The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second biggest traditional Chinese holiday season after Chinese New Year. In Hong Kong, expect the fire dragon and lion dances, festival food and drinks, festival related sales, and crowds of shoppers and tourists on holiday.
To catch the Mid-Autumn Fest, tourists can plan their trip to Hong Kong to arrive during the Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Fest.
The Mid-Autumn Fest is especially popular in southern China, including Hong Kong, and in Vietnam. Expect crowds of Chinese tourists
In China, many people get a 3-day holiday or even longer, and hardworking Hong Kongese get 1-day off for a public holiday on Monday the 28th, the day after the Mid-Autumn Festival. Mainlanders descend on Hong Kong during their holiday.
This annual fire dragon parade started mysteriously in 1880. It is an intangible Hong Kong heritage and tradition. Tangibly, you'll smell the astringent vapors of fireworks and sparklers and your ears will tingle and maybe ring from the clanging symbols and cracking fireworks of the parade.
People line the streets to watch the free public spectacle as a long fire dragon that is about 70 meters (230 feet) long that is held up on poles by many volunteers undulates along in 32 connected sections. May it ward away what plagues you.
It is said that in 1880, a mysterious plague started to spread through the village of Tai Hang on Hong Kong Island after a snake was killed one stormy night. In response, villages did a dragon dance, and they succeeded in ending the plague mysteriously in this way.
Appearances: On the 26th and 28th, the dragon is content to roam in the old Tai Hang Village area, but on the 27th, it walks from its old grounds to make a spectacular entrance into Victoria Park.
The biggest Mid-Autumn event is the official Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Fest at Victoria Park. There is a huge expertly designed lantern display, a big fire dragon dance, kungfu demonstrations and folk music, and crafts are displayed.
The same fire dragon contraption used at the Tai Hang parade is featured at Victoria Park.
One old tradition of this full moon harvest festival is to light and hang lanterns. The grandest of all lantern displays is at Victoria Park where city crowds bask in their ambient glow.
The grand display is chosen during an annual lantern competition. The 2011 display made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest sculpture made of lanterns.
Victoria Park is the largest city park on Hong Kong Island. It is not far from the site of the Tai Hang Fire Dragon parade in Causeway Bay.
Mooncakes and fruit baskets are given as gifts and are delicious if the quality is high. They go on sale before the festival. You'll find them at the festival sites.
The mooncakes are usually sweet, small, round, and dense cakes that have nuts or seeds and sugar. Avant-garde designer cakes may have fruit or bean paste fillings and are colorful.
The quality varies a lot though. Try to buy ones made fresh without artificial ingredients.
Chrysanthemum tea is the popular traditional festival drink. The tea made from the petals of the flower is surprisingly delicious with some sugar. It is also a popular herbal remedy to ward off colds and cure coughs when the weather changes and grows wet and cold in the fall.
Fengjing Restaurant: It is the highest restaurant in Hong Kong. It is a western restaurant located on Victoria Peak. Many films used it as a background. It was selected as one of the best places to propose marriage due to its romantic atmosphere.
Felix Restaurant at the Peninsula Hotel: The restaurant is housed at the 28th floor of the hotel and has a view of Victoria Harbor. It is a dining place at dinner time and changes to a bar afterwards.
See Hong Kong Restaurants for more ideas.
See China Highlights' customizable Hong Kong tours to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with local people.