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September 13, 2013     Post-Gazette
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September 13, 2013

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Page'4 POST-GAZETTE, SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 ,Anno,eoA,earin,ta00n00o00ore 1 Harvest Moon Magic by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz I have always had a love bolizes the moon but also the food. A sagradeU'uva or grape affair with the moon, per- principles of unity and com- festival, in south Italy may . . ( ........ -/ haps because it is the pletion, form the culinary sample fall's new wine. Dur- guardian of my zodiac sign, Cancer or perhaps because I see her as a literally shin- ing example of mystical fe- male power. This upcoming Thursday, September 19 TM, my moon love will prompt me to gaze up at the sky at the beautiful Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon acquires its name from its status as the full moon closest to the autumn equinox; therefore, it coincides with the abun- dance of fall fruits and veg- etables. The Harvest Moon, to me, always appears so large in the sky, a bright herald advertising Earth's bounty. Its reddish or yel- low hue mimics the golden tones found everywhere this season, from the changing leaves to the apples and pumpkins dotting farm fields. The Harvest Moon plays a vital role in the folklore and traditions of cultures around the globe, cementing its role as a staple of life in autumn. The most famous feast honoring the Harvest Moon occurs in China, where it is called the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. It is believed that a goddess of immortality, Chang'e, dwells within the moon and the festival hon- ors her. People celebrate this holiday with copious light: carrying lanterns inscribed with riddles, adorning homes and businesses with lan- terns and floating lanterns up in the sky. Mooncakes, whose shape not only sym- backbone of the feast. These little round baked cakes are often filled with either red bean or lotus seed paste, and stamped with the Chinese symbols for "longevity" or "harmony." Of course, gazing at the moon while admiring its beauty and harnessing its power comprises an im- portant part of this holiday as well, a tradition that one can replicate anywhere in the world. The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival custom of eat- ing round food to honor the moon inspired me, and I like to feast on my mother's delicious tuna patties and corn pancakes on the day of the Harvest Moon. Over in Europe, including Italy, the Harvest Moon earned its high status because its light enabled farmers to work on their fields even into the night. Indeed, I cannot think of anything more romantic than a large golden orb of a moon suspended in a dusky blue sky, casting a subtle glow on the wheat stalks below. Around the time of this moon, many agricul- tural communities would host their Harvest Home fes- tivals, or parties honoring the end of the harvest. People would feast with the products of a hard-earned harvest: apple pie, potatoes, cider. In Italy, these kinds of festivities often take the form of the ubiquitous sagres, or local festivals cel- ebrating a particular harvest ing a sagradellemele, or apple festival, Northern Italian dishes like apple strudel reign supreme. Along with the bountiful food, music, dancing and gossip carry into the night. On the night of the Harvest Moon, I make chocolate-dipped almond cookies appropriately called "harvest moons," carrying on the sacred Italian tradition of honoring the year with culinary delights. We often take the moon for granted, because we simply know that it is always in the sky, and though its phases change, it never leaves us. However, our ancestors all around the world knew that you could never take any- thing in nature for granted. Their festivals honoring the moon and the harvest, whether they be the Mid- Autumn Moon Festival in China or the sagre in Italy, demonstrate their always genuine gratitude for the food that would help them whether the tough winter and the moon that stands like a protector in the sky. This year, gaze at the moon and be grateful for all the harvests in your life -- the literal harvest of food, the harvest of your achieve- ments and goals, the har- vest of love that surrounds" you. Once you are thank- ful for what you have, you will find that there is a light shining inside you, as bright as the Harvest Moon. Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at adicenso89@gmail, com. Local Historian Shares Photographs and Stories of the Historic North End On Wednesday, August 28 th, history enthusiasts gathered at the West End Museum for a presentation by Boston native Photographer Robert Bayard Severy, who brought in a collection of over 400 photographs from his per- sonal collection, all of them pertaining to the history of the North End neighborhood. The work of Robert Bayard severy has been used to docu- ment the changing urban sprawl in Boston since the by Ryan Cochran 1960's. His brilliant photos of gravestones, monuments, city festivals and architec- ture can be found at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston, the Boston Public Library and the Boston Athenaeum. Severy is the Secretary and Historian of the Dorchester Historical Society and recipient of the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Victorian Society in America, New England Chapter 2010 for his collection of over NEW LO(:ATION f NOBILE INSURANCE ALBANO F. PONTE, CEP Financial and Estate Planning Email Phone 617-320-0022 MICHAEL F. NOBILE, CPCU mnobile @ BOSTON 30 Prince Street Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-6766 Fax (617) 523-0078 MEDFORD 39 Salem Street Medford, MA 02155 (781) 395-4200 Fax (781) 391-8493 150,000 photographs of New England. Severy's presentation was succinct and informative, as he wasted no time in show- ing and describing his pic- tures. The show featured fun trivia questions, historical facts and rarely seen images of some of Boston's oldest buildings and festivals. Severy described his love for taking pictures and trav- eling about the city saying, "We're a long time in the tomb, so while we're alive, zoom, zoom, zooml" And zoom he did, from beau- tiful pictures of old Hannover Street (which we learned was named for the Hannover kings of England) to the changing urban landscape of the elevated central artery (the other "Green Monster") and the orange line, the au- dience was given a true taste of the flavor of one of Boston's oldest neighborhood's history. Severy is currently prepar- ing a collection of West End photographs which will be shown at the West End Mu- seum in a presentation called "West End: Yesterday, Yesteryear" on November 20 th at 6:30 pm. A NON-WHITE MAYORAL DEBATE? If anti-busing opponents barred non-white politicians from one of their events, you know what the Globe editorialists would have called them, Right? I was somewhat shocked that reportedly the founder of Blackstonian, an African American on-line newslet- ter had put together a may- oral forum scheduled for September i0 th at the non- profit Freedom House in Dorchester being promoted as 'For the Community, By the Community." The Boston Globe has already run two op-ed com- mentaries calling this non- white event unfortunate for excluding other candidates on the basis of color. Many words are used to describe this event. It is "short- sighted." It is "wrongheaded." However, no one calls it for what it is which is "racist." There are 12 candidates running for mayor and all 12 should be invited to this forum. If non-whites are not allowed to be part of this event, it should be can- celled or even better, boy- cotted by all the so-called minority candidates. How- ever, as of September 3 rd only one Charlotte Golar Richie has repudiated the exclusion of mayoral candidates based on race. One can only wonder the reaction of liberals and the Boston Globe itseff back dur- ing the '70s and '80s when the anti-busing movement was a powerful voice in Boston politics, would the Boston Globe have remained quiet if the anti-busing folks had planned a 1983 mayoral debate invited everyone but Mel King because he was Black? As Americans we all just celebrated the 50th anniver- sary of the March on Wash- ington led by Martin Luther King, Jr. He was opposed to all things separate like res- taurants, bus seats, public restrooms and I assume a political debate segregated by race. Think about the site of this upcoming mayoral debate in the Freedom House in Dorchester. "Freedom" is enjoying all our individual liberties. If Boston is an inclusive city, it cannot be the venue for an exclusion of mayoral candidates from any debate on the basis of skin color. Thank you Charlotte Golar Richie for opposing the idea of using race as a litmus test for a debate. Where are the rest of the candidates who had been invited to show up? None should go until the debate is opened to all. Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO * HOMEOWNERS * TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building WWW .BO.;TONPO00 ;TGAZETTE.COM