The Great Pumpkin Ball & Gardens of Light

If you’ve been around here for the last few years, this post might not be anything new to you. However, there is always a little bit of different to these festivals every year.

Every year in Montreal Botanical Gardens are two simultaneous exhibits: The Great Pumpkin Ball in the greenhouse and Gardens of Light in the Chinese Garden made up of lanterns and the Japanese Garden with a full on lights show. While the Japanese Garden doesn’t change too much, the theme of the lanterns in the Chinese Garden change every year. This year was all about the Imperial Court meaning the emperor and Forbidden City.

Let me take you on a lovely tour!

The Great Pumpkin Ball

Gardens of Light – Chinese Gardens

This year the Chinese Gardens are going through some revamping so there is somewhat of changes of the placements of the lanterns and the route itself. However, it is still pretty impressive.

Gardens of Light – Japanese Gardens

If you want some of the more general flowers and close-ups (aka more artsy shots), please head over to my photography blog, Avenue of Daydreams. They will be coming up shortly once I get all the pics shorted.

That’s it for Gardens of Light and The Great Pumpkin Ball!
I went with my mom and it was tons of fun! 🙂

Hong Kong: Man Mo Temple

Going to Hong Kong by myself would require a lot of planning.  Except this time, I didn’t really think much of it.  Maybe it was because work was so busy up to the last minute or that I just knew I had some family stuff to help out with and wasn’t sure how much time I had.  However, when daily plans are made and something spontaneously happens that you’ve wanted to do and didn’t really expect it to does actually happen, its a pretty awesome feeling.

My mom and I was taking a nice walk through Central in search of a store and we get to these stairs that I’ve always wanted to go to.

Thats the first spontaneous event. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a good picture for it.  Thats what happens when I’m too lazy to carry my DSLR around even though I did carry it all the way from Canada.  I know, silly, right?

Central Hong Kong

Up the slope

Moving right along, after we go up those steps/slope, we reached this street that we turn onto that eventually dives into the section nicknamed as Antique Street because it has store after store of antique stores with a lot of treasures to look at and take home if you’re willing to pay the price.  From furniture to paintings and ceramics, it all is hidden right here.  Its a pretty nice treat to see all this.

However, I’m not really going to focus on that.  I just bought a house so I don’t have the money for antiques and can you imagine shipping mega heavy ancient furniture back? That would be pretty pricey, and well, lets just say I’m  more of a modern/contemporary style person.

Still, I’m really into looking at temples.  Back in 2009, when I vacationed with my friend to Hong Kong, he built an itinerary consisting of a lot of temples.  We had to take a few off eventually due to time constraints.  This one that I saw is called Man  Mo Temple.  This temple worships the God of Literature and God of War.  Its essentially a must if you are a student because its asking for blessings for better position in your future. In ancient times, it was more related to achieving an administrative role but still, I think it works.  My mom told me to ask for a blessing for a better job.  Haha! Never hurts to try, right? 😉

This temple situated in an interesting area because if you did the path I went, you’d have felt like you travelled through time because I got out of the subway and I surfaced in modern downtown Hong Kong with tall skyscrapers all around and then walking up that slope, it was amazing see the ancient stuff popping up in store windows and then this temple is just another different world.

Temples are normally distinct in their own ways.  Whether its the God thats in there or the set up but there’s one thing thats always there: incense. I’m babbling now, but here it is. Its a temple so no pictures of the God itself especially but in general, I try to dial down on the photo crazy phase because some people find it disrespectful.

Man Mo Temple

The entrance of Man Mo Temple

Going right inside, you step into a middle section with rows of lanterns.  Under them is tagged with a little piece of paper and on it are people who visit the temple and their wishes.  I’m guessing a lot of them will be related to success in some form, perhaps.  Just taking a guess 😉

Man Mo Temple

Lanterns & Wishes

Above is a scene I’ve been wanting to see forever and thats this one:

Man Mo Temple

Spirals of incense hanging above

Isn’t that impressive? I always thoughts this is one of the most beautiful setting for a picture (other than nature).  Inside of those, are also little wishes on the red papers. I believe what happens is that when the incense finishes burning, your blessing is complete.

Leaving Man Mo Temple, my mom and I ventured back home slowly as we skimmed through the buildings in Central and finally deciding to head to Causeway Bay to find a store that I wanted to check out, which apparently had closed. Still, on our way, we found this little area in front of a building.  Don’t ask me the exact location because I don’t remember.


Bulls in Central

Is this possibly the Hong Kong version of New York’s bull? Haha! I thought it was pretty cool plus it does make sense in the working environment.

That was one of the few days on my trip that I ventured into the Hong Kong Island and the busy working world. You will see that I spent most of my time in the Kowloon and New Territories area 🙂

Have you ever visited temples? Do you like to learn about other cultures and history?