Society

Hong Kong celebrates 'Once In a Blue Moon' Halloween amid COVID-19

Traditionally, Halloween has been a festival for people to dress up as different characters and go trick-or-treating. But, the Halloween of 2020 has been a different one: Hong Kong is celebrating the festival under COVID-19, along with a 'blue moon'.

As the afternoon draws to a close, individuals begin to gather at the West Kowloon Cultural District but must adhere to social distancing measures.

The blue moon phenomenon, which refers to the second full moon in the same calendar month, is also the origin of the English phrase 'once in a blue moon'. The first blue moon appeared during the Mid-Autumn festival in early October. 

"We are excited to see what everybody is talking about, and also looking forward to seeing it [the blue moon]," said Alex Nathan, 45, who came to the West Kowloon Cultural District to take part in Halloween activities such as face painting.

Mr. Nathan also brought four other children to the District, with all of them dressed up as different characters, including a vampire and ballerina.  

"The blue moon is making the day more special," said Will Mok To-Wing, 31, and Rebecca Cho Miu-Kwan, 24. Mr. Mok and Ms. Cho decorated their gathering venue with outdoor chairs and pumpkin lanterns, while also sharing food with their friends.

With a cool breeze, small groups of people gather in tents while others enjoy their food and take photographs during a nearly perfect evening.

Under the blue moon were a group of adults and children dressed as the hit Japanese game character Mario, which were bought from an online shopping platform for less than HK$500. 

"We wanted to dress up at a low cost and with clothes that can have different recognizable colours, so we chose Mario," said Cuby Lau Pui-Yu, 32, who put on a green Mario costume, along with her former classmates and their children.

Apart from the costumes, Mr. Nathan, Mr. Mok, Ms. Cho, and Ms. Lau also carried face masks and hand sanitizers in their bags, with the pandemic still looming large in the city. 

Due to COVID-19 and unstable weather in recent days, Ms. Lau added that they were unable to go outside and decided to grab the opportunity to do so during Halloween. 

Some with families start to leave the venue as midnight approaches.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, the next monthly blue moon is scheduled to be held in August 2023.  

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) is an English news publication produced by international journalism students at Hong Kong Baptist University. It started as a printed magazine in 1969. Today, TYR is produced across different platforms.

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