September 19 – Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong (and Elsewhere!)

Posted on September 19, 2013

A.K.A. Mooncake Day

The Mid-Autumn Festival, which is celebrated in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hong Kong, is all about gathering and giving thanks. The gathering includes harvesting (gathering together) crops as well as families gathering together to celebrate. The thanks is for the bountiful harvest and for peaceful get-togethers.

This festival is also about the moon. People make or buy, share, and eat mooncakes. These round pastries are usually filled with red bean paste or lotus seed paste. In the middle of the paste filling is the crumbled egg yolk of a salted duck egg.

Mooncake boxes
The round shape of these mooncakes symbolizes completeness and unity. Although they are generally pretty small (a few inches across), families share them by cutting them into small wedges. In Hong Kong, most people buy mooncakes in fancy presentation boxes for their relatives.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is also a Lantern Festival, and lanterns are displayed everywhere. In Hong Kong there are lantern processions, dragon and lion dances, and even towers of bamboo and stone lit up in a kind of tall bonfire!
Can you spot the young woman with
the umbrella strolling past this lantern
display in Hong Kong?

Modern life, meet holiday traditions!

Some people in Hong Kong are urging more modest packaging for commercially made mooncakes in order to spare the environment from waste.

Another trend is people wanting to have less oily and sugary mooncakes. One healthier version is the “snow skin mooncake.” This treat is similar to mochi ice cream; it has a glutinous rice crust. It must be kept frozen until serving time, and it's served cold. Snow skin mooncakes are filled with fruit jam, chocolate, coffee, cheese, or other delicious things.

In Hong Kong, one tradition is huge structures made of lanterns. This year a sculpture has been created using 7,000 recycled plastic water bottles with LED lights. It's more than 65 feet in diameter and 33 feet high! The sculpture is called rising moon—see why:


This is what the sculpture looks like from the
inside...

Also on this date:




















Plan Ahead!


And here are my Pinterest pages on October holidaysOctober birthdays, and historical anniversaries in October.


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