Best Things To Do At The Mid-Autumn Festival In Hong Kong

Best Things To Do At The Mid-Autumn Festival In Hong Kong

The Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong is a highly anticipated festival of the year, not only marking the arrival of cooler temperatures and delectable mooncakes but also a special time for family gatherings. Whether you’re seeking to immerse yourself in the richness of traditional festivities or simply bask in the enchanting atmosphere, you can easily have a blast with your friends and family in a plethora of events and activities at this warm and loving Mid-Autumn.

We’re about to share what we’ve found (and personal experience) with you. Read on to find out more and get some inspiration on how you’re gonna celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival!

Hong Kong’s best Mid-Autumn Festival events

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

 

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No celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival would be complete without witnessing the glowing Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance. This time-honored tradition dates back to the 19th century and is a symbol of triumph over plague and evil spirits in Hakka Village back then. Today, the mesmerizing Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance holds the prestigious status of being a National Intangible Cultural Heritage. Year after year, it captivates audiences with its blazing spectacle, drawing crowds eager to witness this extraordinary display of cultural heritage.

The fire dragon, spanning a remarkable length of 67 meters, is meticulously crafted using tens of thousands of incense sticks and carried by 300 performers. The awe-inspiring dragon “dances” through the streets of Tai Hang with rhythmic movements. The vibrant colors of the fire dragon create a captivating movement that will leave you in awe.

Definitely, this is one of the cultural experiences that you don’t want to miss at this festival.

We couldn’t see the fire dragon dance in the past 3 years due to the pandemic. Luckily, it’s back this year! Mark it down on your calendar for September 28-30, 2023.

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Details
Fee: Free
Date: September 28-29, 2023, 8:15–10:30pm
  September 30, 2023, 8:15–10pm
Location: Tai Hang, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island (Best vantage point: Wun Sha Street)
Website: http://www.taihangfiredragon.hk/home.html
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Lantern Street in Yuen Long

 

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One of the highlights of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong is the famous Lantern Street in Yuen Long’s Tai Kiu Market. This vibrant street comes alive with traditional, handcrafted paper lanterns.

At Lantern Street in Yuen Long, you’ll find an assortment of lanterns made from traditional goffered paper to delicate glass paper. These lanterns come in a delightful range of designs, featuring whimsical white rabbits, starfruit, goldfish, and a variety of marine creatures and fruits. (I’m sure you won’t find it somewhere else.) Prices vary depending on the size and material, with options ranging from HK$30 to HK$600.

The colorful lanterns create a captivating scene, perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy photos. Lantern Street is a must-visit destination during the festival if you want to catch a glimpse of traditional craftsmanship.

Lantern Street in Yuen Long Details 
Fee: Free
Date: From now until the end of the Mid-Autumn Festival
Location: G/F, 2 Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long
How to get there? Take the MTR to Long Ping Station, Exit D, and walk to Yuen Long Tai Kiu Market.
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Dear Luna at the Lake House

 

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Escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn Festival at the Lake House in Tai Po. Dear Luna is a unique exhibition featuring a 10-meter-tall inflatable moon and enchanting white rabbit installations. The verdant lawn of Lake House provides the perfect backdrop for a tranquil and immersive experience.

You can also indulge in a delightful meal at Lake House’s modern Cantonese restaurants, Billow and Le Vow, or embark on a paddle boat tour to enjoy the moonlit scenery, so why not make a wish with the water or sky lanterns and let the enchanting ambiance of Dear Luna transport you to a world of wonder?

The venue charges a HK$50 admission fee. Additionally, you have the option to purchase a package that includes various perks, such as a wishing water lantern, a wishing sky lantern, or a moon-viewing boat pass.

