Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations
in Hong Kong

Glitzy Lanterns, Fiery Dragons, a Full Moon and more...

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations 2016

The 2016 Mid-Autumn Festival and Carnival is on September 15, 2016. Lantern Displays and Exhibitions will run from September 2 - 25, 2016.

Mid-Autumn Festival in Sha Tin Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Carnival in Sha Tin

The Mid-Autumn Festival 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.

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

When and Where are the Lantern Carnivals and Exhibitions?

The 2016 Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival is on Thursday, September 15, 2016. The major carnival in Victoria Park takes place on this day. Other Lantern carnivals, displays and exhibitions will start as early as September 2, 2016 in Tsim Sha Tsui and run until September 25, 2016.

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

  • Mid-Autumun Urban Carnival at Victoria Park, 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. This year will be on Thursday, September 15, 2016, from 8:00p.m.-11:00 p.m.

  • Tsim Sha Tsui Thematic Lantern Exhibition is set up in Tsim Sha Tsui, this year they will be set up outside the Hong Kong Space Museum.

    Main theme of the lanterns varies from year to year. The 2016 theme is "Fly Me to the Moon". These exhibitions run for approximately a month. In 2016, they will run from September 2 - 25, 2016.

  • The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade, not a typical Dragon Parade and unique to Hong Kong. This year's parades will be held on September 14, 15, 16, 2016 in Tai Hang, Causeway Bay.

Two major Carnivals which feature full cultural programmes are also held in the New Territories. Check the LCSD website for details.

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


View Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Carnivals in Hong Kong in a larger map
mid-autumn carnivals map HK Space
Museum
mid-autumn carnivals map Victoria
Park
mid-autumn carnivals map HK Space
Museum

View Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Carnivals in Hong Kong in a larger map
mid-autumn carnivals map Victoria
Park

Urban Mid-Autumn Carnival and Lantern Displays at Victoria Park

Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Wonderland in Victoria Park

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

Mid-Autumn Festival Victoria Park Lantern Displays
Lantern Displays

Mid-Autumn Festival Victoria Park Fire Dragon Parade
Fire Dragon Dance

Mid-Autumn Festival Victoria Park Cultural Program
Cultural Programs

The cultural program includes kung fu demonstrations, folk songs and dance shows, acrobatics, traditional hand-made lantern displays, demonstrations of Chinese folk arts and crafts, fortune-telling and a variety of entertainment.

The Fire Dragon Dance is a main part of the Mid-Autumn celebrations, 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 September 15, 2016.

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.

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 from September 14 - 18, 2016, when the Exhibition on Craftsmanship of Lantern Making also takes place.

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:

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.

Victoria Park Lantern Wonderland Rising Moon

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

Victoria Park Lantern Wonderland Golden Moon

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.

Victoria Park Lantern Wonderland

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 2016 Lantern Display at Victoria Park.

Tsim Sha Tsui Thematic Lantern Exhibition

Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Carnival 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 2016 displays are being set up outside the Hong Kong Space Museum and are the longest running. In 2016, they will run from September 2 - 25, 2016.

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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Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations 2016

The Mid Autumn Festival - September 15, 2016

Urban Mid-Autumn Carnival at Victoria Park - Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 8:00pm 11:00pm

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance and Parade - Tai Hang, Causeway Bay, September 14, 15, 16, 2016 - 8:15 p.m.

Mid-Autumn Lantern Displays in Tsim Sha Tsui - Thursdays through Sundays September 2-25, 2016 from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm with extended hours on September 15.

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