'Rising Moon' lantern to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong's Victoria Park
© Bobby Yip/Reuter
An old celebration for a new season
This photo takes us to Hong Kong's Victoria Park, where a group of engineers constructed a giant lantern sculpture called 'Rising Moon.' It's made of more than 7,000 recycled plastic water bottles with LED lights inside, to honor one of China's most important holidays, the Mid-Autumn Festival. While it's only been an 'official' public holiday in China since 2008, mention of the Mid-Autumn Festival first appeared in written historical texts as far back as 3,000 years ago. Families celebrate the holiday by lighting paper lanterns and sharing a meal, traditionally at a round table. This reunion is said to bring good luck and happiness.
One of the tastier traditions of this holiday is the eating of mooncakes, which are a type of stuffed pastry served during the festival when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and brightest. These famous cakes can be sweet, stuffed with a sweet bean paste, or savory and stuffed with ham, sausage, or nuts and dried fruit. Mooncakes are often given as gifts to friends, coworkers, and family members, and the holiday is even sometimes called the Mooncake Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival is not only a Chinese holiday, but is celebrated across Asia, with each nation observing this family-friendly holiday in its own unique way.