Monday, 28 September 2015

Travel Log: The Mid-Autumn Festival (Hong Kong, Gold Coast Piazza)

Building up to today I've been bombarded by sales people and shop assistants selling lanterns and moon cakes. Moon cakes are especially connected to the festival and are made using lotus seed paste and salted duck egg, not that I tried one, they smelled sickly to me. This travel log is about the festivities of the festival around the Gold Coast Piazza. I'm staying at the Gold Coast marina with my gran so it's where I've mainly been based this month - side note - less than one week until I go home and back to work!

So this Moon Festival meant a little more than most years as this year it was a 'Super Moon Eclipse' so the moon was the closest to earth and it was brighter than usual. Apparently the next one will be in 2033 so it's quite a long wait until that! Of course, the Mid-Autumn Festival is yearly but it won't be quite so bright and prominent until then.

The piazza was set up with lots of things for kids to do, all the way along the coast the spaceship inflatable was advertised and sign posted. I also spotted a ball pit, various other inflatable play sets and games to win prizes. It's very much like a gala or a fair back in the UK only this one goes all the way through the night - many people stay on the beach overnight. 

Lanterns, glow sticks and lights were on sale all over the place so I guess it was a fantastic festival for consumerism. The stalls were fairly busy too once it got later on and the festival was up and running in full swing. On the other hand, I also saw kids with lights in noodle pots so it really just worked both ways. I thought that the noodle pot idea was clever, my gran thought it was cheap... Oh well!

It was pretty much pitch black by the time things got busy and crowded, it was all still quite chilled and relaxed. It was more of a friendly bustle than a free for all so that was quite pleasant. I was especially in awe of the floating inflatable moon that was lit up centrally above a shed like structure used to sell treats. I had wondered why they had drained the fountain, they used it to keep lights and weight down the moon inflatable.

I actually love the glow that I captured in the image to the left, it almost looks supernatural. I mean, I could have done without the glow from the building but the inflatable looks pretty fab. I'm sure the many kids playing nearby were just as in awe of the inflatable as I was, then again, it doesn't take much to amuse me.

Proof of my easily amusement is this picture of dogs wearing glow sticks, they were so adorable! Lots of people here are obsessed with making their pets look cute so it really didn't shock me that this couple has used glow sticks as necklaces for their dogs. 

Don't worry though, no harm was made to the dogs in that photo! The glow sticks weren't tightly fastened around their necks. I probably saw kids wearing more glow stick than those two dogs, haha! Some people looked like they had bought out a whole shop of the things! Lanterns were also popular, as they usually are during Chinese festivals. I've received many photos taken of lanterns during the various celebrations and festivals that have taken place around here.

This is an image of the beach from last night, people made camps decorated with glow sticks and lanterns for as far as the eye could see. I was particularly interested in this mini camp site because it was so ordered and bright. People pitched tents for their overnight celebrations and kids ran around playing games - it was really something! The glow sticks made swirling trails across the sand and, even though it's difficult to tell from that image, the neon lit up the path by the beach.

BBQ's were quite common along the designated BBQ pits as well as on the boats in the marina, I had a BBQ back at my grans boat. Yummy! As for the BBQ pits, they're dotted all over the place in Hong Kong - they're even in the mountains! I noticed that all the ones on the beach were utterly full, I'm not sure about the ones in the mountains though.

One thing I just had to try before my departure at the end of this week was Dragons Beard candy, my gran has been talking about this traditional Chinese sugar candy for weeks now. It's a sugary pulled kind of candy that's almost like cotton candy only it sticks together like toffee when chewed. I actually thought it tasted like soapy peanuts but, hey, each to their own!

Well, that was my experience with the Mid-Autumn festivities at the Gold Coast, I hope you guys have enjoyed it. I'm sorry for posting so many times within one day, I needed to play catchup and keep this post relevant! 

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