HONG KONG MID AUTUMN- FESTIVAL 2017 


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. Traditionally, the festival is a three-day event, with people welcoming the full moon on the 14th day of the eighth moon and bidding farewell to the celestial orb on the 16th day. The 15th day is often marked by a family day at home and in recent years it has become customary to take young children to the nearest park after dinner and settle down on the ground to light small candles and nibble moon cakes.

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.

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.

The Jiangsu Arts Troupe, supported by the Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of the Ministry of Culture, will perform spectacular folk songs, dances and acrobatic shows in the three carnivals at Victoria Park, Sha Tin Park and Tsing Yi Park. In addition, folk craft demonstrations by Guangdong and local masters, including Chaozhou embroidery, Guangdong inside painting of snuff bottles, birdcage production and Hakka embroidered band knitting craftsmanship, will also be featured. The carnival sites will each be decorated with colourful lanterns. The Victoria Park carnival will showcase different festive lanterns, including lantern displays in the shape of women's cheongsams crafted by local masters and organised by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office of the LCSD to show the traditional craftsmanship of lantern making. There will also be lighting installations created by two artists with the themes of "Reunion" and "Moon Hunt", a thematic display entitled "Under the Same Starry Sky" telling stories of acquaintances, and a lantern display by primary and secondary school students.

The Jiangsu Arts Troupe will perform in all three carnivals at Victoria Park, Sha Tin Park and Tsing Yi Park

The main Lantern Carnival (Urban Lantern Carnival) and other Mid-Autumn events are held at VICTORIA PARK in Causeway Bay. Further details to be announced nearer the date of the festival.

Date - 4th October 2017 

Time - 8pm to 11pm

Programmes: Spectacular Chinese ethnic dances and songs, acrobatics, a fire dragon dance parade, demonstrations of Guangdong and Hong Kong folk crafts, a marching band performance, music and dance performances, a students' lantern display, a creative market, a wish-making corner and a lantern riddle quiz..

Lanterns are on display from 30th September to 8th October 2017 from 6-30pm to 11-30pm (extended to midnight on 4th October)

Youth Night takes place on 5th October from 7-30pm to 9-30pm

Lantern displays at the 2016 urban festival in Victoria Park depicted well-known Hong Kong landmarks including the ex Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower

 

A Fire Dragon Dance Parade will feature in the Urban Lantern Carnival in Victoria Park

Folk craft demonstrations by Guangdong and local masters, including Guangdong inside painting of snuff bottles, birdcage production and Hakka embroidered band knitting craftsmanship, will be featured. Photo shows a Chaozhou embroidery demonstration.


GETTING TO VICTORIA PARK: MTR to Causeway Bay Station, then take Exit E, turn left and follow Great George Street to the park, which is located opposite the end of the street, or MTR to Tin Hau Station, then take Exit A2, turn left and continue ahead until reaching the park. 



FIRE DRAGON DANCE PERFORMANCES;

TAI HANG FIRE DRAGON DANCE

Coinciding with the Mid-Autumn Festival is the unique Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance - a spectacular ritual that is considered one of the most extraordinary events during this Festival. In 2011, the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance was inscribed on the third national list of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ by the Ministry of Culture in China.

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance has been performed for more than 100 years. Tai Hang, located in Causeway Bay, was originally a Hakka village. Legend has it that a plague broke out there in 1880s and to ward off the disease, the villagers planted joss sticks in a dragon made of grass. On the evenings of the 14th, 15th and 16th of the eighth lunar month, the villagers paraded the fire dragon through the village while letting off firecrackers. The plague ended soon after the event. From then on, the villagers have performed a three-day fire dragon dance every year to bless themselves. The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance was inscribed onto the third national list of intangible cultural heritage by the Chinese Ministry of Culture in 2011. In 2017 the Supported by nearly 300 performers, the fire dragon measures as long as 67 metres. Its head alone weighs 48kg. Its body is divided into 32 segments and uses up a total of 72,000 incense sticks during the three-day* performance. After the performance, the dragon is delivered to the sea to symbolise the dragon returning to the sky after it has dispelled the plague in the village.

* the Dance is usually held over three days and nights. However, in 2017 the event has been extended to a fourth night to allow more visitors to experience the tradition.

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance takes place along Tung Lo Wan Road, Lin Ka Fung Temple and surrounding streets of Tai Hang on;

3rd to 5th October*  2017, 8-15pm to 10-30pm
6th October 2017, 8-15pm to 10pm

* on 4th October the route of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance is extended to Soccer Pitches 4 and 5 in Victoria Park from 10-45pm to 11-30pm to allow visitors to enjoy the dance and the Lantern Carnival and other Mid-Autumn celebratory activities in the park.

Website;

http://www.taihangfiredragon.hk/ 

GETTING TO TAI HANG: MTR to Tin Hau then take Exit A1

To facilitate the holding of the Fire Dragon Dance in Tai Hang, there will be road closures and traffic diversions in Tai Hang from 6pm to 11pm daily from 3rd to 6th October. Parking spaces in the area will be temporarily closed. Full details will be announced on the Transport Department website at a later date.


POK FU LAM FIRE DRAGON DANCE

The Pok Fu Lam Fire Dragon Dance takes place from Pok Fu Lam Village to Waterfall Bay near Aberdeen on;

4th October 2017, from 7pm to 11pm

The parade pauses at every shrine along the route to perform rituals to pray for prosperity for the coming year and ends at Waterfall Bay to symbolise the return of the dragon to the sea. 