Dear Luna at the Lake House Details
Date: From now until the end of the Mid-Autumn Festival
Location: 2 Hung Lam Drive, Hong Kong Tai Po Kau, Hong Kong
Fee:

 

 

 

Entrance Fee: HK$50
Starlight: HK$90 (entry pass + wishing water lantern)
Carrying the Stars and Moon: HK$120 (entry pass + wishing sky lantern)
Starry Journey: HK$150 (entry pass + 20-minute moon-viewing boat pass) 
How to get there? Take the shuttle bus from Tai Po Market MTR Station to Lake House.
Website: https://www.lake-house.co/dear-luna-2023

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Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals

The Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals, organized by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, are a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. These captivating displays light up the city and create a magical atmosphere. The Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Victoria Park, Sha Tin Park, and Tuen Mun Park are transformed into vibrant wonderlands adorned with lanterns of various shapes and sizes. The lanterns at Victoria Park are particularly noteworthy, “Chinese Delights in Full Splendor”, where you can find all sorts of Chinese traditional elements. Take a leisurely stroll through these enchanting lantern displays and immerse yourself in the festive spirit.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival Details 
Date 23 September – 2 October 2023
Time Lighting-up Time: 6:30-11pm
Location The Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Victoria Park, Sha Tin Park, and Tuen Mun Park
Fee Free Admission
Enquiry +852 2591 1340
Website http://www.cpo.gov.hk/activity/en-mid-autumn-lantern-carnivals-2023-vp

Moon Fest Lumiere at Lee Tung Avenue

Lee Tung Avenue in Wan Chai is the place to be for a traditional Mid-Autumn Festival experience. The avenue is adorned with over 800 colorful lanterns, ranging from the iconic red lanterns to whimsical motifs like jade rabbits, goldfish, and starfruit. The vibrant lanterns create a captivating ambiance that will transport you to a world of festive joy.

From there you can see the LED Fire Dragon Fiesta, featuring an 18-meter-long LED dragon that dances its way through the avenue. The spectacle is sure to leave you awestruck. Lee Tung Avenue also hosts dragon dance workshops, where you can experience dancing with the dragon.

Tip: Don’t forget to have your passport with you to claim a complimentary mini lantern! Be quick, as it’s first-come, first-served!

Moon Fest Lumiere Details 
Date 29 August – 23 October 2023
Time 10am to 10pm (lighting-up time: 5pm)
Location Along Lee Tung Avenue
Fee Free Admission
Website http://www.leetungavenue.com.hk/en/happenings/

Glowing Bunnies Under the Moon at Discovery Bay

Discovery Bay is the perfect destination for a family-friendly Mid-Autumn Festival celebration. The lawn outside DB Plaza is adorned with 80 glowing bunnies, creating a whimsical and Instagram-worthy moon bathing scene. (Dust off your best camera; it’s time to capture the beautiful moments!)

You can also indulge in delicious meals and special mooncake promotions at various restaurants and shops in DB Plaza, D’Deck, and DB North Plaza.

Additionally, you can also join the Discovery Bay Glowing Bunnies Photo Competition. The winner can earn a HK$50 Discovery Bay cash voucher and 2 one-way ferry tickets! As an added bonus, you can even receive a complimentary ride back to town when you spend at designated food and beverage merchants. It’s the perfect way to end your evening of festivities, with a free ride and happy memories in tow.

Glowing Bunnies Under the Moon at Discovery Bay Details 
Date 22 August – 8 October 2023
Time Lighting-up Time: 7-11pm
Location 1 Discovery Bay Road, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong
Fee Free Admission
Website http://www.leetungavenue.com.hk/en/happenings/

Moon Landing by Yoshirotten at Belowground

 

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Japanese artist Yoshirotten presents Moon Landing, an exhibition at Belowground in Central. This unique exhibition features a giant turquoise ‘moon’ assembled using sculptural seats from the Fluid Garden exhibition.

The moon symbolizes unity during the Mid-Autumn Festival and breathes new life into previous works through sustainable creativity. Alongside the installation, you’ll find 4 new artworks by Yoshirotten, showcasing his signature graphic treatments. Moon Landing is a visual feast that combines art, sustainability, and the spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Moon Landing by Yoshirotten at Belowground Details 
Date 22 August – 8 October 2023
Time Lighting-up Time: 7-11pm
Location 1 Discovery Bay Rd, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong
Fee Free Admission
Website http://www.leetungavenue.com.hk/en/happenings/

The origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival: The legend of Chang’e and Houyi

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a centuries-old tradition that originated in China. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, when the moon is believed to be at its fullest and brightest. The festival holds great cultural significance and is a time for family reunions, expressing gratitude, and praying for good fortune. 

One of the most beloved legends associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival is the tale of Chang’e and Houyi. According to ancient folklore, Houyi was a skilled archer who shot down 9 out of the 10 suns scorching the earth. As a reward, he was given the elixir of immortality from the Queen Mother of the West as a reward for saving the Earth and its people. However, he didn’t consume it and instead entrusted it to his wife, Chang’e.

