Hong Kong weather

Mooncakes, lanterns, fire dragon dance: Hongkongers celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival as typhoon avoids city

Lanterns and ‘mountains of mooncakes’ dot city for annual holiday of thanksgiving

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 September, 2016, 10:16pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 3:35pm

Hongkongers enjoyed improved weather allowing them to gaze at the moon after Typhoon Meranti moved away from the city, leaving it sunny and mostly dry for Mid-Autumn Festival.

The No 1 warning signal was taken down at 4.20am Thursday after being in place since Wednesday morning.

Earlier in the week, the Observatory forecast Meranti could bring showers and clouds, disrupting Hongkongers’ full moon-gazing and lantern-carrying activities.

Watch: fire dragon dance in Pok Fu Lam Village

At Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, hundreds of people participated in a carnival featuring light installations and live performances to mark the annual holiday celebrating thanksgiving and family.

The installations ranged from traditional lanterns to more modern offerings that turned a spotlight on Western and Chinese folk tales including Cinderella and Journey to the West.

A woman who asked only to be identified by her surname Ho praised the lanterns at Victoria Park for their beauty and said she and her daughter had thoroughly enjoyed the carnival.

A couple from France who recently moved to the city said they had been enjoying the festivities of their first Mid-Autumn Festival, including sampling a variety of mooncakes.

Meanwhile, non-profit Food Grace said it had collected over 9,200 mooncakes in its recycling campaign targeting the delicacy from September 1 to 13.

The group’s project manager Allen Yuen Tak-chi said the number was “shocking” and described seeing “mooncake mountains” at some recycling stations.

He said all the mooncakes were donated to the less fortunate, including those staying in subdivided flats, and to over 30 social welfare organisations. The treats were gathered from special recycling bins in over 100 housing estates and large shopping malls.

Yuen urged Hongkongers to cut waste by considering whether an intended recipient in fact wanted to receive a mooncake.

Early Friday, a penumbral lunar eclipse was due to take place.

The Observatory said that as the moon passed through the earth’s penumbra, or partial shadow, without entering the umbra, or total shadow, it would become only slightly dimmer.

The moon was to enter the penumbra at 12.53am, with the maximum eclipse at 2.54am, and the moon leaving the penumbra at 4.56am.

The last lunar eclipse to take place during Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong and featuring a visible full moon was a total lunar eclipse on September 17, 1997.