Mid-Autumn Moon Festival - NBC Southern California

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Acrobatics and eats are part of the Chinatown to-do.

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    Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
    The 73rd Annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival brightens the evening on Saturday, Sept. 17.

    The moon? Big, faraway, made of cheese, rife with poetically named craters and seas? Right. We know it is there. We all know it is there, but sometimes our famous and beautiful lunar satellite takes second or third or 574th billing to whatever is preoccupying us here on this planet.

    Which is unfortunate. But fortunately there are moments on the calendar where the beautiful orb gets top billing and we are invited to make merry for the moon. The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is certainly one of those times, and Chinatown is preparing to mark its 73rd celebration. The 2011 date is Saturday, Sept. 17.

    The best part of the Moon Festival? Well, there are many best parts. But we love that it is a nighttime festivity. (We know, the moon's around during the day oftentimes, but night? That's like the moon's oldest chum.) And nighttime in Chinatown's Central Plaza means neon and lanterns and atmospheric lamps aplenty. Lovely lovely.

    There will also be delicious moon cakes to sample, not to mention a convoy of food trucks. Plus acrobatics. Plus storytelling. Plus Ping Pong. Plus a beer garden.

    And telescopes through which one may view all of those poetically named craters and seas. What's your favorite? We're sweet on Fra Mauro. Oh, did you think we were going to go Sea of Tranquility? A popular choice.

    The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival a free event, too. Do we even need to point out that enjoying the moon is free, too? We like the commonality between festival and what is being fested. And again, this is why the moon deserves a top billing in our lives. It's free for the admiring every night it shows up in the sky.

    Thank you, moon. Love, an earthling.