Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tacoma Moon Festival 2013

The second annual Tacoma Moon Festival took place on Saturday, September 21st at Tacoma's Chinese Reconciliation Park.

This year's Moon Festival was held on the last day of summer and we were incredibly fortunate to have clear, sunny skies when the weather forecast had called for heavy rain.  The festival had food, lion dancers, a zodiac animal yacht parade, and a number of wonderful performances.  I especially enjoyed the tea ceremony presentations and the Chinese Opera performance.

The Moon Festival featured two presentations of Chinese tea ceremony (gongfu cha).  There are many variations on Chinese tea ceremony and it's always a great opportunity to see them in practice.

We were treated to a cup of delicious Bai Hao Oolong (Oriental Beauty) from Taiwan, served with sweet plums and moon cake.  The sweet and tart flavors contrasted nicely with the tea.

Jina Park led a presentation of two Korean Tea Ceremony forms.  The first was a Welcoming tea, usually presented by women in high class households.

The second tea ceremony was for Meditation.  It is generally practiced alone to clear the mind and is especially helpful for students or business people.

Shortly before the sun set, Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club presented highlights from Beijing Opera plays, including the famous sword dance from Farewell My Concubine.  We were also treated to a solo in each of the four Chinese Opera character types.

This was my first Moon Festival in my new home of Tacoma and I was sad to see it end.  I'm already looking forward to next year's Moon Festival!

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