Every time I see mooncake advertisements in Hong Kong, I think it’s way too early… but then the mid-autumn festival is only a few more days away. This year, people celebrate on Sep 15, 2016. That day is marked by a family day at home – but there are a several events happening in and around Hong Kong.
It all starts and ends with the lantern displays – at Tsim Sha Tsui the theme this year is ‘Fly Me to the Moon’. The lanterns are on display from Sep 2 to 25, and while you can see them all day long, they are most beautiful at nighttime.
In Victoria Park, Tin Shui Wai Park and Tai Po Waterfront Park the lanterns will be lit from Sep 14 to 18,
Shops all over town sell coloured Chinese paper lanterns and I’ve seen several kids walking home from school with their own designs.
Fire Dragon Dance
This is my personal favourite of the celebrations, and it is such a Hong Kong heritage and tradition. Fireworks, sparklers and loud noise will keep bad spirits away and the fire dragon will roam around freely. In the evenings of Sep 14 and Sep 16, the dragon is content to roam in the old Tai Hang Village area, but on the 15th, it walks from its old grounds to make a spectacular entrance into Victoria Park. It will be loud and packed with people, so get there early to watch the spectacle unfold!
Here is a video of the Fire Dragon Dance back in 2013 – with lots of fire crackers everywhere. Those are in memory of the plague in 1880, which could only be stopped by performing a Fire Dragon Dance.
And what would the festival of the full moon be without a mooncake? Nothing! There are so many different designs and flavours to choose from, and this year I even encountered a Star Wars version!