FLORHAM PARK, NJ - On Sunday evening the Millburn Short Hills Chinese Association gathered to celebrate the 2016 Moon Festival Gala. Guests mingled amid the rolling greens of Brooklake Country Club.
Emcees Louie Shen and Xiaoli Wang kicked off the formal events following a lively cocktail hour with opening remarks from association president Roy You. You thanked event sponsors and recognized special guests from the Millburn community including deputy mayor Ian Mount, Superintendent Christine Burton and members of the board of education. He also acknowledged Fire Chief J. Michael Roberts, Police Captain Michael Mulligan and Reverend Dr. Johann J. Bosman noting “Your service and friendship is well appreciated by the Chinese American residents.”
Superintendent Burton echoed You’s sentiments about coming together, “It is on these types of occasions where we come together, and we celebrate these unique traditions in the Chinese culture, we have the opportunity to come together and unite as one community.”
To the delight of the crowd, deputy mayor Mount opened his remarks greeting the crowd in Madarin. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of the association's first inaugural Moon Festival gala and to experience and celebrate this wonderful cultural tradition with each of you."
Mount noted the growth and dynamic contributions of the Chinese community in Millburn Township over the years to where it is today. “The Chinese community is not just an important part of our multicultural fabric here in town; it is an integral part of it.”
The crowd enjoyed a variety of performances including a Chinese zither performance by award-winning Elizabeth Chao and a tai-chi demonstration set by Yongchu Song and a solo serenade of Night on the Prairie by Xiaohui Wang accompanied by his son. A high energy magic show of Changing Faces by Peng Li delighted adults and children alike in the audience. A dance solo featuring Lucy Chu and a Kung Fu rounded out the evening's entertainment.
The Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is held on the 15th day of the 8th month based on the lunar calendar, falling in late September/early October on the full moon according to the modern Gregorian calendar. It celebrates family and friends coming together, giving thanks for the harvest and a time for prayer looking for material or conceptual satisfaction. Moon cakes, with their round shape symbolizing completeness, are traditionally shared among families signifying unity.
The Millburn Short Hills Chinese Association, currently 1,000 members strong, was established in 2005 to help serve the local Chinese community and introducing their tradition and culture to Millburn Township.