Shine On, Harvest Moon!
Between the 14th and 22nd of September this year Hong Kong indulges one of its favourite holidays and oldest traditions, the Mid-Autumn Festival. Originally held to celebrate the harvest during the autumn full moon, the festival still retains a deep resonance based as it is around the gathering of family, the thanksgiving for bounty and harmony, and prayer for good fortune and prosperity.
Chief amongst the delights to be sampled is the eating of traditional mooncakes – pastry cases containing lotus or red bean paste and whole golden egg yolks – while myriad contemporary versions now incorporate everything from chocolate to ice-cream. And who knows, with the world gone mad for Cronuts™ this year, there may even be a Crooncake™!
While the city is festooned with glowing lanterns and the streets are alive with life, perhaps the greatest spectacle of all is the 3-day Tai Hang Fire Dragon dance festival which runs 18th-20th in Causeway Bay along Lily and Ormsby Street to Tung Lo Wan Road.
At 220 feet long, its body divided into 32 segments studded with thousands of incense sticks, this most dramatic of straw dragons is paraded each evening at 7.30pm, while close by at Victoria Park you can see the city’s (and possibly Asia’s) largest lantern, the result of the Lantern Wonderland Design Competition. Better still you’ll be but minutes away from nearby Tin Hau’s gourmand paradise Kin’s Kitchen, famed for its smoked chicken and Cantonese dishes. Shine on, harvest moon!