Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival

Glitzy Lanterns, Fiery Dragons, a Full Moon and more...
Lantern Displays for Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations 2017

The 2017 Mid-Autumn Festival and Carnival is on October 4, 2017.
Lantern Displays and Exhibitions will run from September 22 to October 15, 2017

The Mid-Autumn Festival and Lantern Carnivals in Hong Kong take place in many parts of the territory and run for a few days before and after the festival proper which is celebrated on the 8th Full Moon in the Lunar Calendar, usually around September/October in the Western calendar.

Together with the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance celebrations, they are the centerpieces of the festivities of the Mid-Autumn festival or Moon festival as it is also known.

On this full moon day, families and communities traditionally gathered to celebrate the bountiful harvesting season, somewhat of the equivalent to the American Thanksgiving Day. Nowadays, families and friends take part in the many lantern carnivals and celebrations around the city.

The Lantern Carnivals, besides showcasing an incredible variety of colorful, bright shiny lanterns, feature also many cultural events and performances including song and dances, kung fu, acrobatics, craft demonstrations and the like. If you happen to be in town during this period, be sure to check them out!

The Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) sponsors many of the events. The displays and cultural activities are free to the public.

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When and Where are the Lantern Carnivals, Displays and Parades?

The 2017 Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival is on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. The major carnival in Victoria Park takes place on this day. Other Lantern carnivals, displays and exhibitions will start as early as September 22, 2017 in Tsim Sha Tsui and run until October 15, 2017.

These are some of the main Lantern and Mid-Autumn celebrations in Hong Kong which are easy to get to and are very accesible for visitors:

  • Mid-Autumun Urban Carnival at Victoria Park - Wednesday October 4 - 5, 2017. This is the all-in-one event that offers the lantern displays and a full cultural programme including a Fire Dragon Dance, kung fu demonstrations, folk songs and crafts.
    Main Carnival - October 4, 2017 - from 8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
    Youth Night: October 5, 2017 - from 7:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.

  • Tsim Sha Tsui Thematic Lantern Exhibition - September 22 to October 15, 2017. This year it will be set up at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, just steps from the Waterfront. These exhibitions run for approximately a month.

  • The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade - October 3 - 5, 2017. Not a typical Dragon Parade and unique to Hong Kong. The 67-metre Fire Dragon will wind through the streets of Tai Hang, like it did over a century ago with over 300 performers, 70,000 incense sticks, and lots of firecrackers.

  • New Territories East Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival - October 5 - 6, 2017. More beautiful lantern displays and full programme of cultural activities are planned. This year will take place at Sha Tin Park
    Carnival Night Thursday October 5, 2017 - 7:30 to 10pm
    Youth Night on Friday October 6, 2017 - 7:30 - 9:30pm

  • New Territories West Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival - October 6 - 7, 2017. Lanterns and cultural performances will take place at Tsing Yi Park.
    Carnival Night on Friday October 6, 2017 - 7:30 to 10pm
    Youth Night on Saturday October 7, 2017 - 7:30 to 9:30pm

All programs are free, public is free to roam around the beautiful lantern displays.

Urban Mid-Autumn Carnival at Victoria Park

Lantern Displays in Victoria Park

This is the all-in-one mega event that offers magnificent Lantern Displays, a full cultural programme, and a Fire Dragon Dance Parade.

Victoria Park Urban Mid-Autumn Carnival Cultural Performances

The cultural program which varies from year to year includes kung fu demonstrations, folk songs and dance shows, acrobatics, and a variety of entertainment.

In addition there are many exhibitions and workshops such as traditional hand-made lantern exhibitions, demonstrations of Chinese folk arts and crafts including paper-cutting, clay figurines, woodblock printing, etc.

The Fire Dragon Dance is a main part of the Mid-Autumn celebrations.

Victoria Park Urban Mid-Autumn Carnival Fire Dragon Dance

The original parade takes place in Tai Hang for three days, but visitors of Victoria Park will also have a chance to see it here on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival proper. The Fire Dragon is expected to arrive at Victoria Park between 10:45 pm and 11:30 pm on October 4, 2017

The parade features a 67-metre long dragon with thousands of burning incense sticks and over 300 performers which will circle around the throngs of visitors at Victoria Park.

If you miss the Fire Dragon at Victoria Park, catch it in Tai Hang on October 3 or 5. Here's more on the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade.

Victoria Park Lantern Displays

Colorful Lanterns at Victoria Park for Mid-Autumn Festival

Bright and colorful lantern displays turn Victoria Park into a magical land, the displays are lit every night from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm, and there is also an Exhibition on Craftsmanship of Lantern Making. This year this will be from September 30 to October 8, 2017

In previous years, the highlight of the event was a monumental state-of-the-art Lantern Wonderland which chose a main signature piece through a design competition organised by the HKTB and several design organisations.

The Design contest was held months prior to the festival and the winning entry was showcased during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

This masterpiece was judged based in four elements: creativity and originality, practicality and safety compliance, use of environmentally friendly materials, and cost effectiveness in consideration of the budget guidelines (the cost of building the design was not to exceed HK$2,000,000 or approx. US$250,000!)

Here's a look at past winners:

"Rising Moon"

Victoria Park Lantern Wonderland Rising Moon

The 2013 Lantern Wonderland centerpiece winner was "Rising Moon", a 10-meter half-dome completely made from recycled water bottles and LED lights with fantastic light effects that mirrored the phases of the moon.

You were able to enter the structure which had a capacity of 100 people, and from the inside you could see the hanging lantern-bottles suspended from the periphery of the half-dome, which also had an opening so you could enjoy the real moon on that fantastic full-moon night.

"Golden Moon"

Victoria Park Lantern Wonderland Golden Moon

For 2012, the winning centerpiece was the "Golden Moon" set up on a water pool and standing 18 metres high.

It was a warm reminder of the full-moon symbolism of family reunion of the Mid-Autumn festival. The half-dome structure was lit up at night in conjunction with synchronised music.

"Lee Kum Kee Lantern Wonderland"

Victoria Park Lantern Wonderland

The 2011 centerpiece of the celebration was a giant fish-shaped lantern, created with over 2,000 lanterns, it made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest sculpture made of lanterns.

Together with a 3-minute coreographed program, this beautiful massive lantern delighted visitors who enjoyed the musical light show which replayed every 15 minutes.

No design contest is being planned for the 2017 Lantern Displays at Victoria Park, but the showcase never dissapoints!

Tsim Sha Tsui Thematic Lantern Exhibition

Lantern Displays in Tsim Sha Tsui

In the same way as the Spring Lantern Festival, the LCSD sets up an amazing Lantern Exhibition in Tsim Sha Tsui near the Waterfront Promenade.

This one is fairly easy to pop in for tourists as it's just around the corner from the Star Ferry Terminal and the TST metro station and you can enjoy the beautiful lantern displays as you stroll around the Clocktower and the Promenade, and maybe take in the Symphony of Lights show which is featured every night.

The 2017 displays are being set up at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza by the Clocktower and are the longest running. They will run from September 22 to October 15, 2017 and will be lit from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm.

For more information on this year's Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnivals and Exhibitions check out the official site of the Hong Kong Leisure and and Cultural Services Department at www.lcsd.gov.hk.

And check out our Pinterest Board for everything Mid-Autumn Festival: the Lanterns, Carnivals, Moon Cakes, Fire Dragons...

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