The Hong Kong Way on Mid-Autumn Festival

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Mid-Autumn festival is linked to the harvest and thus an important traditional occurrence in Hong Kong and also in China. In full Black Bauhinia Revolution, it made sense that the protesters would try to celebrate mid-Autumn festival in a special manner.

Lights on the mountains

The previous “Hong Kong Way”, had a great success, principally because of the protesters who managed to climb on the Lion’s Rock and to shine lights from up there.

The Hong Kong Way
The Hong Kong Way on the Lion’s Rock on August 26th, 2019.

This time, the protesters targeted two of the most symbolic mountains in HK, namely the Lion’s Rock (again!) and the Victoria Peak.

The other tradition on mid-autumn festival is, of course, to go with lanterns – and sometimes… umbrellas!

Traditional umbrella dancers
Umbrella dancers

This promised thus to be an interesting challenge on the festival night, which was due to take place on 13th of September.

Lockdown on the Peak

As we arrived at the peak, around 5 pm, there was still nobody around, but the police had locked up all hiking routes leading to the Peak. Obviously, this was an undeclared protest, but going to such vexatious lengths says something about the frustration of the authorities. Police deployment was kept light, nevertheless, and the policemen were not in riot gear, which promised a more relaxed atmosphere.

Police checkpoint on the Peak
Police checkpoint on the peak on Mid-Autumn Festival

However, it was a longish wait until 7.30, time at which the reunion and the meeting spot was fixed at the Peak Galleria. We killed the time with some shots of the moon and of the city by night.

The moon seen from the Peak
Moon seen from the Peak

A chanting procession

As 7.30 struck, chants came through and we saw people streaming with lanterns all over the peak.

A lady arrives with a lantern
A lady arrives on the peak with a lantern (pic Mitchy)

The few soon became a cheerful crowd, chanting slogans and very quickly starting with the National Anthem of Hong Kong, “Glory to Hong Kong”.

Protesters with lanterns
Protesters congregate with lanterns (pic Mitchy)

The lanterns were, for the most part, handmade, with messages relating to the protests.

As the protest grew, a real luminous human chain was formed, with people lighting up the torch of their smartphone to create a view visible by drone.

The Hong Kong way seen by drone

Hongkongers standing together

By contrast to the habitual confrontations which tend to mark almost every protest now, the celebrations of the Hong Kong Way were much more focused on unity.

A protester holds hands
A protester holds hands, while holding a tablet with the lyrics of “Glory to Hong Kong”.

Holding hands, the protesters faced the city, showing a chain of light in the darkness.

Protesters hold up their lanterns on the Peak
Protesters hold up their mid-autumn lanters for the “Hong Kong Way” on the Peak. (pic Mitchy)

As the protest ended, some protesters used their (ultra-powerful) laser pointers to do light signals to other protesters on other mountains across in Kowloon.

Protester targeting a laser pointer
Protester targeting a powerful laser pointer on the peak.

At that point, we left, as the pictures we were looking for were obtained. It was a wonderful moment that would soon be eclipsed by days of fire in Hong Kong.

#HongKong A couple holds a lantern on the Peak
A couple holds a lantern on the Peak.

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