Barkerville celebrates full moon festival

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

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

Since the round shape of 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 that will fill the event with equal parts revelry and reverence for one of British Columbia’s oldest and largest ethnic communities.

“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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read