Home Shanghai Shanghai Festivals The 7 Best Places to Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in Shanghai

The 7 Best Places to Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in Shanghai

  • Celebrated: Sep. 13
  • Location: Shanghai

Are you in Shanghai or planning to be there for the Mid-Autumn Festival? This information will help you get the most out of the unique atmosphere. Discover Shanghai's Mid-Autumn traditions and choose from seven top places to go enjoy the festival.

The 4 Top Shanghai Mid-Autumn Customs

mooncakesEating mooncakes with families is an important custom of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

At Mid-Autumn Festival, in Shanghai there is still some moon worshipping, and a lot of reunion dinners and "moon walking", but not like Michael Jackson!

1. Offering to the Moon — Food and Paintings

In ancient times, it was said the moon was yin (the female part of the yin-yang philosophy), so in the full moon celebration women worshipped the moon first, then the men. It was also said that "men needn't celebrate the full moon".

When the moon rises, people set tables in the open air and offer mooncakes, melons, fruit, green soybeans, taro, lotus roots and so on.

Moon Palace magical figure paintings showing the Jade Hare standing with a club are offered as well.

2. Shanghai Moon Altars

There is a custom of 'burning incense cups(烧香斗 shaoxiang dou) — mini moon altars — among Shanghai people at Mid-Autumn.

The moon altars, also called douxiang, are made by traditional offerings shops. They are upturned pyramids made of various materials. Large ones are more than 60 cm (2 feet) wide.

Decorating the altars are things like Kuixing (the Daoist god of fate). Above are colorful banners and flags. Muslin is pasted around the altar, and there are decorative images of the Moon Palace and pavilions. Some xiangdous are made by weaving joss sticks.

In Shanghai, the most magnificent scene of incense on Mid-Autumn Festival is always in Nanyuan ('South Garden'). Abutments of many great bridges in and around the city are list by special large xiangdous.

3. The Mid-Autumn Family Reunion Dinner

When the moon celebration is done, family members drink reunion wine and have an admiration-of the-moon dinner.

4. Walking under the Moonlight

Traditionally, a woman lodging at her parental home must return to her husband's family on the evening of the Moon Festival to go 'moon walking'. Going on a walk and admiring the full moon is called zou yueliang — 'moon walking' — by Shanghainese. Women taking a walk at night with friends is called ta yue —'treading the moon'.

Lujia Stone Bridge, outside Xiaodongmen, is a popular moon walking destination. Under which the reflection of the bright moon bobbling in the water contrasts adorably with the shining moon in the sky. So tourists come like hungry carp, rushing to watch. Apart from this picturesque bridge there are many other spots with excellent Mid-Autumn atmosphere.

The 7 Best Places to Celebrate the Mid-autumn Festival in Shanghai

1. Oriental Pearl TV Tower 东方明珠塔

oriental pearl towerThe Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is 468 meters (1,540 ft) high, once the highest tower in Asia and the third highest in the world, but now itself surrounded by three taller towers.

The interior of the tower houses a variety of good places to enjoy the moon and Mid-Autumn, from a hotel near the top to a revolving restaurant at the 267-meter (876-foot) level, to shops and cafes. On almost any level above the base, one can get a fabulous view of the city as it stretches out toward the horizon.

Families and couples often have a unique Mid-Autumn dinner at the revolving restaurant, and then take an elevator to the top of the building to have a closer look at the moon.

2. Jin Mao Tower 金茂大厦

Towering 420.5 meters (1380 ft) above the ground, the Jinmao Tower is now the third highest building in Shanghai.

If you want to have a clearer sight of the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the tower is still a fine choice. There is an observation platform at the 88th floor, the highest floor. In addition to the view of the moon, you can also gain a sensational panoramic view of the city's skyline as the spectacular lights of its immense towers dance in unison.

3. The Bund 外滩

bundThe Bund.

The Bund is probably the most popular place to go to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, partly due to its relatively tranquil atmosphere, and partly due to the many restaurants and tea houses along it.

The water front area sees families and friends having a leisurely walk, enjoying the night scenery on the banks of the Huangpu River each year during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

South Binjiang Road (南滨江路) at Pudong is filled with bars and restaurants. Enjoying the Mid-Autumn Festival by sipping a cup of delicious wine with your beloved or having a hearty dinner with your family will make this year's festival special. The prosperity and night scenery of the Huangpu River are within your view.

You may also board a cruise boat on the Huangpu River and enjoy the scenery of the gorgeous lights dancing together with the moon in the sky.

4. Shanghai Disneyland Resort

Shanghai Disneyland Park is the sixth Disneyland Park in the world and the first one in mainland China. It opened on Jun 16, 2016, in Pudong District - promising a place both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.

Many usual Disney park features have been redesigned or are absent from Shanghai Disney Park to cater for Chinese visitors' penchants. It also combines movie figures with Chinese culture, like the Chinese Zodiac Murals in the Gardens of Imagination.

The Shanghai Disney Park is the first Disney Park to feature variable pricing. On most days, one day adult tickets will be 280 yuan, roughly 20% cheaper than Hong Kong Disneyland. During busier periods, like the Mid-Autumn holiday, adult one-day tickets will cost 499yuan, while child and elderly tickets will cost 375yuan.

5. Sheshan 佘山

Sheshan Holiday Resort is one of the most popular places for local Shanghai families to spend their Mid-Autumn Festival.

Locals like to enjoy a fun day time at Happy Valley, and stay at the Le Royal Meridien Shanghai, and watch the moon at the lakeside at night. In addition, there is an observatory at the top of the mountain for astronomy lovers to have a closer and clearer look at the moon.

6. Zhujiajiao Ancient Town 朱家角

zhujiajiao water townZhujiajiao Ancient Town.

This picturesque ancient water town is lit by lanterns hanging by old houses on the Mid-Autumn Festival night. Spend a quiet Mid-Autumn Festival by sipping tea at one of the small riverside tea houses with family or friends. More on Zhujiajiao>>

7. Lingshan Park — Enjoy a Bubble Run!

Are you looking for some unusual fun at the Mid-Autumn Festival? On the September 15 to 16, 2016, there will be a Bubble Run set up in Lingshi Park. People can run through different colored foam bogs. The foam is 100% safe.

Bubble runs are popular with people of all ages. They originated in America and are described as "like running through Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory". More than 4,000 people entered the 5- kilometer (3-mile) Bubble Run held in Xi'an last year.

It's not a competition: there's no judge, no time limit, and no placement awards.

  • Address: 288 West Guangzhong Road, Zhabei District
  • Open: September 15 to 16, 8am–12pm; 12:30–4:30pm

Touring Shanghai Around Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn is one of the busiest travel periods in China. Cheap public transport like buses and trains may be sold out, and accommodation may be slightly more expensive. If you are planning to visit the places mentioned above or other places in Shanghai to experience the Mid-Autumn Festival, book as early as possible.

Or you can contact us and we can help you avoid the hassles, and have a good experience in Shanghai that includes the best of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Here are our most popular Shanghai tours:

3-Day Classic Shanghai Tour

5-Day Essence of Shanghai and Hangzhou Tour