The nearest I got to the lantern displays at Victoria Park this year
As those who read my October 1 blog post know, I did not go out at all all day, never mind that evening. Instead, I celebrated World Sake Day this year by having quite a bit of sake at home, by myself, in the middle of the day -- something which made me so sleepy, if not super mellow, that I actually ended up in bed for much of the day!
Neither did I venture out the evening before -- although I did go out for part of the day to get prepared for an upcoming festival I'm very much looking forward to. More specifically, I spent a good chunk of Saturday going about procuring tickets for this year's Hong Kong Asian Film Festival screenings. And the ticketing system being expectedly awful (due in no small part for one month's worth of film festival screenings all going on sale at the same time!), I'd estimate that I ended up spending around 20 minutes queuing for tickets and travelling between screening venues to queue for tickets at their ticketing counters for each ticket I ended up getting!
A quick film diversion: Expectedly, a number of the Hong Kong titles that will screen at the fest feature among the list of nominees for Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards which just came out today. And yes, they were among the films whose screenings sold out earliest. Still, the film whose screenings appeared to sell out the quickest was actually Wim Wenders' Perfect Days, thanks to lead actor Koji Yakusho's popularity in Hong Kong and news that he will be coming over to grace this year's Hong Kong Asian Film Festival! (And yes, I think it's safe to surmise that among the Hong Kong film fest crowd, Japanese films rule -- along with local Hong Kong offerings which truly have seen a renaissance in recent years!)
The one evening that I ventured out on this long weekend was Friday: the night of the Mid-Autumn (AKA Mooncake, AKA Lantern) Festival. Until last year or the year before though, I didn't go to Victoria Park to view the lantern display there -- because I had seen the size of the crowd -- which undoubtedly was swelled by Mainland Chinese tourists here during Golden Week -- on previous nights and found them horrifying. (I mean: Covid IS still around after all! Just today, there's news of a new Covid surge in Singapore and I've also read in recent weeks of Japan experiencing a ninth Covid wave!)
Neither did I end up going to view the Tai Hang Fire Dragon, which actually ventured out into the streets for the first time since 2019. Ditto re the less well known Pok Fu Lam Fire Dragon which I still haven't caught sight of in real life -- but, hopefully will at some point! Heck, I didn't even do any moon viewing -- even though this Harvest Moon was actually the last supermoon of the year!
Instead, I went over on Friday evening to the flat of friends and had a mooncake party that involved our sampling a whole bunch of mooncakes (e.g., traditional lotus seed paste with double yolk, red bean paste with orange peel, trendy lava custard mooncakes, an Earl Grey tea mini-mooncake, a durian flavoured mini mooncake, Haagen Dazs ice cream mooncakes)! And yes, it was a lot of fun!
So, yes, it's possible to have happy moments in Hong Kong still. Except, of course, it's also impossible to completely forget that, these days, many Hong Kongers have loved ones and/or friends who are no longer in Hong Kong and/or are currently in jail for political reasons. Including on Mid-Autumn Festival, which traditionally is a day where families gather and reunite, as well as October 1st, a date which previously would see protest marches take place -- something which I saw as a positive sign that Hong Kong was a free society despite it not having genuine universal suffrage, and during which I was happy to see familiar faces with whom I felt an emotional connection and solidarity. *Sigh*