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The Chinese Association of Iowa Proudly Presents the 14th Annual Iowa Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Join us!
September 24, 2016
West Des Moines City Hall
4200 Mills Civic Parkway
West Des Moines

The Chinese Association of Iowa has been a very proud partner with the West Des Moines Illumifest for almost a decade.

You will enjoy music, dancing, calligraphy, painting, boat ride, lantern making, inflatables, hot air balloon, movie, food, friends, and fun.

The fireworks will be at 9pm.

Cultural and entertainment talents and volunteers are needed for this annual event, one-night stay host families are needed for out-of-town student volunteers.

Please contact Swallow Yan(515-988-0901,swallowxyan@yahoo.com) if you are interested. Thank you!

About the Annual Illumifest

A fall festival of light, on September 24th and people are invited to come and help illuminate West Des Moines!  The evening event, which will be held on the City/School Campus (4200 Mills Civic Parkway) from 4-9pm, will feature a number of activities for people of all ages.

People can be a part of the event by creating their own paper lantern complete with a LED light during the evening.  "Our goal is to have 1,000 lanterns lighting up around the campus pond." event director Todd Seaman stated.  "People can decorate their own paper lantern and with paints to make their own special creation." 

Other activities include: FREE carnival rides and inflatables including a ferris wheel, FREE hot air balloon rides (weather permitting), displays and demonstrations by the Chinese Association of Iowa,  food vendors, and a FREE outdoor showing of the movie "Up".  The evening will conclude with a fireworks extravaganza.

Mark your calendars now so you don't miss out on what will be a special evening of entertainment and fun!!  For more information check out the web site at www.illumifest.com.

About the 14th Annual Iowa Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Since 2003, the Chinese Association of Iowa has hosted the annual Iowa Chinese Mid-Autumn Festivals in central Iowa, including locations of DMACC West Campus, Capital Square, Saylorville Lake, Sams Club Parking Lot, and West Des Moines City/School Campus.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, Zhongqiu Festival, or in Chinese, Zhongqiujie, is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese people in china, Taiwan, Vietnam, and other countries across the world.  It dates back over 3,000 years to moon worship in China's Shang Dynasty. It was first called Zhongqiu Jie (literally "Mid-Autumn Festival") in the Zhou Dynasty.  In Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is usually around late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the few most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, the others being Chinese New Year and Winter Solstice, and is a legal holiday in several countries. Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelos under the moon together. Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as:

  • Putting pomelo rinds on one's head
  • Carrying brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, floating sky lanterns
  • Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e
  • Planting Mid-Autumn trees
  • Collecting dandelion leaves and distributing them evenly among family members
  • Fire Dragon Dances
  • In Taiwan, since the 1980s, barbecuing meat outdoors has become a widespread way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
  • Shops selling mooncakes before the festival often display pictures of Chang'e floating to the moon.



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Last Modified: September 19, 2016