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Mid-Autumn Festival

This ancient Chinese festival traces its roots back to a timewhen farmers rejoiced in bountiful harvests. Traditionally, the festival celebrates three revered customs: gathering – of family and friends, often gazing at the full moon; thanksgiving – to local deities; and praying – wishing for longevity and good fortune. Today, the festival, which falls on the full moon of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, is celebrated across Chinese communities worldwide. The celebrations include the lighting and displaying of colourful lanterns, moon-gazing and eating mooncakes.

In Hong Kong, there are several lantern festivals that host celebrations, with the largest and most popular in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. Be sure to catch a dance performance or visit a lantern festival if you are in town.

Hong Kong has elevated the making and giving of mooncakes to an art form. Millions of mooncakes are purchased each year, most of them as gifts wrapped in ever-fancier boxes. The variety of mooncakes has also proliferated, from classical lotus seed with egg yolk to ice cream and snow-skin-moon cakes to mini-mooncakes. Many hotels in Hong Kong prepare their own mooncakes,all beautifully packaged. Even the international confectioners are joining in, creating yet more modern recipes for this ancient cake.

Mooncakes make for a great gift to take home to your friends and family, so  be sure to select a box or two before you leave. For traditional mooncakes we recommend either the exquisitely made Loong Yuen mooncakes from Holiday Inn Golden Mile in Tsim Sha Tsui, or Maxim’s – one of the city’s largest suppliers of the delicacy. For newer varieties check out the Godiva Chocolate mooncakes gift set. Regardless, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

 

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