Guide to Mid Autumn Festival 2016

  • By
  • Ne Eun Nancy Lim
  • September 8, 2016

The Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as ‘Day of Reunion’ and ‘Chinese Moon Festival’), one of the most important annual festivals in Hong Kong, is just around the corner. This festival is like a Chinese Thanksgiving where friends and family reunite to offer thanks to the fall harvest, and pray for longevity and good fortune.

This year, the festival falls on September 16th – Friday , which means you would have long weekend to celebrate with your loved ones by eating mooncakes and going out on special moon-viewing outings to parks & scenic spots in Hong Kong. You also could spend time doing something new and exciting as well as witness cultural highlights it has to offer. If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate the holiday, look no further to find about this year’s festivities!

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Image from SCMP

Lantern Festival 

Lanterns are an essential part of the Mid-Autumn Festival. So you will see them everywhere, from ancient style, modern to paper. In Chinese culture, they are the symbol of fertility and a guide for spirits in the afterlife.

Neighbourhoods across Hong Kong host magical lantern exhibitions and carnivals any visitor or local will enjoy. Annually, Victoria Park on Hong Kong island offers the most popular festival, showcasing an incredible variety of colorful, bright shiny lanterns.  There are also traditional stage shows, palm readings, game stalls and many cultural events & performances including kung fun and acrobatics that will delight the crowd. Did I mention that all these displays and activities are free to the public?

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Image from Footprint Travel Blog

Lion Dance

One of the best shows to watch is the lion dance, which is put on in many locations across Hong Kong. The lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture in which involves two performers dressed in a stunning lion costume, mimicking a lion’s movements and dancing.

To be a part of the atmosphere, some of the best vantage points to visit are Causeway Bay, Victoria Park and Victoria Harbour but many towns and villages put on special shows too.

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Image from JC Travel Professionals

Fire Dragon Dance

Not a typical dragon parade and unique to Hong Kong, the Fire dragon dance became part of China’s official intangible cultural heritage since 19th century. The 67-meter long dragon ‘costume’ takes 3 full days to complete, led by 300 performers holding up two pearls, or pomelos with 70,000 incense sticks inserted into them. You would not want to miss out this impressive Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance performance which will be held on September 14th, 15th and 16th at Wun Sha Street.

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Image from Tumblr

Full Moon Watching

Though there are fun events and carnivals held during the Mid-Autumn Festival, we should not lose the main focus of the festival – full moon – the symbol for a family reunion. Moon-watching offers the perfect opportunity for family to gather in many available places like the rooftop, a balcony or public parks to appreciate a great view together. Look at the stars moon, Look how they shine for you.

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Image from Flickr

Mooncake

Eating mooncakes is another tradition, stemming from the tradition of lunar or Chang-e (the Chinese goddess of the moon) worship. These treats are traditionally infused with embedded egg yolk embraced and lotus seed paste, red bean or jujube paste with five varieties of nuts and seeds. But this is Hong Kong where nothing is spared a modern makeover.   You can find an exciting jumble of creative fillings, flavors & textures now to send you to the moon and back!

Beautifully packaged in lush bright red boxes, the moon cakes make the perfect gift every year. It’s traditional to buy 13 mooncakes for your own family’s celebration to bring good luck for an entire lunar year…but that’s a whole lot of mooncakes. So buy them with discretion.

If you are feeling extra festive and want to make mooncake yourself, we have also found the recipe for you.

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Image from HandmadeCharlotte

Decoration

The main key is to have a neat and organized place to arrange your mooncakes, sweets, fruits, tea and ritual offerings. Also find a spot to hang your lanterns too, for when they’re not being swung around by your kids. If you don’t want to spend money on buying Chinese lanterns, you can create on your own. Here is the link.

中秋节快乐! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

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