Out and about in Chinatown this afternoon, I came across this splendid display of hanging lanterns. It extends several blocks, and the lanterns have lights inside of them… hmmm. What a cool evening photo opp!

I went back tonight expecting to see the lanterns illuminated — but no such luck. I did happen upon the rather unglamorous, but funny, task of hanging the lanterns. One of the installers was up in a cherry-picker trying to detangle and get control of an armful of pesky lanterns while the other guy watched from below. More lanterns — there are hundreds of them — waited patiently in the gutter to be strung overhead.

When will the lanterns glow? According to the installer, not until next week. The lanterns are part of the Mooncake Festival which culminates on September 30th. This Chinese festival is a celebration of the end of the fall harvest. Mooncakes (small Chinese pastries filled with red bean paste) are shared among friends and family during the festival. So between now and September 30th there will be many mooncakes and lanterns around town. September is full of celebration this year — ghosts and lanterns and mooncakes, oh my!

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