Besides inventing gun powder and fireworks, the Chinese also came up with lanterns used in the traditional celebration of Mid-Autumn festival. The Mid-Autumn festival used to offer a fun time to exorcise your inner pyro by playing with fire, however the modern holiday has moved away from real fire, and instead looked to glow-in-the-dark lights to create the same effect.
Repulse Bay is considered a special place to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. Families flock to the lengthy beach and stake out a place in the sand to call their own. While some festival goers opted for the traditional lanterns, the majority of revelers were using a variety of glow-in-the-dark (rave-type) lights to spruce up their spaces.
Most people just hung out on their patch of sand, talked, and gazed up at the moon, which is at its brightest of the year.
There were some truly elaborate displays both on the people and on the ground. Kids were covered in all manner of neon necklaces and even self-made crowns with long neon tails. People got very creative.
Some of the more subtle decorations were the most elegant. Several groups dug small circles in the sand and placed candles in the bottom of each pit.
Others used a combination of glow sticks and bracelets to form a circular boundary around their plot of beach.
A few people close to trees, used a combination of lanterns and glow-sticks to decorate.
The festive atmosphere seemed to draw two separate groups: families who have grown up with the tradition and teens from Hong Kong international schools, who congregated on the periphery of the beach and celebrated in a different manner (underage drinking!)
Though the majority of the beach was packed, it wasn’t difficult to get there or leave. I stayed for about an hour and walked from one end of the beach to the other admiring the lights.
To read a previous post about the significance of Mid-Autumn Festival, go here.