MILLBURN, NJ - As part of an annual and ancient cultural celebration, the Millburn Short Hills Chinese Association (MSHCA) hosted its annual moon festival, and at the same time, ushering in a transition to new leadership.
The event, which has been formally hosted in some form by the association since 2015 is a celebration of the full moon and the harvest, traditionally celebrated around this time each year. In China, it is customary to celebrate the fullness and completion of the moon each year with cakes, poems and other celebrations.
This year's festival, hosted at Brooklake Country Club, marked the first time that a current president of the association had transferred the title to the incoming leader during the moon festival. Louie Shen, who also serves on the Millburn Board of Education (BOE), brought up Jeslyn Li, who was installed as president before making some short remarks.
Speaking with TAPinto after being named president, Li, who was a board member for a long time with the MSHCA, said that this promotion was just a title change for her and that she would continue to do the work she had been doing, just in a slightly more elevated role.
"We have the association because we wanted to bring everybody together," Li said. "Millburn is my home, so I want everybody to get involved and do more things for our [Millburn] family, and make our family better. And also, I want to reach outside as well."
And in regards to reaching out, Li said that she was looking to do more things for the community as a whole, not just the MSHCA.
The MSHCA also honored Peter Liu as its special honoree this year. Liu and his late wife Lydia moved to town in 1980 and raised two sons, Raymond and Peter Jr., who both went through the Millburn school system. As a result, the Liu family became major donors to the school and the Millburn Education Foundation. At the festival, Liu was honored for he and his wife's generosity.
With election season coming up, all three candidates stopped by as well. The Democratic ticket of Mayor Diane Eglow and Richard Wasserman and Republican Candidate Agnes Sym were at the meeting. Eglow and Sym were both invited up to give speeches.
Additionally, there was also a full slate of performances over the course of the evening. The Pumpkin Jr. Band, Ryan Wang, the Purple Swans dance group and Jiaju Shen and Yang Wang all danced or sang for those in attendance. At the end of the night, guests spent time dancing as the festival came to a close.