Ah the Mid-Autumn Festival! You might have heard of it, but you might not know what it represents. Well, time to awaken your inner curiosity because this is probably one of the best times to visit the bustling Hong Kong city!
If you didn’t already know, Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in Hong Kong, and the locals celebrate it in every part of the city. But there’s only one place that truly holds a significant role in the festival - the old village of Tai Hang.
For those wondering what the festival is all about, ready your baggage because you’re one step closer to getting that flight ticket ?
1. The only time you get to witness the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance
If you thought the Mid-Autumn Festival is all about lantern exhibitions, well this might surprise you even more. This one-of-a-kind spectacle occurs for 3 nights in a row and it’s one of the events that the locals look forward to every year.
Credit: doctorho on Flickr
Back then, the dragon dance was performed to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Today, the tradition lives and has become an important part of the Mid-Autumn Festival that binds generations together. ❤️ The ancient dance starts from one alley to another and consists of different dance series to wake the night! ?
During this special night, thousands of people wait on the streets and alleys of Tai Hang for the 67-metre Fire Dragon that’s made with over 70,000 incense sticks and lots of firecrackers, carried by nearly 300 trained participants. The dragon head itself weighs 70kg! ?
Credit: @langhamhk on Instagram
#HHWT Tip: The best vantage point if you are visiting is at the entrance of Pok Fu Lam Village. You can take bus 91 from Central Ferry Pier Terminus to Pok Fu Lam, it takes about 15 minutes.
2. Savour the festive (and innovative!) mooncakes
What better time to truly enjoy mooncakes than during the Mid-Autumn Festival? It’s the only time you can see stacks of delicious and unique mooncakes around and Hong Kong is no exception!
Credit: Chrisly Café on Facebook
The history of mooncake dates all the way back to Imperial China when it was a symbol of prosperity and togetherness. It has been a common practice (even till today!) for the locals to give mooncakes to their loved ones during the Mid-Autumn festival to wish them a long, happy life ?
Credit: Chrisly Cafe on Facebook
The treat is classically filled with lotus seed paste, but over time, the traditional pastry has welcomed innovative flavours from the likes of durian, green tea, egg custard and red bean! And lucky for Muslim travellers, there is one place in Hong Kong that sells Muslim-friendly mooncakes and it’s no other than Chrisly Café! ?
Credit: Chrisly Cafe on Facebook
#HHWT Tip: The cafe currently offers two flavours only - the White Lotus Seed Paste With Yolk and Red Bean Paste With Yolk. We say go for both and let your tastebuds go wild! ?
Address: 7 Heard Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Opening Hours: Monday - Sunday, 7:00am - 10:00pm.
3. Bask in the festive atmosphere and check out the sky lantern displays
Of course, we can’t possibly leave out the Sky Lantern exhibition from this iconic festival. ? To get a nice view of the remarkable lanterns, be sure to be at Victoria Park just a few minutes away from Tai Hang, and you get to sample the festive atmosphere and appreciate the art of traditional lantern making.
Credit: Hong Kong Ala Carte on Facebook
There’s nothing better than experiencing the culture first-hand ? Keep a lookout for the the lantern making workshop around Victoria Park where you can see the locals gearing up to create their very own lanterns before releasing them into the sky ? The lanterns have different shapes and can also resemble animals, plants, or flowers.
Credit: 康之安坂 on Facebook
4. Catch some cultural programs in the heart of Tai Hang
Besides the much-anticipated Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance, you can also be part of the cultural program at Victoria Park! While the program varies each year, visitors can still expect the likes of kung fu demonstrations, folk songs, dance shows, acrobatic and a variety of entertainment suitable for any family.
Credit: Lip Jin Lee on Flickr
These fun-filled evening activities will surely illuminate the city, allowing visitors to experience the true culture of Hong Kong and enjoy the festivities with the locals. All programs are free, so visitors are can enjoy roaming around the park to check out different activities.
5. Make fond memories and take photos at the larger-than-life moon art installation
We’re saving the best for last ? Following last year’s success of launching an impressive giant moon art installation at Lee Tung Avenue, 2018 got a little bit more romantic with a new exhibition by Australian artist Amanda Parer. ?
Credit: 月兔．秋燈 The Moon Rabbit Lumiere on Facebook
The ‘Moon Rabbit Lumiere’ was launched not too long ago and it’s actually a larger-than-life art installation that screams picture-perfect and Instagram-worthy ;) Visitors can find this cute figure at two different locations: Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui! Both venues will showcase 10 illuminated “Moon Rabbits” alongside a series of workshops and fairs until 17th October this year.
Credit: @sharon_tangps on Instagram
So if you love rabbits (who doesn’t?!), make your way to Lee Tung Avenue and get your photography game on!
#HHWT Tip: The art installation changes every year so if you’re planning a trip in the future, be sure to check out what Hong Kong has in store ?
So there you have it! A fun-filled season with plenty of activities for you and your loved ones to be part of. Whether you’re looking to witness cultural shows, eat mooncakes, and make lanterns, Tai Hang is the best place to experience all of that. So the next time you’re considering a trip sometime between September and October, pick Hong Kong and let the wonders of the Mid-Autumn Festival surprise you. ?
This article is brought to you by Hong Kong Tourism Board.