This weekend will see a host of colourful cultural festivities at the Arcadian as The Chinese Festival Committee host the Mid Autumn Festival this Saturday afternoon.
Headed up by James Wong, owner of the Chung Ying Restaurant Group, there will be a feast of activities and food to enjoy for all the family.
The Mid Autumn Festival has been celebrated in China since the Shang Dynasty over 3000 years ago. It has ties to the moon, fertility, and the Autumn harvest time.
James Wong says, “It gives me great pleasure to bring the Mid Autumn festival to Southside. The Arcadian is a great space for all the festivities and in modern times the day is a time for Chinese families to get together to eat lots of delicious food! Not many know the historical story of the festival and the tradition of the mooncakes, and it is an interesting one.”
One of the many legends goes : after Hou-Yi shot the nine other suns out of the sky, the gods were impressed and gave him an elixir of immortality. But he loved his wife Chang so much that he couldn’t bear to live without her.
People were jealous and when Hou-Yi left the house his friend Peng Meng chased his wife for the elixir, which she loyally refused to give away. She was forced to flee into the moon, and in his overwhelming grief Hou-Yi arranged all her favourite foods outside their house as an offering to her.
This is where the tradition of mooncakes comes from. Made from a type of savoury, filled dumpling with red bean paste and a duck egg, which resembles the moon when the dumpling is broken into.
Performances at the Mid Autumn Festival will include Taekwondo performances, the popular Dragon Dances, and a recital from the Hall Green Academy choir. The festival will end with a bang with a flurry of fireworks at 7pm.
A Chinese festival is not complete without food! There will be a plethora of street food offerings such as City favourites Digbeth Dining Club and the fantastic Dim Sum Su.
If all this wasn’t enough, Mr James Wong himself is even promising to shave his head in aid of cancer research if £4,000 can be raised for Macmillan. That’s worth a visit in itself.
Entrance is free and the weather looks fine so this is sure to be a fun event for all the family.