Among the many traditional Chinese festivals celebrated in Hong Kong, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most colourful. For centuries, the Mid-Autumn Festival has been one of the most important Chinese festivals, a time when families get together to celebrate the abundance of a good harvest and to gaze at the full moon. Children play with lanterns of different shapes and colours adding a delightful ambience to the festivities.
Moon cakes are a traditional and indispensable part of the Mid-Autumn festivities and are available from bakeries, supermarkets and some restaurants from about the end of August. Friends and relatives give one another moon cakes as gifts to convey blessings and good fortune. Moon cakes date back to the Yuan dynasty when Han Chinese rebels passed secret messages to one another hidden in the cakes to prevent their plans for insurrection being discovered by their Mongolian rulers.
|Mid-autumn festival lanterns in Victoria Park, Hong Kong|
The celebrations also include colourful Chinese lanterns. Shops all over town sell coloured Chinese paper lanterns usually in the shape of animals, but more recently, in the shape of space ships and cartoon characters etc. There are also large thematic lantern displays in different areas of Hong Kong.
|A fire-dragon dance parade|
Although the festivities reiterates the strong family bonding in the Chinese culture, most of the ageing population who today are left in old age homes, are often forgotten and left alone even during all the festivities around.
|Celebrating the Mid-autumn Festival with the elderly in |
Caritas Elderly Home in Tai O
Epiphany parish had organised a visit to the Caritas Old Age Home in Tai O to wish the inmates joys and blessings of the occasion.
In Pengchau, together with the Holy Family School and the St. Vincent de Paul Society the parish had organised an afternoon get together for the elderly. The students of the Holy Family Primary School performed for over 120 elderly who had gathered in the chapel of Our Lady Queen of Peace. The elderly were also distributed gifts during the occasion.