On the Friday evening that marked the start of the mid-autumn festival in China, thousands of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong were seen in an eye-catching protest using torch, flashlights, lanterns and laser pens to light up two of the city’s well-known hillsides, to commemorate the annual festival. Thousands of activists with torches on their heads hiked their way uphill trails throughout the evening leading to the top of Lion Rock, which overlooks the sprawling skyscrapers of the city's Kowloon district which is one of the most densely populated places on earth.
Mid-autumn festival is an important event of the Chinese calendar year which is a time of thanksgiving, praying for good fortune and spending time with family and loved ones. But as Hong Kong suffers political unrest from three months, the protesters used the occasion as an opportunity to intensify their protests.
The activists gathered to form a long human chain on the Peak which is a popular tourist spot which offers picturesque views of Hong Kong and its waterfront.
Two of the protesting groups, whose lights were visible to each other across the harbour, chanted slogans and sang "Glory to Hong Kong", a protest anthem penned by an anonymous composer which has gone viral in recent days. While other protesters assembled in parks, shining their mobile phone lights, lasers and lanterns.
Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997 when the colonizer handed over the region to China, but the region was allowed to maintain its autonomy for fifty years. But the democratic activists accuse the Chinese government of tampering and manipulating its political control and sabotaging Hong Kong’s semi-autonomy.
In recent days, pro-Beijing supporters have also held impromptu gatherings to sing China’s national anthem as a response to pro-democracy activists, leading to scuffles between the two sides.
Beijing doesn’t seem to be ceding to the demands of the protesters nor the protesters show any signs of their movement abating. Plans by demonstrators to hold rallies on Saturday and Sunday have been rejected by the police. But previous bans have simply been ignored by the masses escalating to clashes with police.