October is a busy month in the Phoenix metro area, with mild weather and other people eager to get out.
Three festivals celebrating Asian cultures during the month will provide insight into the breadth and intensity of Asian communities in the valley.
During these celebrations, participants have the opportunity to honor their heritage and be informed about customs, foods, styles of music and dance, arts and dress.
Here’s what you want to know about the Otsukimi Moon Observation Festival, the Original Arizona Asian Festival, and the Asian Chandler Festival.
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In Japan, moon viewing is a culture that dates back to the Heian period, 794-1185, when aristocrats amassed to appreciate the beauty of the moon, share poetry, and play music.
In honor of this tradition, the Phoenix Japanese Friendship Garden will host its annual Otsukimi Moon Viewing event on October 8 and 9. Guests can walk at dusk along the lantern-lit paths and will be decorated with giant calligraphy scrolls. Here are the highlights of the event:
Guests can try okonomiyaki pancakes and oden fishcake stew. The gift shop will offer pre-packaged snacks, such as JagaRico, My Pote and Karamucho fries.
Sweets come with rolls, mochi rice cakes and Japanese cheesecake. Ramune and Shizuoka soft drinks, Kimino juice and matcha, genmaicha, hojicha and jasmine tea will be sold.
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The tea space will be decorated with a kimono demonstration and ikebana arrangements with pampas and dango grass. A musical performance will feature the koto, a 13-string zither tool on a board, and the niko, a two-stringed bow tool. It will be a rare opportunity for visitors to enter the tea space, which is closed to the public.
When: from 17:00 to 21:00 Saturday and Sunday 8 and 9 October.
Where: Phoenix Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N. Third Ave.
Admission: $30, $20 for ages 6 to 17, additional $30 for tea room activities.
Details: 602-274-8700, https://japanesefriendshipgarden.
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Now in its twenty-fifth year, the Original Arizona Asian Festival features 19 cultural teams from across the valley. Participants can delight in cultures such as Bangladeshi, Chinese, Filipino, Pacific Islander, Karen, Persian, Korean, Japanese, Laotian, Indian, Malay, Burmese, Indonesian, Taiwanese, Pakistani and Thai cultures. The occasion is presented through the Asian American Association of Arizona.
The festival will feature performances of classical and pop music and dance, taiko drums, lion dances, Indian classical dance, and classical Thai and Laotian styles. There will be a special performance through a South Korean K-pop artist.
Dining features include Filipino BBQ, Indian curry and naan, crushed ice, boba drinks, and Japanese cuisine.
As part of a Journey to Asia activity, stopover visitors can stop by the booth and collect stamps for a chance to win prizes. A Children’s Wonderland domain will feature Chinese paper folding crafts, a STEM straw rocket making project, face painting, games, stickers and tattoos
Other highlights include:
When: Saturday, October 22 from 10 a. m. to 9 p. m. m.
Where: Scottsdale Waterfront, 7025 E. Via Soleri Drive.
Admission fees. Free parking is available at 7000 E. Via Soleri Drive.
Details: https://www. arizonaasianfestival. org.
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Chandler has one of the largest Asian American communities in the Phoenix metro area. In its year, the Chandler Asian Festival highlights the traditions of many Asian cultures.
The event is hosted by the city’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Arizona Asian Festivals Inc. James Park of Arizona Asian Festivals Inc. said he hopes the festival will help negative emotions toward Asians and create unity among others from other backgrounds.
Visitors can attend music, dance and martial arts demonstrations. The performances come with modern and classical versions of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Japanese and Cambodian music and dance. A functionality will combine martial arts and K-pop music.
Participants can receive information about Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai cultures in 3 “village” areas. Children will get loose, battery-powered flashlights in the Vietnamese village. There will also be portraits of faces and other activities for children.
A fashion showcase will feature classic clothing styles from the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and India.
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Food trucks and stalls will sell a variety of foods. A Filipino vendor will prepare lechón, a type of roasted red meat bacon, on site.
A market will offer handicraft vendors and facts about local resources. One position will be dedicated to intellectual fitness education.
Raffles will get perks from local veterans’ organizations and scholarships for the school’s top students.
When: 12:00 p. m. – 10:00 p. m. Saturday and Sunday 29 and 30 October
Where: Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler.
Details: https://www. chandleraz. gov.