ONE of the biggest events on the Chinese calendar will have a new home this year with the Art Gallery of Ballarat to host the traditional Mooncake Festival.
Also known as the Moon Lantern Festival, the celebrations marks the eighth full moon of the Chinese calendar.
The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty. It is designed as a thanksgiving to the upcoming harvest. An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship as the ancient Chinese believed in rejuvenation being associated with the moon and water.
A notable part of the celebration is the carrying of brightly lit lanterns. Traditionally lanterns signified the wish for the sun's light and warmth to return after winter.
A feature will be a group of spectacular super-sized lanterns representing the 12 animals of Sheng Xiao, the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
There will even be three extra-large pigs to represent the current Year of the Pig.
Event organiser Jessie Fu of the Chinese Australian Cultural Society Ballarat said the society was formed in October 2008 with the aim of enabling current and future generations to learn the rich history and cultural practices of China.
Gallery director Louise Tegart said that the Mooncake Festival showed what could be achieved by building partnerships with other cultural organisations.
"We want the gallery to reflect the diversity of Ballarat and to be a place for community celebrations of all sorts," Ms Tegart said.
"The Chinese community in Ballarat are very active in celebrating elements of Chinese cultural traditions to Ballarat and we are very happy to join with them in this fun and colourful event for all ages."
The Moon Cake Festival will be held at the Art Gallery of Ballarat from 11am to 7pm on Saturday.
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