Shaolin martial arts featured at Barkerville’s 19th annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
According to ancient Chinese astrology, the moon is at its roundest in the middle of the autumn season. Since the round shape of full moon symbolizes family reunion and togetherness in Chinese culture, one of the preeminent festivals in the Chinese calendar is the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. During the festival, family members gather to eat moon cakes and appreciate the bright full moon – an auspicious token of abundance, harmony and luck.
On Saturday August 20th, Barkerville Historic Town & Park will host its 19th annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Barkerville, a Province of BC Heritage Property and National Historic Site of Canada, celebrates the festival a little earlier than most in order to share this special day with the historic town’s summertime guests. The day will features lion dances, lantern-making workshops, a tea ceremony, Chinese Chess tournament, games for all ages, moon cake tasting, two special celebration banquets, and a spectacular parade of illuminated paper lanterns that will fill the event with equal parts revelry and reverence for one of BC’s oldest and largest ethnic communities.
The Chee Kung Tong, the oldest ethnic Chinese structure in Canada, was erected by the Chinese Freemasons in Barkerville to help Chinese miners adjust to the realities of living so far from home, and to act as a hospice of sorts for those community members in need. The Chee Kung Tong building was itself declared a National Historic Site in 2009.
SPECIAL FOR 2016: With support from the Central Interior Regional Arts Council, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD), Cultural Department of Henan Province, People’s Republic of China, District of 100 Mile House, City of Williams Lake, District of Wells, City of Prince George, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and Barkerville Historic Town & Park are sponsoring a Chinese martial arts performance at 1:00 PM on Saturday, August 20th, at the Theatre Royal in Barkerville. Tickets are $15.00 per person, and will be available at the Theatre Royal box office, Barkerville’s Visitors’ Reception Centre, or in advance by calling 1-888-994-3332.
The performing group is comprised of 18 elite martial arts practitioners from the Shaolin Epo Martial Arts School of Dengfeng City, Henan Province, People’s Republic of China. During the performance, these high calibre performers will demonstrate various Shaolin Wushu martial arts techniques including pictographic animal boxing, knife and whip group boxing, variations of hard qigong (involving pikes and steel nails) and use of the 18 weapons developed by Shaolin monks over many decades.
“Many people associate the arrival of the Chinese in Canada with the building of the railway, but Chinese immigrants came to our country much earlier than that, making significant contributions to the economy of British Columbia before it was a part of Canada; Barkerville’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival celebrates these early, Gold Rush pioneers.” Dr. Ying Ying Chen, Cariboo Chinese Heritage Centre