The festival commemorates a 14th Century uprising against the Mongols. In a cunning plan, the rebels wrote the call to revolt on pieces of paper and embedded them in cakes that they smuggled to compatriots.
Today, during the festival, people eat special sweet cakes known as "Moon Cakes" made of ground lotus and sesame seed paste, egg-yolk and other ingredients. Along with the cakes, shops sell coloured Chinese paper lanterns in the shapes of animals, and more recently, in the shapes of aeroplanes and space ships. On this family occasion, parents allow children to stay up late and take them to high vantage points such as The Peak to light their lanterns and watch the huge autumn moon rise while eating their moon cakes. Public parks are ablaze with many thousands of lanterns in all colours, sizes and shapes.
Also not to be missed is one of the most spectacular celebrations you"ll ever see which takes place in Causeway Bay during the Mid-Autumn Festival on the 14th - 16th day of the eighth lunar month. It"s the fire dragon dance in Tai Hang - a collection of streets located in behind the Causeway Bay recreation grounds and features a dragon measuring 67 metres.
Over a century ago, Tai Hang was a village whose inhabitants lived off of farming and fishing. A few days before the Mid-Autumn Festival a typhoon and then a plague wreaked havoc on the village. While the villagers were repairing the damage, a python entered the village and ate their livestock. According to some villagers, the python was the son of the Dragon King. The only way to stop the havoc which had beset their village was to dance a fire dance for three days and nights during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival. The villagers made a big fire dragon of straw and stuck incense into the dragon. They lit firecrackers. They danced for three days and three nights and the plague disappeared.