Multicultural dinner Sunday in Courtenay

The Comox Valley Multicultural and Immigrant Support Society celebrates the harvest.

The Comox Valley Multicultural and Immigrant Support Society invites the public to celebrate your Harvest Festival, the Asian Moon Festival and Canadian Thanksgiving with a multicultural potluck dinner this Sunday at Lewis Park.

Guests are asked to bring a traditional harvest food from their country of origin to share on the buffet table. Also bring a plate, cup, cutlery and serving utensils.

Donations toward hall rental and future activities will be accepted at the door.

The society chose Sunday to celebrate the similarities of the many harvest festivals around the world because it is the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, which is the day the Moon Festival is celebrated in Asia. It is also the night of the September full moon, which is called the harvest moon.

Harvest festivals are held worldwide to celebrate the harvest, show gratitude, and share with family and friends.

In Korea, Choosuk is celebrated during the harvest season by families attending ancestral memorials at the graves of their relatives, and giving thanks along with a grand feast where moon cakes are a favourite. In West Africa, the Festival of Yams is celebrated by offering yams to the gods and eating yams amidst celebrations.

In Persia, Mehregan is a festival celebrating nature and the creation of the world dedicated to Mithra, the goddess light, friendship, faith, love and kindness. In China, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam, the Moon Festival is a time for family and friends to enjoy the full moon that is a symbol of abundance, harmony and luck.

In northern Russia, the Itel’men Tribal Harvest Festival is celebrated by tribal indigenous Russians returning to their ancestral roots and hiking 43 miles to the top of Mount Elvel where a wooden carving is left for the ancestors. North Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Most celebrations include a feast and an opportunity to give thanks for our good fortune. There are usually special foods prepared for the occasion, such as turkey and pumpkin pie in Canada, pongal in southern India, and honey, apples and nuts in Russia.

The event runs from from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tsolum Building beside the tennis court at Lewis Park.

It will include a simple Taiwanese aboriginal dance.

— Comox Valley Multicultural and Immigrant Support Society