Saturday, September 30, 2017

Intro to china

With China being kind of far from the Hudson Valley, one recent way to experience its culture was the Moon Festival in Mount Hope, a small town in the northwestern part of Orange County. This welcoming and colorful event recognizes the annual harvest celebration in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese culture that signals the end of summer and the start of autumn. The free event on Saturday, September 16 featured crafts performances, games, exhibits, food, and vendors, as well as a children’s space—all to immerse visitors in Chinese culture.

Detailed signage at each station, in English and Chinese, helped visitors understand the activity’s process and cultural significance. A sign adjacent to a group handling giant animal puppets told people how the traditional “lion dance” borrows moves from martial arts and is staged to honor guests. Women at craft tables guided children and adults as they wrote their names in calligraphy onto bookmarks and folded paper into vibrant origami lotus flowers.

One station featured a demonstration of Falun Dafa, a physical meditative exercise of simple poses to increase energy and spiritual connection while forsaking attachments. The nearby Dragon Springs sanctuary and temple is home to practitioners who fled China as the Communist Party forbid the practice and persecuted practitioners who were arrested, raped, tortured, sent to labor camps, or killed for their peaceful practice. 

The event was spectacularly designed to welcome and immerse people in the culture. Actors in traditional dress didn't hesitate to pose with attendees for photos, and food vendors were generous with samples.      

Mount Hope Moon Festival:

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