Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong

Traditionally, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival when the fullest moon of the year appears.

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong
Performers take part in the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong, China September 28, 2023. REUTERS/Lam Yik

Last week, we covered the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance tradition, but let’s get into some other aspects of Hong Kong’s celebration that everyone, visitors and residents, can all look forward to.

Traditionally, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival when the fullest moon of the year appears, and it’s a pretty big deal in Hong Kong. It’s probably the second-biggest holiday of the year, beaten only by the Lunar New Year. This year, it’s on Friday, September 29. Apart from the standard practices of gift-giving, lantern lighting, gatherings with friends and family and lots of food, there’s some special fun in store this year.

According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, bakeries in the city have developed some interesting takes on the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival treats mooncakes, which represent the full moon, and symbolize unity and harmony. “Traditionally, they contain a lotus seed paste and salted egg yolk center,” the Board says. “Over the years, bakeries have developed a wide variety of contemporary flavors – take your pick from frozen snow-skin mooncakes to those with tea, coffee, truffles and mochi fillings. Mooncakes are notoriously filling, so cut them up into wedges and share them with your loved ones.”

Make sure to pair them with osmanthus wine or tea! Roasted duck and pomelo fruit are also traditionally enjoyed during this holiday.

Apart from the food, there are some pretty cool events to go to. Head to the Lake House in Tai Po Kau for Dear Luna 2023, where a dazzling moon and rabbit installation is on display. Visitors can also take a nighttime paddleboat ride out on the lake to admire the night sky. Or, head to DB Plaza in Discovery Bay for a different glowing bunny display, which is also hosting an online photo competition. Winners will get a HK$50 Discovery Bay Cash Voucher and two one-way ferry tickets!

And, of course, you can’t miss the many night markets with live music and free cultural workshops all over the city. The Waterfront Carnival is back for the first time in five years, located in Wan Chai. If you get the chance, you can also explore the K-Farm Mid-Autumn Night Market & K-Fest Promenade Concert (Kennedy Town) or the Youth Art Festival x Mid-Autumn Night Market (Kwun Tong District).