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 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
British artist Luke Jerram’s celebrated installation Museum of the Moon, a gigantic seven-metre-wide glowing sculpture of the moon, is illuminating Lee Tung Avenue until October 31. With detailed imagery of the moon’s surface, courtesy of Nasa, projected onto a glowing orb, experience this rare opportunity to see a double moon! Aside from the installation, Lee Tung is bringing back its LED Fire Dragon Fiesta featuring dragon dancing, a traditional Mid-Autumn market and various public workshops like paper lantern making, flour kneading and knotting. October 4-5; 3pm-9.30pm.
This event at Tin Shui Wai Park is, as per the name, more carnival than just traditional lantern display. Catch a variety of traditional lion, Bollywood and Nepalese dance performances throughout the night at this celebration that’s all about having fun. 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. Until October 8. 6.30pm-11pm daily.
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. Expect plenty of dance and acrobatic marvels performed by pros from Jiangsu Province and live music courtesy of local musicians throughout the night. Stoll around the lit-up park and check out various traditional lantern-making demonstrations and incredible lantern displays. Just make sure you don’t miss the fire dragon dance at the football pitches from 10.45pm-11.30pm. Until October 8. 6.30pm-11.30pm daily (6.30pm-midnight on Oct 4).
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.
Like tinsel and fairy light at Christmas, you can’t get enough of lantern displays during Mid-Autumn Festival. So here’s one more. Thankfully, this one in TST is an incredible showcase of lantern installations that lights up the Cultural Centre piazza. Titled ‘Enchanted Blossom under the Moon’, be dazzled by all the lantern displays – in the form of rabbits and adorable cartoon characters – all with the historic clock tower serving as the backdrop. Until October 15. 6.30pm-11pm daily (6.30m-midnight on October 4).
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! October 3-6. 8.15pm daily.
It’s not all mooncakes and dragon dances during Mid-Autumn Festival. Gay pop-up event Guerrilla is taking over Soho bar/restaurant Happy Paradise for the night. Beneath funky neon lights, sip on Chinese-influenced cocktails such as the Five Spice G&T. This full-moon party is where you want to be for great drinks and brilliant company. Best of all, it’s free entry!
Head out of 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 their one-of-a-kind mobile phone astrophotography class (yes, that’s a real thing) and capture the moon armed with only with your smartphone. Taking place 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 their DIY Lantern workshop and the chance to cook your own roast duck over firewood! Until October 8. $20.
Ever wanted to hold the moon in the palm of your hand? This workshop is your chance to create a pocket-sized moon and planet lamp from scratch. Using sand and clay, learn how to sculpt your own lamp in a variety of colours and textures by following this HK Smart Design Award-winning design. Prices start from $320 for this two-hour workshop. October 4 7pm-9pm; Oct 5 4pm-6pm.