HONG KONG MID AUTUMN- FESTIVAL 2016 


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 Shaanxi Arts Troupe will perform folk songs, dances and acrobatic shows in the three carnivals held in Victoria Park, Tin Shui Wai Park and Tai Po Waterfront Park. In addition, folk art demonstrations by Guangdong and local masters including Guangzhou olive kernel sculpture, Canton embroidery, Cantonese opera headdress making, Chinese paper cutting, leather shoe making and traditional face threading will also be featured.

The Shaanxi Arts Troupe will perform at the main Lantern Carnival in Victoria Park and New Territories Lantern Carnivals in Tin Shui Wai Park/Ginza Square and Tai Po Waterfront Park at the 2016 carnivals

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 - 15th September 2016*

Time - 8pm to 11pm

Programme: Programme includes Lantern Display, Marching Band Performance, Fire Dragon Dance Parade, Chinese Ethnic Songs and Dances and Acrobatics, Magic Show, Juggling Display, Cantopop Showcase, Guangdong and Hong Kong Folk Crafts, Creative Market.


*Lanterns are on display from 14th to 18th September from 6-30pm to 11-30pm
(extended to midnight on 15th September)

Youth Night takes place on 16th September from 7-30pm to 9-30pm

 

Among the lanterns in Victoria Park is the thematic display entitled "It's All About Hong Kong", which showcases famous fairy tale figures visiting Hong Kong landmarks


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


Folk art demonstrations such as beading embroidery will be a feature of the carnivals
 


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 (Image: Hong Kong Tourism Board)

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

14th & 15th September 2016, 8-15pm to 10-30pm
16th September 2016, 8-15pm to 10pm

* on 15th September the route of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance is extended to Soccer Pitches 4&5 in Victoria Park from 10-45pm to 11-30pm to allow visitors to enjoy both 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 14th to 16th September. 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 along Pok Fu Lam Road in Pok Fu Lam Village near Aberdeen on;

15th September 2015, from 7pm to 11pm

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 2016: FLY ME TO THE MOON

Location - Outside Hong Kong Space Museum, Tsim Sha Tsui

Date - 2nd September 2016 to 25th September 2016

Time - 6-30pm to 11pm (extended to midnight on 27th September)

Scene from the "Fly me to the moon" lantern display outside Hong Kong Space Museum



 

NEW TERRITORIES EAST MID-AUTUMN LANTERN CARNIVAL 2016;

Location - TAI PO WATERFRONT PARK 

Date - 17th September 2016*

Time - 7-30pm to 10pm

Programme: Spectacular Chinese ethnic dances and songs, acrobatics, demonstrations of Guangdong and Hong Kong folk crafts, a Chinese orchestral music performance, music and dance performances, rhythmic gymnastics, a piano DJ session, participatory activities, a wish-making corner and a lantern quiz.
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*Lanterns are illuminated from 14th September to 18th September from 6-30pm to 11pm (extended to midnight on 15th September)

Youth Night takes place on 18th September from 7-30pm to 9-30pm



NEW TERRITORIES WEST MID-AUTUMN LANTERN CARNIVAL 2016;

Location - TIN SHUI WAI PARK AND GINZA SQUARE 

Date - 16th September 2016*

Time - 7-30pm to 10pm

Programme: Spectacular Chinese ethnic dances and songs, acrobatics, demonstrations of Guangdong and Hong Kong folk crafts, music and dance performances, an a cappella performance, a magic show, workshops, a wish-making corner and a lantern quiz.

*Lanterns are illuminated from 14th September to 18th September from 6-30pm to 11pm (extended to midnight on 15th September)

Youth Night takes place on 17th September 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 September 14th to 16th. 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, 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 September 15th;

* 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 September 15th will be extended to 3am of the following day. The service from September 14th to 16th 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 16th September 2016, 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.