City officials recently institutionalized the Mid-Autumn Festival in the city and provided for the guidelines in the annual conduct of the gathering.
Under Ordinance No. 90, series of 2023, the city shall officially celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival annually on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar coinciding with the full moon, or on a date determined by the Mid-Autumn Festival executive committee.
The Mid-Autumn Festival executive committee shall serve as the steering committee to ensure the success of the festival. It shall be chaired by the City Mayor and co-chaired by the City Administrator with the representative from the Association of Baguio Chinese-Filipino Youth, Inc. as action officer. The members of the committee are the Chairperson of the Council Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks and Playgrounds, City Engineer, City Environment and Parks Management Officer and the City Tourism Officer.
The designated venue of the Mid-Autumn Festival shall be at Session Road as the central location for the activities to include cultural performances, food stalls, and other family-oriented activities.
The ordinance mandated the city government to encourage the active participation from the different cultural communities in the city as well as collaboration with relevant cultural and community organizations to ensure the success of the celebration of the said festival.
The council claimed that institutionalizing the annual Mid-Autumn Festival will not only strengthen the city’s cultural identity but will also contribute in aggressively promoting tourism and local businesses through increased public participation in the activities that will be lined up for the festival.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Cake Festival or the Lantern Festival, is a traditional East Asian gathering held on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month which usually falls in September or early October.
Further, the said festival is marked by a variety of customs and traditions such as lantern lighting, family reunions, the giving and sharing of moon cakes, and the appreciation of the full moon which symbolizes unity and harmony.
The body stipulated that it is a traditional and culturally significant celebration observed by Chinese communities around the world, including a sizable population of Filipino-Chinese in the city. It embodies values such as family unity, cultural heritage, and community cohesion while also encouraging inclusivity and inter-cultural exchange in the diverse city.
The festival, according to the council, has grown in popularity in the city over the years with a plethora of cultural events, community gatherings, and festivities organized by local Filipino-Chinese associations and residents.
The council asserted that the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture comparable in popularity to the Chinese New Year.