Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival


One of China's oldest celebrations, the Mid-Autumn Festival dates back to the ancient Xia Dynasty (2100 B.C.-1600 B.C.). That's a long time ago, and it's likely that the number of channels on cable television was very limited at that time.

As part of the event, also known as the Moon Cake Festival, the Chinese build and set up large, brightly lit lanterns in parks and public spaces, like the one pictured here, which was about 20 feet tall. In Hong Kong's Victoria Park, where I spent an evening strolling around with throngs of relaxed, happy people, there are hundreds of these lanterns dotting the landscape.

It's easy to fall right into their pace, and you almost forget about the busy, honking city that lies right outside the park boundaries. This year's Mid-Autumn Festival will take place on September 14.

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