Mid-Autumn Festival. September 12, 2011. Victoria Park. I remember having this really happy feeling while we were watching the dragon dance and all the rest of the festival on top of some truck. I promised myself I’d write about the festival as soon as we get back from the festival but as always, I didn’t get to, but looking at these pictures is giving me the same feeling again. We walked to the park with tons of people. I had to hold my French friend Jihed’s hand because I was scared of getting lost. The park was full of lights. Lights on top of you, big lighted sculptures around you, glowsticks and other blinking toys worn by people moving past you. While watching from above (relatively to the other people on the ground), I realized it was my first festival. It’s so ironic because there are so many in the Philippines and I haven’t been to one. The feel of needing to see something, taking pictures of everything, looking around and seeing kids playing with anything and everything, witnessing something with people who are most probably as optimistic about the event as me (otherwise, they wouldn’t have gone) is just completely awesome. The program and the dragon dance itself was not that impressive for most people. In fact, the only difference I saw (from what I see on TV) was that the dragon was made out of real incense. But the atmosphere of the whole thing is awesome. And I think, for most people, it is what matters most. Well, that was what mattered to me and it made me get what festivals are for and made me want to share it.
The Legend. I asked one of the local students about the story behind the festival. At first, the guy was so confused and told me a different story about someone committing suicide. He says it’s because there are so many festivals and he gets them mixed up. With the help of his friend who had green hair (literally), they told me that it’s about this girl who was in love with a guy. (Surprising, I know. Shattap. Haha.) But the girl was being arranged to be with another guy, so the couple escaped to the moon. That’s why apparently it is also called the moon festival. It is the time when the moon is most full. That part is true. Wikipedia has a different story though but you can just research that. Hearing it from a local student is much more interesting. So after knowing that story, it finally made sense why we kept on eating mooncakes. We had the traditional ones and also the snowy mooncakes (so good). We even played games called Running Moon and ran around the residence halls. Well, so that was my first official festival experience. Ever. And I loved every minute of it.
All this time we’ve been waiting for each other. All this time I was waiting for you.