Admission is free

Pok Fu Lam Village is one of 67 global cultural heritage sites included in the World Monuments Fund’s World Monument Watch and the first site in Hong Kong to be included in the watch, which is published every two years. The New York-based fund considers the modest appearance of the village belies its historical importance. The settlement perched on a hillside to the west of Hong Kong Island, is characterized by narrow lanes and alleys twisting through the village, around small traditional buildings and newer structures. The village includes the remnants of the original Dairy Farm building, set up in Pok Fu Lam in 1886, to provide Hong Kong with fresh milk. Stringent squatter control policies make it hard for villagers to repair their dwellings, as they are required to use materials that were registered at the time of the last occupancy survey, which was conducted in the 1980s.

Best viewing point is the entrance to Pok Fu Lam Village


GETTING TO POK FU LAM VILLAGE: Pok Fu Lam is not served by MTR. Several Citybus bus routes provide frequent services to the Pok Fu Lam Village bus stop on Pok Fu Lam Road, including 91 (from Central Ferry Piers), 40M (from Admiralty via Central), 30X (from Central Exchange Square), 37A & 37B (circular routes from Chi Fu Fa Yuen via Central/Admiralty), 71 (circular route from Wong Chuk Hang via Central) and 973 (from Tsim Sha Tsui).




OTHER LANTERN DISPLAYS AND CARNIVALS;

MID-AUTUMN THEMATIC LANTERN DISPLAY 2017: ENCHANTED BLOSSOM UNDER THE MOON 

Location - Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui

Date - 22nd September 2017 to 15th October 2017 

Time - 6-30pm to 11pm (extended to midnight on 4th October)

Scene from the "Enchanted Blossom Under the Moon" lantern display outside Hong Kong Space Museum



NEW TERRITORIES EAST MID-AUTUMN LANTERN CARNIVAL 2017;

Location - SHA TIN PARK 

Date - 5th October 2017*

Time - 7-30pm to 10pm

Programmes: Spectacular Chinese ethnic dances and songs, acrobatics, demonstrations of Guangdong and Hong Kong folk crafts, music and dance performances, a magic show, juggling clown performances, traditional snack stalls, game booths, a Chinese chess corner, a tea tasting workshop, a wish-making corner and lantern riddles.
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*Lanterns are illuminated from 30th September to 8th October from 6-30pm to 11pm (extended to midnight on 4th October)

Youth Night takes place on 6th October from 7-30pm to 9-30pm

 

A lantern riddles corner at the New Territories East Mid-Autumn Carnival in 2016



NEW TERRITORIES WEST MID-AUTUMN LANTERN CARNIVAL 2017;

Location - TSING YI PARK 

Date - 6th October 2017*

Time - 7-30pm to 10pm

Programmes: Spectacular Chinese ethnic dances and songs, acrobatics, demonstrations of Guangdong and Hong Kong folk crafts, music and dance performances, a lion dance performance, a bubble show, an African drum performance and workshop, a wish-making corner and lantern riddles.
 

*Lanterns are illuminated from 30th September to 8th October from 6-30pm to 11pm (extended to midnight on 4th October)

Youth Night takes place on 7th October from 7-30pm to 9-30pm

SPECIAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS DURING MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL

The Transport Department (TD) is implementing special traffic and transport arrangements on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories to facilitate Mid-Autumn Festival activities and the Fire Dragon Dance in Tai Hang.

To facilitate the holding of the Fire Dragon Dance in Tai Hang on Hong Kong Island, there will be road closures and traffic diversions in Tai Hang from 6pm to 11.59pm daily from 3rd to 6th October. Parking spaces and taxi stands in the area will be suspended.

Road closure arrangements will also be implemented in various parts of Hong Kong Island (including the Peak, Repulse Bay, Shek O, Stanley, Pok Fu Lam and Aberdeen) and the New Territories (including Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan and Ma On Shan). Part-time pedestrian schemes and learner driver prohibited zones will be set up. Car parks, roadside parking spaces, taxi stands and public light bus stands will be suspended. The Police may adjust the implementation of road closures and traffic diversions, subject to the prevailing traffic and crowd conditions in the areas.

For public transport services, there will be extension of operating hours, route diversions and strengthening of services. Details are as follows:

* MTR Island Line, South Island Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Kwun Tong Line, Tseung Kwan O Line, Tung Chung Line, East Rail Line (between Hung Hom and Sheung Shui only), West Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line will operate overnight on October 4th;

* Some Light Rail routes in the Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai areas will operate overnight on September 15th;

* The tram service on October 4th will be extended to 3am of the following day. The service from October 3rd to 6th will be strengthened subject to passenger demand;

* Extensions of operating hours, provision of special services, route diversions and suspension/relocation of bus stops will be exercised by bus companies on some routes;

* Some green minibus services will be extended and some routes will be diverted; and

* Ferry services operated by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry (HKKF) will be enhanced according to passenger demand.

Members of the public are advised to make use of public transport services so as to avoid traffic congestion and unnecessary delays. Motorists should avoid driving to the affected areas. In case of traffic congestion, they should drive with patience and follow the instructions of the Police on-site.

The TD and the Police will closely monitor the traffic situation and implement appropriate measures as necessary. Motorists and the public are advised to pay attention to the latest traffic news on radio and television.

POSTAL SERVICES

There will be no mail collection and no mail delivery on 5th October 2017, the public holiday for the day following Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. All post offices will be closed on that day except the General Post Office at Connaught Place, Central and the Airport Post Office. The business hours of the two offices will be from 9am to 5pm and 8am to 5pm respectively. General postal services will be provided. Details of services available will be advertised at the respective post offices.