Event: Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival
Date: September 30, 2012
Venue: Hong Kong
The Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most highly anticipated holidays of the year, is a joyous occasion with food, fun and a rich cultural history. The festival originated both as a celebration of the harvest and of the moon. It also commemorates a historical victory over the Mongols wherein clever Chinese rebels sent secret messaged concealed in small cakes.
Today, people eat the much-beloved “mooncakes” in honor of their ancestors’ bravery and the full moon. These iconic snacks consist of a thin, often highly decorated outer layer surrounding a dense, rich filling. While traditional mooncakes often contain salted duck egg yolks, lotus seed paste or red bean paste, modern interpretations may be filled with everything from chocolate to mochi to ice cream.
In addition to mooncakes, shops often sell colorful paper lanterns resembling animals or, more recently, airplanes or space ships. As the Mid-Autumn Festival is a family occasion, parents traditionally allow their children to stay up late and light their lanterns. The sight of the city at night, illuminated by thousands of lanterns ablaze, is unforgettable.