Chinatown celebrates August Moon Festival

Boston’s Chinatown celebrated its 48th annual August Moon Festival on August 13. Hundreds of festivalgoers attended the event, which opened with a dazzling display of dragon and lion dances performed by Wong Keung Lion Dance.

A lion dance kicked off the August Moon Festival on August 13. (Image courtesy of Ellen Duong.)

This year’s festival held special meaning to the Chinatown community as the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England (CCBA) officially announced the placement of Chinatown’s old Josiah Quincy School on the National Register of Historic Places. The former school location serves at the association’s headquarters on 90 Tyler Street.

“This designation recognizes that the Josiah Quincy School’s history is important not just here in Chinatown, but that its history is also Boston’s history,” said a CCBA representative. “That is, Chinatown’s history is Boston’s history.”

Mayor Martin Walsh attends the 48th August Moon Festival in Chinatown. (Mayor’s Office image by Isabel Leon.)

The placement of the Josiah Quincy School on the National Register recognizes and honors the United States’ immigrant heritage and diversity. The Quincy School is the first building in New England that is attributed specifically to Chinese immigrant history.

Following the announcement, local politicians took to the stage to deliver welcoming remarks and share their thoughts on the impact of the placement.

“It’s important for everyone in our city to remember our heritage and culture,” said Mayor Marty Walsh. “We are a diverse city, a city of different cultures, of different traditions, and we should be very proud of that.”

During the festival, guests enjoyed live performances of traditional Chinese dances, martial arts, and musical acts performed by different local groups from the Chinatown community. Attendees were also invited to peruse through the vendor booths alongside the streets, which sold small Chinese gifts and trinkets, as well as Asian food and snacks. Those in attendance early enough received a free mooncake, which is the dessert traditionally eaten during August Moon. The festival also featured Chinese calligraphy, arts and crafts, as well as games to entertain people of all ages.

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