One day, when Hou Yi was away, one of his students named Pang Meng attempted to steal the elixir. In a desperate act to protect it, Chang’e decided to drink the elixir herself. As a result, she ascended to the moon and became the Moon Goddess, leaving her husband behind on Earth.

Hou Yi was devastated when he learned what had happened to Chang’e. He cried out to the sky and noticed that the moon was exceptionally bright that night. In the moon’s luminous glow, he caught a glimpse of a figure that resembled Chang’e. He displayed fruits and cakes that Chang’e had enjoyed to express his longing for her.

Touched by their unwavering love, the Mother of the Moon allowed Chang’e and Hou Yi to reunite once a year on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. This special occasion became known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, a time when people eagerly anticipate their reunion and celebrate with moon worship and indulging in delicious mooncakes.

The Moon Festival’s traditional customs and rituals

The Mid-Autumn Festival is rich in customs and rituals that add to the festive atmosphere. Let’s delve into some of the most significant ones:

Mooncakes: A must-try delicacy

No Mid-Autumn Festival celebration is complete without indulging in mooncakes. These delectable pastries are round or square in shape and have various fillings, such as lotus seed paste, red bean paste, and salted egg yolks. They symbolize reunion and are often given as gifts to friends and family. (Find out more about the best mooncake in town here!)

Lanterns: Symbolizing hope and unity

Lanterns play a vital role in the Mid-Autumn Festival. People of all ages enjoy decorating and lighting up lanterns of various shapes and sizes. The glow of the lanterns is believed to guide lost spirits and bring good luck. Lantern processions and competitions are held during the festival, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

Dragon and Lion Dances: A cultural heritage performance

Dragon and lion dances are an integral part of Chinese culture and are often performed during festive occasions. These dynamic and colorful performances feature large dragon and lion puppets that are maneuvered by a team of skilled dancers. The dances are believed to bring good luck and fortune and drive away evil spirits.

How to celebrate the Moon Festival with family?

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for families to come together and create lasting memories. Various venues in Hong Kong organize family-friendly activities and performances, including storytelling sessions, puppet shows, and traditional music and dance performances. These events provide entertainment for all ages and foster a sense of togetherness.

Outdoor moon bathing and picnics

With the pleasant autumn weather, many people take advantage of the Mid-Autumn Festival to have outdoor celebrations and picnics. Parks and public spaces become lively gathering spots where families and friends lay out their mats, enjoy delicious food, and bask in the moonlight. It’s a wonderful opportunity to relax, socialize, and appreciate nature.

Where to go for moon bathing and picnics?

Popular destinations like Victoria Park and Kowloon Park are adorned with colorful lanterns and host a range of activities, including lantern displays, cultural performances, and traditional games. Exploring these parks is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the festive ambiance.

Photography tips for capturing the moon

The Mid-Autumn Festival presents a perfect opportunity for photography enthusiasts to capture stunning images of the moon. Here are some tips to help you get the best shots:

  • Use a tripod to keep your camera steady and avoid blurry images.
  • Experiment with different exposure settings to capture the details of the moon.
  • Incorporate interesting foreground elements, such as buildings or trees, to add depth to your composition.
  • Consider using a telephoto lens to capture close-up shots of the moon.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy the moment and take in the beauty of the moon yourself.

Conclusion

The Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong is a celebration of tradition, family, and togetherness. You can enjoy delicious mooncakes and admire colorful lantern displays, among many other ways to fully embrace the festive atmosphere. Remember to bring your best camera to capture the beauty of the moon!

Frequently asked questions: The Mid-Autumn Festival

What activities can you do during the Mid-Autumn Festival?

You can eat mooncakes, visit the park and watch the full moon, have family gatherings, and play with lanterns.

What are the symbols of the Mid-Autumn Festival?

Mooncakes, lanterns, and the moon are commonly seen during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

What is the reason for celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival?

Traditionally, ancient Chinese emperors used the Mid-Autumn Festival as an occasion to pray for a bountiful harvest, good weather, and peace for the country. 

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The Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong wouldn’t be complete without mooncakes. Check out our carefully curated mooncake selection of the most exquisite mooncakes! Don’t forget to check out the credit card special offers!

 

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