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HK Mid-Autumn Festival Events and Giant Lantern Made of Recycled Plastic Bottles

HK Mid-Autumn Festival Events and Giant Lantern Made of Recycled Plastic Bottles

The giant lantern "Rising Moon."

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The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important seasonal occasions in China, and related events are being held across Hong Kong starting on September 14 to offer thanks to the moon for a bountiful harvest. This year's full moon, which determines the date of the festival, will appear on the 19th of the month for the first time in nine years.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board is organizing the Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 for nine days on September 14-22 on the soccer pitches in Victoria Park, located in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong Island.

The highlight of this year's event will be the plastic bottle lantern in Victoria Park. At the one2free Lantern Wonderland, the "Rising Moon," a giant lantern created by four young artists, will be on display. The piece, which won first prize in the Lantern Wonderland Design Competition, is made from around 7,000 recycled plastic bottles and other discarded items illuminated by LED bulbs to inspire onlookers to think about environmental conservation. Also at the event will be handmade local crafts, street stalls and more.

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, which has a history dating back over a century, will be performed for three days on September 18-20 in the Tai Hang area near Causeway Bay. Each fire dragon is 67 meters in length, carrying a 48-kilogram head and a body divided into 32 sections. During the three days, spectators will be wowed by dramatic performances employing 372,000 sticks of incense. In the 1880s, when an epidemic plagued the village that stood in present-day Tai Hang, the villagers performed dances for three days with straw dragons covered in incense sticks starting on the day of the full moon, August 14-16 according to the lunar calendar. The story goes that after setting off firecrackers and parading through the village, the plague no longer afflicted the people. This year's dances will be performed from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., except on the 20th when they will end at 10:00 p.m.

The Mid-Autumn Festival comes to a climax on the 19th. The full moon will first appear at midnight between the 18th and 19th. Then, the following evening, the moon will reappear in the sky at 6:07 p.m. and become its roundest at 7:13 p.m. It will reach its culmination, its highest point as seen from Earth, at 12:22 a.m. on the night of the 20th. This will be the best time to view the moon. It will be in the skies southwest of Hong Kong, 70 degrees above the horizon.

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance will be performed at Victoria Park on the 20th from 10:45 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. There are also plans for lantern exhibitions and festivals in central Tsim Sha Tsui, Sha Tin Park and elsewhere.

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