September 15, 2011

Mid Autumn Festival Hong Kong Traditions

Mid Autumn Festival Chinese Lanterns
Published: 2011-09-15
Caught up in the Hong Kong's simmering excitement in the leadup to the Mid Autumn Festival, or 中秋節, we did alot of walking and more than our customary exploring.  Since the baby was old enough to tag along without too much trouble, we took her to experience for the first time the many and varied Mid Autumn Festival traditions that abound even in a modern city like Hong Kong.

Mid Autumn Festival Chinese Lanterns
Rabbit shaped Chinese Lanterns

Mid Autumn Festival Chinese Lanterns
Starfruit shaped Chinese Lantern
Our first stop was to buy a traditional Chinese paper lantern at the old shops along Queen's Road West, Sheung Wan.  These are delicately and skillfully made of bamboo and paper, twisted and glued into the traditional rabbit, starfruit, etc.  The really traditional style requires that you light an actual candle inside the paper lantern but we opted out for the more safer version of battery run lightbulb.

Mid Autumn Festival Chinese Lanterns

Next was our trip to the local 'famous for mooncakes' bakery Wing Wah.  In the store there were mooncakes galore, both the traditional and more modern versions.  We weren't there for the mooncakes, however, as I had determined to try my hand at making mooncakes myself this year.  What I did want at Wing Wah was one of the little flower baskets they have for the children every year at this time, each pretty plastic basket filled with a Chinese pastry called 'Pig in a Basket', which literally looks like a pig in a basket.

Mid Autumn Pig in a Basket

And finally the night of the Mid Autumn Festival, we prepared to 'Chase the Moon' or 追月: to seek a view of the beautifully full moon, each with their own brightly lit lanterns and delicious mooncakes.  The late night streets of Hong Kong were full of lanterns and merry makers, the children especially happy as they, for once, did not need to go to bed early as the day after Mid Autumn Festival was a public holiday (so that all the late revellers could sleep in.)  

Mid Autumn Festival

Happy Mid Autumn Festival to all!



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