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Moon Gazing

Mid-Autumn Festival.

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Yesterday evening was Mid-Autumn Festival. This is celebrated every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This festival is associated with harvest time. Chinese people celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival by eating brightly coloured round foods such as fruit and mooncakes while sitting outside and gazing at the moon. The moon will be at its fullest during this festival. It is also traditional to make or buy lanterns at mid-autumn and these are used to decorate buildings or are carried by children during their night time picnic.

Peter with the lanterns by day.

Peter with the lanterns by day.

And by night.

And by night.

Peter with lanterns.

Peter with lanterns.

Me with lanterns.

Me with lanterns.

Lanterns.

Lanterns.

Lanterns.

Lanterns.

Lanterns.

Lanterns.

My friend sent me this picture of Mid-Autumn in Ap Lei Chau.

My friend sent me this picture of Mid-Autumn in Ap Lei Chau.

There is a legend associated with the festival. There are many versions of it, but this is my favourite.

Long ago there were ten suns in the sky. It was constantly day time and always extremely hot. Plants struggled to survive in the heat and crops would often shrivel up and die. One day, a skilful archer called Hou Yi, tired of the eternal heat and light, pointed his bow towards the heavens and shot down nine of the suns. Hou Yi's actions made life much better for the whole of mankind, so as a reward, the goddess Xiwangmu gave him a magic potion. Anyone who drank this would achieve immortality.

While Hou Yi deeply wanted to be immortal, he only had enough potion for one person and he could not bear to live for all eternity without his beautiful young wife - Chang’e, so instead of drinking the potion, he hid it under their bed. However, an evil man called Feng Meng, who worked as an apprentice to Hou Yi found out about the potion and wanted it for himself. One night, Feng Meng forced his way into Hou Yi's home when Chang’e was there all alone. He tried to make her give him the potion. Knowing she could not fight him off, Chang'e stopped him in the only way she could, she drank every last drop of the potion herself. When she had finished, she became lighter and lighter and began to float through the air. She floated right out of her window, up through the night sky and all the way up to the moon which became her new home forever and ever.

Hou Yi was heartbroken when he discovered his beloved wife had gone, but knowing she was up on the moon, he would spend his nights gazing up at her. He also laid out fruits and cakes as offerings to her every evening until the day he died and from this practice Mid-Autumn Festival was born.

It was a funny day weatherwise. Like most days recently it began with a beautiful sunrise. I've been photographing these most days on my way to work.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Later in the day it became stormy with torrential rain, thunder and lightning. I took some harbour views from school, because I thought the sky looked quite dramatic.

Stormy skies over the harbour.

Stormy skies over the harbour.

Stormy skies over the harbour.

Stormy skies over the harbour.

In the evening we went for a swim at our pool. There was a large group of people having a Mid Autumn Festival party there. I heard one of them say. "Where's the moon. We're all supposed to be looking at the moon." She was right there was no moon, it was too cloudy. What a disappointment! A short time later I heard lots of Ohs and Ahs. The moon had broken through the clouds. It was huge, bright red and very beautiful. My photos really don't do it justice.

The moon viewed from the pool.

The moon viewed from the pool.

The moon viewed from the pool.

The moon viewed from the pool.

After our swim we went upstairs to the restaurant and had dinner on the balcony, gazing at the moon.

Peter at dinner.

Peter at dinner.

Moon Gazing.

Moon Gazing.

Moon Gazing.

Moon Gazing.

Me and the moon.

Me and the moon.

Peter with the moon.

Peter with the moon.

The day after Mid-Autumn Festival is a public holiday here. We got up early and went for a swim. In the evening we are out on the Residents' Club. On the walk there we passed the beach just as the sun was going down. It was pretty crowded.

Discovery Bay Beach on a public holiday.

Discovery Bay Beach on a public holiday.

Posted by irenevt 00:27 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Very beautiful moon photos, the real thing must have been amazing! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

Interesting that they associate brightly colored foods with the moon which is mostly pale.

by greatgrandmaR

Happy Mid-Autumn, Irene! Thanks for sharing your story!

by Vic_IV

Hi Rosalie during the Mid-Autumn Festival the moon usually looks orange or red. Happy Mid Autumn Festival.

by irenevt

Hi Victor, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you, too.

by irenevt

Happy Mid Autumn festival. Love the lanterns.

by alectrevor

Hi Alec, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you, too. Lanterns are beautiful,aren't they?

by irenevt

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