The Mid-Autumn Festival had occurred this past week. On the 21st of September, local citizens of Hong Kong had celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival. This holiday is significant to Chinese culture, and Hong Kong University had canceled classes the following day for students to celebrate with their friends and families. On this specific day is when the moon is the fullest and brightest in the middle of Autumn. After talking to students in my university, it is tradition for them to have dinner with families at home and eat mooncakes. Mooncake is a sweet, thick dessert with an egg yolk in the middle of the cake to symbolize the full moon. These desserts are not considered cheap and usually come in a box of four. There are different flavored fillings of mooncakes, ranging from egg custard mooncakes to red bean paste mooncakes. But the most standard mooncake that most people eat is the lotus seed mooncake. Gifting these pastries and eating them with family is a way to bring people together.
There was a lantern festival at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay that many people attended at night. Once we entered the venue, there was a display of well-lit lanterns across open space. Most people have brought their lanterns inside, and the collections are very much for amusement and for taking pictures. Lanterns are significant for decorations during the holidays.
My friends and I decided to go to Wong Tai Sin Temple to celebrate Mid-Autumn. Anyone was free to attend this event, where the temple held a small show of entertainment. There was a yoyo competition and jump rope performance where performers engaged with the audience. Another portion of the festival had booths with games that children would play. Once you walk towards the temple, there are many lanterns hung on string and shrines for worshiping. At night, these lanterns would light up across the temple. Most people also bought incense sticks to light up and pray. When people pray with incense, they ask for luck, a promising future, or many blessings. After the prayers, people place the incense sticks into the sand-filled pot in front of the temple.
I have celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival back home in Philadelphia with a smaller community but experiencing an event where the whole country celebrates is lovely to see. While in Hong Kong, I saw the significance of this holiday for bringing joy, gatherings, and traditions.
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