Another Victoria Park spectacular as Hong Kong’s Lantern Wonderland gets recycled
Festival of Light
It’s Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 in Hong Kong, and that means colour, lights, and a whole lot of moon cake being eaten.
As a festival that celebrates light and the spectacle of the full moon, mid-autumn festival is traditionally the most colourful and spectacular in Hong Kong’s festival calendar. There are lanterns and light shows. There are dancing Fire Dragons taking to the streets. And there’s the annual extravaganza of Victoria Park’s Lantern Wonderland taking place in Causeway Bay.
Last year, Lantern Wonderland saw a Golden Moon arrive in the park, all fiery yellow and looking not unlike an enormous blazing hedgehog. This year, however, we have the spectacular sight of the Rising Moon to gaze at and behold.
7000 plastic bottles
The design is again the result of a Hong Kong Tourist Board-organised competition – a 10-metre high, glowing moon, made from 7000 recycled plastic bottles and thousands of colour-changing LED light bulbs.
The lights are said to change colour to mimic the different phases of the autumn moon, though with a light-show taking place every 15 minutes, the effect was more like an elaborate rave than a waxing and waning through the lunar cycle.
Inside the dome, there is a sea of lanterns and light created from more recycled plastic. All of this ‘floats’ on a pool of water inside the park, and there’s no doubt that the effect of the full moon created by the reflection looks very impressive indeed.
As well as the Rising Moon installation, there are full-sized paper lanterns, with the theme this year seeming to be various examples of Hong Kong food. There are giant fishballs on sticks, dim sum dishes, hot pot and egg waffle stalls.
There is also the Wishing Corridor – an illuminated walkway of hanging lanterns – and the mid-autumn market, where you can buy yourself some mid-autumn snackage, various handicrafts, and other assorted tat.
Between the 18th and 20th September, you should also see to making your way to Tai Hang to watch the famous Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, as a 70m-long dragon, lit with thousands of incense sticks, is carried through the tiny streets of Tai Hang in a smoke-choking, drum-beating frenzy of noise, smoke and fun. It’s my favourite three days of the year and you really shouldn’t miss it.
You can read my account of the 2012 Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance here.
When is it on?
The festivities take place from the 14th to the 22nd September over mid-autumn festival 2013 in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay.
- Lantern Wonderland is open from 6:30pm until 11pm (until midnight on the 19th)
- The Mid-Autumn Market is open from midday.
- The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance takes place on the 18th, 19th and 20th September and starts around 7:30. On the 19th, the parade will travel from Tai Hang to Victoria Park to join up with Lantern Wonderland events.
- All events are free
How do I get there?
- MTR Tin Hau Station Exit A2, turn left at the exit and enter the park from Hing Fat Street.
- MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit E, turn left and walk along Great George Street towards the park.