Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lantern Festival at Gold Coast

Tuesday was a red day here, or national holiday, as it was the Mid Autumn Festival, otherwise known as the Lantern Festival.  Last year we were going to go out to the Gold Coast  to join the fun, but it poured rain and so not much went on.  Fortunately the weather co-operated this year and it was a beautiful mild evening spent sitting on the beach with everyone else!

Heading out on the bus.  This was part of the line up left after the bus was full. 
We met Jill and the kids about 7 to go to the beach and stake out a spot.  They were so excited to have Buzz Lightyear  lanterns!!
Showing off Buzz!
The first thing Keegan did was run for the ocean and plunked himself down!!
Everyone stakes out their little piece of land with glow sticks or something else.  The Mid Autumn Festival celebrates two things.  First its a harvest celebration, and this is when the moon is the biggest and brightest.  It also commemorates a 14th century uprising against the Mongols, where the rebels hid their plans in little cakes and these were passed around to other rebels.  These cakes are called moon cakes.
Some get quite creative with their glow sticks!
Good thing it was warm as Keegan was quite happy to run in his diaper!!  Ryan was supposed to be at his University class but came home instead because of the traffic.
People wander around carrying their lanterns.  There were some quite elaborate ones.
This little cutie had a truck! 
These two had a more traditional one.
They used to have paper lanterns with candles, but those are a thing of the past and now they are made from plastic with led lights in them.  Some people still dig holes in the sand and put real candles in them, but this is discouraged.
These next few are a combination of traditional and glow stick art!

The next few are of Jill making glow balls and the kids having fun.

We headed home around ten, covered  in sand but with some happy kids!
Even as we're heading home many families are just starting their celebrations.  On this night of the year everyone stays up late eating their moon cakes and visiting.  Jill brought little cheesecakes and l brought cookies from Subway!!  I'm afraid moon cakes are definitely an acquired taste!!
Fancy rabbit!
Pretty fish! 
It's a really nice evening and very pretty with all the colored lights and many varieties of lanterns.  The Chinese have some rather neat family celebrations.  You see all ages coming with the lanterns and spending time together with kids running everywhere and people relaxing and visiting.  

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