Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival

August 31, 2011 by

Festivals & Events, Things To Do

Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival at night - Photo courtesy of Simon Shek via Wikimedia Commons

If you are visiting Hong Kong in the next couple of weeks, this colorful festival could be the highlight of your visit. For 11 days in early September the city comes alive with lantern displays, feasting and fire dragon dances in a celebration of harvest time and the brightest moon of the year.

Moon cakes are the ubiquitous festival snack. Made of ground lotus and sesame seed paste, egg-yolk and other ingredients, many locals can be found munching on them at The Peak come nightfall, as they light their lanterns at Hong Kong city’s highest point.

Public parks and shops light up during the festival with many thousands of lanterns of all colors, sizes and shapes. Lantern carnivals and exhibitions take place all over the city. Make sure you check out the giant lantern at Victoria Park, which may in the running for a Guinness World Record!

A festival highlight is the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance. A 67-metre-long dragon studded with thousands of burning joss sticks that, aided by several hundred performers, dances through the streets over three days. Particularly impressive at night, you can watch performances from September 11th to 13th in Tai Hang, Causeway Bay and at Victoria Park, Causeway Bay on September 12.

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance carries such cultural significance in China that it was recently included on its national festival list of “intangible cultural heritage”.

-Emma McMahon

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