Documentary Series by Marc Pingry Productions, Inc.

101: The Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival – Hong Kong


Familes hang Lanterns in park


The festival origins go back to the 14th Century uprising against the Mongols. The rebels smartly wrote the call to revolt on pieces of paper and hid them in pastries that they smuggled to compatriots.

Today, during the festival, people eat those special pastries known as “Moon Cakes”. They are made of ground lotus, sesame seed paste, egg-yolk and other ingredients. Along with the cakes, shops sell colored Chinese paper lanterns in the shapes of animals, and more recently, featuring popular cartoon characters. On this family occasion, parents allow children to stay up late, prepare a special meal and take them to public places to light their lanterns. Hong Kong lights up with thousands of lanterns in all colors, sizes and shapes.


Lighting Incense in local Temple

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring magical Hong Kong: Visits to the giant Buddha on Lantau island, a sampan driver in Aberdeen among traditional house boats, Chueng Cheu, a charming Island where cars are forbidden and Tai O village where all the homes are built on stilts. Autumn season brings believers to Wong Tai Sin Temple where locals make offerings for the Moon festival. For our Food Segment we will explore a Kowloon tofu factory to learn about this ancient culinary custom of the East along with street market stalls with their unique variety of dried sea food. We also visit the famous and very typical Tai Chong bakery for its incredible egg tarts.


Hong Kong’s other specialty markets are highlighted with the Goldfish market, the Yuen Po Bird market, the Mong Kok flower market and the Jade market in Yau Ma Tei.

Special Thanks to the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Cathay Pacific Airways for their assistance with this episode.