On September 6, the Norton Museum of Art will host its ninth annual Chinese Moon Festival celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, the harvest festival has been celebrated by the Chinese for centuries on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar, coinciding with the full moon of the autumnal equinox. The Moon Festival has become an important national holiday in Chinese culture, similar in scope to Thanksgiving here in the States. It’s a time for friends and family members to gather and give thanks for the harvest, pray for good fortune and dine on “moon cakes,” a traditional sweet that represents familial unity and completeness.
In recognition of the Norton’s remarkable Chinese art collection, the museum has become Palm Beach County’s all-ages Moon Festival party spot, with events planned for the entire afternoon. For the museum’s ninhth Chinese Moon Festival, guests will enjoy curator-led tours of the museum, art workshops, live performances and, of course, moon cakes. Free with admission to the museum, the schedule for festivities September 6 is as follows:
- Noon to 3 p.m.: Chinese seal-making activity in the Reynolds Classroom.
- Noon to 5 p.m.: Get on the trail of the self-guided treasure hunt in the Chinese Collection. Begin in the lobby and see if you can find all the hidden treasures.
Liu Fang playing the pipa.
12:30 p.m.: The museum tour “Treasure of Chinese Art,” will explore the museum’s collection of Chinese art. Guests are asked to meet in the lobby at 12:30 p.m.
- 1-2 p.m.: Armory Art Center artist Ron Shaw will lead a special artist demonstration in the Central Courtyard, displaying the technique of porcelain modeling.
- 1:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.: Laurie Barnes, Elizabeth B. McGraw Curator of Chinese Art, will lead the Masterpiece of the Month Curator’s Conversation tour, exploring the significance and context of the 800-year-old conical bowl from the Northern Song/Jin dynasties on display. Guests are asked to meet on the ground floor of the McGraw Gallery.
- 2 p.m.: The ArtVentures Tour will explore museum highlights, beginning in the lobby.
- 2-4 p.m.: Bring the magic of Moon Festival home with a Chinese lantern. The Atrium will transform to a makeshift workshop as you diligently create and decorate your own lantern.
- 3-4 p.m.: In tribute to Moon Festival, Liu Fang will perform a special concert on the pipa, a four-string lute. Seating is limited and is at a first-come, first-serve basis. Doors to the theater open at 2:15 p.m.
- 4-5 p.m.: No Moon Festival is complete without a moon cake! Join in the tradition at the Tea and Moon Cake Reception in the private dining room and West Loggia.
Museum admission costs $12 for adults.
For more information, visit norton.org.