The best things to do this Mid-Autumn Festival

Your ultimate guide to celebrating one of Hong Kong’s biggest public holidays
Fire Dragon Dance
By Time Out Hong Kong |
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Mid-Autumn Festival is here, heralding the arrival of less excruciating temperatures and one more wonderful day off work. That means there’s no excuse not to get out and enjoy the festivities. So fill up on weird mooncakes and make the best of the full-moon festival with our pick of the best carnivals and things to do around town.

Hong Kong’s best Mid-Autumn Festival events

Art

Over The Moon at Tai Kwun

icon-location-pin Central

Hong Kong’s biggest and best conservation project to date, it’s no surprise that Tai Kwun is presenting a traditional celebration of Mid-Autumn this weekend. In store for visitors will be 300 mini lanterns lighting up the Parade Ground area, all uniquely designed and handcrafted, decorated with mosaic patterns. Just remember to go online and to book your Tai Kwun pass to ensure you can get in.

Over The Moon lantern display: September 21-24, 6.30pm-11pm.

Things to do

LED Fire Dragon Fiesta at Lee Tung Avenue

icon-location-pin Wan Chai
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Hopping along to Wan Chai this Mid-Autumn is Australian artist Amanda Parer’s inflatable installation The Moon Rabbit Lumiere. Some 10 installations of varying sizes will be in situ for adorable selfies. Aside from the bunnies, Lee Tung is bringing back its popular LED Fire Dragon Fiesta featuring dragon dancing, a traditional Mid-Autumn market and various public workshops. 

LED Fire Dragon Fiesta: September 24, 8.30pm-9.30pm. The Moon Rabbit Lumiere: until October 17.

What’s more, these huge bunnies are also making an appearance at our next Time Out Dining Series: Moonrise Picnic, where diners can eat, drink and chill with the rabbits under the moon.

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Things to do

New Territories West Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival

icon-location-pin Tai Po

This event at Tai Po Waterfront Park is, as per the name, more carnival than just traditional lantern display. Get an astrology reading, go moon chasing and learn about unicorn paper crafting and Guangdong paper cutting at the folk craft tents. Having said all that, don’t miss the event’s impressive lantern display. It’s proof that Mid-Autumn Festival is done best here in Hong Kong.

Carnival night: Sunday September 23, 7.30pm-10pm. Lantern display: September 21-25, 6.30pm-11pm (12am on Monday).

Things to do

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance

icon-location-pin Causeway Bay

Those who want to witness local traditions should head to Tai Hang. The neighbourhood is famous for its fire dragon dance, which has been performed annually for over a century. But tradition isn’t the only thing the dance has going for itself: a 220ft-long dragon, 300 performers and 70,000 incense sticks and firecrackers also make up part of this extravagant celebration. We recommend you head to Wun Sha Street for the best view and do so early in order to beat the crowds. Remember to move those feet in time to the drum!

September 23-25, 8.15pm-10.30pm.

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Attractions

Urban Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival

icon-location-pin Causeway Bay

Any lazy Islanders who can’t face trekking to the New Territories can take solace in the fact that the crown jewel of all lantern carnivals in the city remains Victoria Park’s Urban Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival. The lantern displays will be in the park all weekend but come carnival night on Monday, there will be tons to do including star gazing, gawping at the acrobatic skills of the Ningxia Arts Troupe, watching folk craft demonstrations and taking part in the supposedly ‘very popular’ lantern riddle quiz. Also not to be missed, on the 24th, the popular Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance will take place in the park from 10.45pm to 11.30pm. 

Carnival night: Monday September 24, 8pm-11.30pm. Lantern display: September 21-24. 

Attractions

Moon-gazing at Astropark

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For the clearest shot of the moon, head to Sai Kung’s Astropark. Away from the concrete jungle and dirty light of the rest of the city, the Astropark boasts an area of 1,200sq m and a range of astronomical instruments you can get busy with. And with Mid-Autumn being one of the best times to view the moon, you’re guaranteed a breathtaking panorama of the night sky. It’s not called the Moon Festival for nothing.

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Attractions

Mid-Autumn Thematic Lantern Display

icon-location-pin Tsim Sha Tsui

Like tinsel and fairy lights at Christmas, there are never enough lantern displays during Mid-Autumn Festival. So here’s one more. Thankfully, this one in TST is an incredible showcase of lantern installations lighting up the Cultural Centre Piazza. This year, titled ‘To The Moon’, be dazzled by all the lantern displays – in the form of rabbits and adorable cartoon characters – with the historic clock tower serving as the backdrop. Over the Mid-Autumn weekend, there are special workshops, too. Tickets are first come, first serve, so be sure to get there early. 

To The Moon lighting installation: until October 1, 6.30pm-11pm. Mid-Autumn Festival Special, September 22-25; storytelling 8.30pm-9.30pm, lantern making workshops 7pm-10pm.

Things to do

Sai Yuen Farm

icon-location-pin Cheung Chau

Escape the city and experience the full-moon with an overnight camp in Cheung Chau. The outdoor adventure playground Sai Yuen invites moon gazers to join its one-of-a-kind mobile phone astrophotography class (yes, that’s a real thing) and capture the moon armed with only your smartphone. Among Sai Yuen’s signature teepee tents and next to a cosy bonfire, learn all about lunar phases and Chinese mythology during the class. Also, don’t miss the DIY lantern workshop and the chance to cook your own roast duck over firewood! 

October 22-24. Bring your own tent: $500; Mongolian ger: from $2,049.

Looking for a bar where you can admire the moon?

Bars and pubs

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