I have fond memories of the Mid Autumn festival. It was such a great time for me when I was a little boy. After class, there was a big car waiting for me in front of my school to pick me up to for the yearly party for kids at my dad's company. If we studied well then we got some books, notebooks and a beautiful star lantern. It's one of the best parts of my childhood that I remember.
About 20 years ago, we celebrated our festival in a very simple way as life was not really as good as it is now. We usually made our own bamboo lanterns of different shapes like stars, long and round or maybe sometimes animal and car shapes. I used to really look forward making and wandering around with our lanterns, singing. At the end, we always stopped at one of the neighborhood houses to have some candy and cake and keep singing together. It was really cool.
Nowadays, people seem to buy lanterns for their children. There are also all kinds of electrical things with horrible happy birthday songs or some other crazy songs playing when they're turned on. In the past, some families did buy lanterns for their children but the percentage was not very high. Also at that time we had to use candles to light the lanterns and we have to re-light them many many times if it was a windy night. This was also a part of the fun and kids used to tease each other about how good their lanterns were.
This time of year is a very good time to go to the old quarter to take photos of moon cake shops and lantern shops particularly in the evening, if you can stand the crowds. The old quarter is always packed in the days leading up to the festival because everyone takes their kids out for shopping and having a good time.