Modern Traditional Chinatown Moon Festival

Ping pong, ghost stories, and lunar-looking are part of the free annual party

Chinatown Moon Festival

The moon is the moon is the moon -- spoiler alert -- but our satellite is celebrated in different ways depending on the time of year down on Earth.

That recent Blue Moon? Got plenty of attention, in part for its rarity. Other moons during the year? Beautiful and noteworthy. 

But the moon rules the start of autumn, and Harvest Moon, which is due this year over the last weekend of September, might be the most celebrated of all the lunar phases.

Chinatown throws an annual Mid-Autumn Festival, a party to mark the Harvest Moon. And this year's party will come on the very night, or perhaps a few hours ahead, of Harvest Moon's peak fullness.

The free celebration, which is just a year shy of its big 75th, will take place in and around the historic Central Plaza on Saturday, Sept. 29.

What will happen? Let's start with moon-focused love; Griffith Observatory is going to swing by with some telescopes that will be pointed on the horizon (the Harvest Moon rising means the celebrations will start before sundown). 

Ping-pong play, ghost stories, and the sampling of moon cakes are what's happening away from the telescopes.

"(T)raditional ceremonies will be infused with more modern interpretations," says the festival site, so look for those interpretations in the culinary demos, the roaming performers, the gallery shows, and the other nearby businesses marking the occasion.

The Mid-Autumn Chinatown Moon Festival is on from 5 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. And while this particular fest is nearly three-quarters of a century old, Moon Festivals extend back in China some 3,000 years.

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