Barkerville’s Mid Moon Festival this weekend

Celebrating early Chinese traditions at the Chee Kung Tong, the oldest ethnic Chinese structure in Canada.

According to ancient Chinese astrology, the moon is at its roundest in the middle of the autumn season.

Since the round shape of the Full Moon symbolizes family reunion and togetherness in Chinese culture, one of the pre-eminent festivals in the Chinese calendar is the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. During the festival, family members gather to eat moon cakes and appreciate the bright Full Moon – an auspicious token of abundance, harmony and luck.

On Aug. 16, Barkerville is host to the annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Barkerville celebrates the festival a little earlier than most in order to share this special day with the historic town’s summertime guests.

“Many people associate the arrival of the Chinese in Canada with the building of the railway,” said Dr. Ying Ying Chen, the archaeologist who runs Barkerville’s Historic Chinatown interpretation program. “The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in Barkerville celebrates how these immigrants came to our country much earlier than that, and how they made significant contributions to the economy of British Columbia before it was a part of Canada.”

In addition to a presentation of the Legend of Chang O, the tragic story of a Chinese goddess said to live on the moon, the day features lion dances, Chinese martial arts demonstrations, lantern-making workshops, a tea ceremony, games for all ages, moon cake tasting, two special celebration banquets, late-night fireworks, and a spectacular parade of illuminated paper lanterns.

“The struggle and sacrifice of Barkerville’s Chinese community has been recognized as an extraordinary contribution to the forming of B.C. as we know it today,” said Ed Coleman, Barkerville’s chief executive officer.

“We are happy to help honour those Chinese miners who travelled to the far side of the world to work industriously in the goldfields in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their loved ones.”

The Chee Kung Tong, the oldest ethnic Chinese structure in Canada, was erected by the Chinese Freemasons in Barkerville to help Chinese miners adjust to the realities of living so far from home, and to act as a hospice of sorts for those community members in need. The Chee Kung Tong was itself declared a National Historic Site in 2009.

“This makes Barkerville unique, in that we are simultaneously a Provincial Historic Site and a National Historic Site with a second National Historic Site within it,” says James Douglas, Barkerville’s Visitor Experiences manager.

For more information about the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, or any other Barkerville event, visit www.barkerville.ca/special_events.htm. For reservations to the Lung Duck Tong Banquet call 1-250-994-3458.

Submitted

Just Posted

Highway 97 has reopened after single-vehicle incident

UPDATE (1:47 p.m.): The highway has reopened. CLEAR - #BCHwy97 at #BegbieSummit… Continue reading

McAbee Fossil Beds site ready to reopen to the public

Site was taken over by the Province and closed to the public in July 2012

Open houses will give residents chance to voice views on new Eco-Depot

TNRD will be answering questions, soliciting feedback about Ashcroft/Cache Creek Eco-Depot

BC Hydro scam targeting local businesses

Scammer claims to be on his way to businesses to cut the power unless payment is made

Ashcroft Village Council highlights

Dog park discussion, grant approval, Canada Day celebrations and more

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read