Saanich’s annual Moon Festival Lantern Celebration starts at 6:20 p.m. on Sept. 26 but festivities look a little bit different for 2020 as the district adapts to the ongoing pandemic. (Courtesy District of Saanich)

Saanich’s annual Moon Festival Lantern Celebration starts at 6:20 p.m. on Sept. 26 but festivities look a little bit different for 2020 as the district adapts to the ongoing pandemic. (Courtesy District of Saanich)

Saanich’s autumn full-moon lantern celebration shifts to drive-thru

Harvest Moon event takes place Sept. 26 in Gordon Head

Glowing lanterns and social-distanced smiles will cut through the fall gloom as Saanich lights up its annual Moon Festival Lantern Celebration in the form of a drive-thru for pandemic-friendly fun.

On the evening of Sept. 26, the streets surrounding the Gordon Head Recreation Centre will be filled with families on foot, on bikes or in cars for the celebration from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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The free event is hosted annually by Saanich Parks and Recreation in collaboration with Lambrick Park Secondary School and School District 61. In a typical year, it includes traditional dance and music performances by community groups, a lantern-making workshop, mooncakes and a group lantern procession. These activities have been postponed to 2021.

The 2020 flow-thru lantern route begins on Lambrick Way – just off Feltham Road – and weaves through the recreation centre parking lots before looping back down Lambrick Way. Attendees are asked to move through the lantern route continuously to avoid jams and will be directed to turn right onto Feltham Road after completing the tour.

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According to the district, the annual festival “fosters understanding and appreciation for cultural diversity by sharing Asian cultural traditions.” The Harvest Moon – the full moon seen near the beginning of autumn – is celebrated in many Asian cultures around the world. This year, the Harvest Moon appears on Thursday, Oct. 1. Saanich’s flow-thru event takes place on Saturday, just under a week before the full moon, but a limited number of the displays will be left up for the week.

The district is also inviting residents to get creative and transform their own windows into lanterns or set up LED displays outside their homes or businesses over the week before the Harvest Moon. For ideas, visit saanich.ca or check out Window Wanderland on Facebook.


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