Celebrations springing up in Australia's Sydney for Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

(Xinhua) 11:54, September 29, 2023

SYDNEY, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Taste a mooncake, light up a handmade lantern, or watch a lion dance with beloved ones. These festive customs have been re-emerging in Australia's Sydney over the past few days, as the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is approaching.

To welcome the festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month on the Chinese lunar calendar, or Friday this year, Australia's largest supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles have put various mooncake gift boxes on their shelves, with many other grocery stores also keeping both sweet and savory flavors in stock.

A number of traditional fillings, such as five nuts, egg yolk, red bean paste, and meat, are already no strangers to Sydneysiders.

Catering to younger generations and their taste, more innovative options like the bubble tea-infused mooncake have also been presented on the dining tables of many households across the city.

Lanterns, another must-have element for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, are hung up in Sydney's central business area (CBD).

At World Square, a large shopping center located in the heart of CBD, a red lantern tunnel has been set up absorbing the attention of passers-by. After a stroll down the tunnel, a giggling rabbit sculpture wait at the end for a selfie with visitors.

Starting from the World Square and walking along George Street, people will soon find a second attraction located at Haymarket: a 6-meter-high pavilion adorned with over 50 lanterns and a full-moon installation.

On Sept. 16, Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore was invited to cut the ribbon, also unveiling a 16-day cultural feast that would take the pavilion as a main stage.

With a Chinese knot tied to its bottom, each cylinder-shaped lantern was covered with either a red wrapping or a moon-related design.

Taking inspiration from Chinese mythology, some of the teenage creators painted the moon goddess Chang'e and her jade rabbit to display the culture of this reunion day, which originated in China and is now observed across many Asian countries.

Despite these build-up events, the Mid-Autumn celebrations have yet to climax until dawn on Friday, and the festive air is expected to last throughout the whole weekend.

From 6:30 p.m. local time on Friday, the bustling Darling Square will turn into a cozy family-gathering hub where traditions are mixed with modern entertainment.

Following the sunset, over a hundred colorful lanterns will illuminate the area conveying the Chinese wish for reunion at the Mid-Autumn Festival.

While one of Australia's oldest dragon and lion dance troupes shows off their acrobatic moves before the spectators, disc jockeys will also enrich the atmosphere with live music.

With a mooncake pop-up shop at hand for a bite of Chinese flavor, parents can bring their kids to the square for a cultural experience, including face painting and calligraphy.

On Saturday, an assembly of more than 30 performers from northwest China's Gansu Province will deliver an evening of Chinese folk music orchestra at Sydney's Town Hall.

Also on Saturday, the opening hours of the Chinese Garden of Friendship will be extended for only one night for a special "Appreciating the Moon" event.

Visitors can not only explore the garden in the moonlight but also indulge themselves in the aroma of osmanthus-infused tea and the tranquillity brought by Chinese traditional Guqin performances.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Hongyu)


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