand helping out. “We’ve become a venue for many in the community to present culturally-significant events such as the Mid-Autumn Festival. We love finding new ways of bringing the community together.”