Feels like: 17°F
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
Autumn in Hong KongPosted Sunday, September 26, 2010, at 2:55 AM
In Hong Kong, the festival is marked with a day off from school and work, for most people anyway (including myself). Many people gather with their families for a special meal. Other traditions include telling and answering riddles and hanging paper lanterns.
The city also puts on special events in honor of the festival. In Victoria Park, just a subway stop away from my house, the entire paved basketball court and soccer field areas were converted into a carnival of sorts. The area was decorated with probably thousands of strands of lights and electric lanterns, which made it feel quite magical. There was traditional Chinese drumming and dancing for entertainment as well, and the entire thing was free to attend.
Nearby, there is also an annual parade involving a 67-meter dragon made of burning incense sticks. The dragon is held by many people along its body, and together they make it dance. It was quite a sight to see, though my view from the massive crowd was not good. And, the incense fumes definitely made my eyes water.
The traditional food of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the mooncake, which is often given as a gift by coworkers or friends. I ate quite a few of these delicacies over the past week or so, but it was not my first time to try them. I also ate several when I was in China two years ago.
They come in many varieties and sizes, but traditional mooncakes are round in shape. The outside is made of a thin pastry crust, filled with a paste similar in consistency to thick almond paste -- some moon cakes even have whole egg yolks inside. Lotus paste is a very popular flavor, as is red bean. They are both sweetish, and though not the tastiest dessert I've ever had, quite nice.
Actually, my first full Mid-Autumn Festival was a nice cultural experience overall. But, I have to say that when the temperature is still this warm (mid 80s at least, even at night), it's hard to think it's anywhere close to autumn!
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Something about music. Something about small towns. Something about Hong Kong. Or maybe something else entirely.
Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.