A few weeks ago we had the Mid-Autumn festival which promised to be a wonderful event. We read up on other blogs and checked out the HK tourism site and everything pointed to it being an unmissable experience. Of course this meant that S and I had to go, we had already missed one or two events that we had wanted to go to so we thought we would make sure to go to this.
The warm up to the festival included lots and lots and lots of Mooncake adverts, as well as some eating. 🙂 My Center Owner bought some and gave us each one on the day as we were working the Saturday. Also the Lantern displays were up for a few weeks before hand at TST and in the New territories somewhere as well.
The official ceremony was on the Sunday night but one could go and look at the lantern displays from the 23 -28th of September(before the festival)they were open every night from 6:30pm to 11:00 pm.
At the same time there was going to be a fire dragon dance at Tai Hang that I wanted to go to. Luckily though instead of having to choose between the two the village extended the fire dragon dance to join the mid-autumn festival at Victoria park for that one evening.
We left semi early because there was supposed to be a lot to see and do at the festival grounds and we did not want to miss a thing. Off we trekked in excited anticipation and grabbed the MTR. We took the red line to central and then grabbed the exit my gps told us to. In the end we just had to follow all the people and the lights but when we first got out of the exit we were not sure which way to go and so we used our innate South African sense of direction, clued in by the lights, to go towards the arena.
The whole festival took up a large amount of space as it was spread out nicely so we weren’t crushed by hoarders of people. When we entered we saw a booth selling all sorts of lighted headbands and bracelets.There were also first aid booths, drinks, food, jewellery and other random booths that you could buy stuff at. These were all along the length of the park on the one side while the lantern displays were in the middle of the park.
They had other booths as well along the opposite side of the park. Here we found them craft items such as amazingly crafted art on olive pips and they showed the making of the Chinese opera head pieces. They also had a bunch of selfie style stations in to put your face through and they had a large area where you could line up, get dressed in traditional wear and have photographs taken.
We walked around and took photographs of the lanterns, looked at the booths and watched one or two performances. Taking photo’s of the Lanterns was a mission though, the people walked in front of us as we were trying to take photo’s. they stand right in front of the displays so that no one else is able to take pics and then they spend like 15minutes blocking the view. It was really frustrating even trying to just look at the displays because of this. However we did get some good shots and got to see everything. The organization was pretty good as well, they had volunteers walking around that would take photo’s for people and help them out.
As to I t being unmissable, I suppose that is a matter of opinion. I enjoyed looking at the displays, they were phenomenal and if we hadn’t been waiting for the fire dragon dance we probably would have just left shortly after we saw everything. Unfortunately we really wanted to see the fire dragon dance. The dragon was awesome but it really was not worth the log wait. By the time it started it was after 11pm. They had about 30 minutes of speeches and then they did a dedication of sorts for the dragon, then there was another 15 minutes or so of watching Scottish folk dancing ( no Chinese dancing)with bagpipes, before the dragon finally made an appearance. It looked amazing but I could have left after a few minutes. We couldn’t see much as everyone was standing and shoving. We stuck it out to almost the end and finally managed to get closer to the front and see the dragon properly.
I will definitely not go out of my way to take part in the festival again, but I really did enjoy seeing some of the crafts on display as well as the lanterns.