Barkerville, BC, August 17, 2011 – In Chinese culture, certain numbers are deemed lucky based on the Chinese word their name sounds closest to. In Cantonese, for example, the number two is a homophone of the Chinese character for “easy,” so the number two is considered to be auspicious. Likewise, the number three sounds similar to the word for “life,” and the number eight is so synonymous with “fortune” or “prosperity” that a telephone number with all its digits being eights once sold for USD$270,723.00 in Chengdu, a southwest Chinese city.
Add up all three of those digits and you get thirteen, which the Chinese – unlike their Western counterparts – consider to be a lucky number indeed. The number one sounds like the word for “definite” in both Mandarin and Cantonese; the number three, like “living,” or “birth.” As a result the number thirteen, which is pronounced “shisan” in Mandarin, can mean “definitely vibrant,” “assured growth” or “definitely living.”
It is no wonder, then, that the organizers of Barkerville’s 13th annual Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival see good fortune in the cards for this year’s August 20th event.
“The Mid-Autumn Festival, which includes a variety of daytime and evening activities, is one of the most popular events in Barkerville’s summer season,” said James Douglas, Barkerville’s Manager of Visitor Experiences.
“We’ve got lion dancers, lantern-making workshops, a tea ceremony, moon cake tasting, games for all ages, two special celebration banquets, a magnificent, night-time parade of illuminated paper lanterns and a fireworks display that is sure to fill the festival with equal parts revelry and reverence for one of BC’s oldest and largest ethnic communities.”
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 pre-eminent festivals in the Chinese calendar is the Mid-Autumn Festival. During the festival, family members gather to eat moon cakes and appreciate the bright full moon – a positive token of abundance, harmony and luck.
Barkerville celebrates the moon a little earlier than most – mid-August rather than strictly mid-Autumn – as a way sharing this special day with the historic town’s summertime guests.
“Barkerville is especially fortunate to once again have the support of Integris Credit Union, our 2011 Financial Sponsor for the Mid-Autumn Festival,” said Douglas. “In addition, McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. has come on board this year as Community Sponsor, and both Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. and Westcana Electric Inc. are committed Community Supporters.
“Thanks in large part to their contributions this is set to be the best Mid-Autumn Festival yet.”
Barkerville’s 13th annual Mid-Autumn Festival runs from 10:00am until 10:00pm, Saturday, August 20th. Times and locations for a variety of daily events have changed slightly from previous years, so please check out www.barkerville.ca/midautumn.htm for up to date scheduling information.