Mid-Autumn Festival

Last week was a major holiday, Mid-Autumn Festival. Apart from its origin as a harvest celebration when the moon is at its fullest, in contemporary times it’s best known for two things – lanterns and mooncakes. Click on the image below for a bigger view.

A shop in Central selling lanterns

One of the more fun traditions associated with this holiday are the colorful lanterns. Crowds gather around Hong Kong’s parks and beaches at night and play with them, especially by the water at Repulse Bay. This being Hong Kong, the festival has been updated, with all sorts of electronic lanterns and glow-stick type bracelets and necklaces.

People congregate with family and friends to celebrate. I’ve been to barbecues and also to beach parties in the past. Both of these offer good opportunities to gaze at the full moon.

This year I went to a friend’s barbecue in Shatin, out in the New Territories part of Hong Kong. The moon was indeed full and red!

Fullest moon of the year... and red too!

Mooncakes are consumed during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. They are small, dense cakes that can contain a wide range of fillings. In addition to traditional versions offered by famous bakeries such as the one at the Penninsula Hotel, more contemporary mooncakes are sold by everyone from Starbucks to Haagen Dazs.

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