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 scrumptious mooncakes and make the best of this full-moon festival with our pick of the best carnivals and things to do around town.
Hong Kong’s best Mid-Autumn Festival events
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 12-14, 8.15pm-10pm.
Lee Tung Avenue never fails to turn up the festivities, and this year it's no different. Bringing back its popular LED Fire Dragon Fiesta, there will be dragon dancing, music performances, martial art shows, a traditional Mid-Autumn market and plenty of colourful Chinese lanterns to marvel at. Still not satisfied? Then join in on a Chinese lantern-making workshop and take home your very own unique paper lantern to play with!
September 13, 8.30pm-9.30pm.
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.
Lantern display: September 7-15, 6.30pm-11pm.
Carnival night: September 15, 7.30pm-9.30pm.
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.
Lantern display: September 11-15, 6.30pm-11pm.
Carnival night: September 12, 7.30pm-9.30pm.
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 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 ‘Magic Behind 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.
Until September 22, 6.30pm-11pm.