Header image courtesy of @flow_academy.co (via Instagram)
Hongkongers love a good festive display—just look at the show that the city puts on during Christmas and Lunar New Year—and Mid-Autumn Festival is no different. Also known as Lantern Festival, the tradition of creating and lighting your own lanterns during Mid-Autumn lends itself beautifully to visual displays—and that’s before you even factor in the imagery of the mythical moon goddess and rabbit of the Mid-Autumn myth! From traditional animal-shaped paper lanterns to futuristic colour-changing displays, here are the best displays to see around town this Mid-Autumn Festival.
Already one of the most picturesque sights in Hong Kong on any given day, Tai O during the Mid-Autumn Festival is in a league of its own. Featuring hundreds of hand-painted lanterns crafted by residents strung across the picturesque stilt village, the Tai O Lantern Festival has become one of the most anticipated Mid-Autumn displays in recent years.
The largest concentration of lanterns can be found in the main square, while the famous bridge and various side streets have also been decorated with paper lanterns and various moon- and rabbit-shaped decorations. It’s hugely popular with amateur photographers, who often feature the village’s outdoor cats in their snaps, but please remember to be respectful of both the human and furry villagers! The lights are on from 6.30 pm to 9 pm from 11–20, 23–26, and 29–30 September.
Lights will be off on 21, 22, 27, and 28 September to give the Tai O residents a rest from tourists and time to celebrate the festival—for the latest updates, please check the official Facebook page (link in Chinese). Until 30 September.
Featuring dozens of colour-changing LED lanterns in a mirrored room, the “Golden Autumn Lumiere” installation in Wong Tai Sin’s Temple Mall is a modern, interactive take on the traditional Mid-Autumn display. Scratch your itch for a visit to the TeamLab museum in Tokyo by posing for a flattering photo while bathed in the colourful light. Alternatively, you can take a physical memento home by playing carnival games at the nearby Wong Tai Sin Sik Sik Yuen’s Centennial Carnival; visitors who collect nine game stamps in their “carnival passport” before the event closes 24 September can redeem a little moon-shaped sky lantern. Until 4 October (for the “Golden Autumn Lumiere” installation).
Temple Mall, 136 Lung Cheung Road, Wong Tai Sin | (+852) 2320 7582
By virtue of its romantic European setting alone, the Mid-Autumn display at Lake House in Tai Po blows a lot of others out of the water. Featuring a huge light-up moon and a number of glowing rabbit sculptures, the display is an ethereal experience—especially when viewed against the backdrop of the grand white Lake House. For maximum Instagrammability, purchase the wishing flower & Polaroid photo package ($128) and set your wish on the lake in a candlelit lotus flower. The package can also be redeemed or discounted if you spend at the onsite restaurants, Le Vow and Billow, or at the lake’s inflatable water park, Flow Academy (click here for more details). A complimentary shuttle bus is also available from Tai Po Market Station—check out the Lake House website for more details. Until 22 September.
Lake House, Lake Egret Nature Park, 2 Hung Lam Drive, Tai Po Kau | (+852) 3974 0808
When it comes to Chinese New Year, Lee Tung Avenue becomes one of the most popular photo spots in town thanks to its huge red lantern display strung up above its main street. The lights are back out this Mid-Autumn Festival, with 688 red, purple, and teal traditional Chinese lanterns hung on every corner of the 200-metre-long European-esque boulevard. For a physical keepsake, you can ask the staff at Lee Tung Avenue for a free Instax photo in exchange for following the mall’s Instagram account—click here for more details. Until 25 October.
Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai | (+852) 3791 2304
Meanwhile, Gold Coast is also embracing the traditional silk lantern thing with a cute retro twist by offering visitors the chance to dress up in traditional qipao and cheongsam. Over 100 lanterns in resplendent shades of red, gold, orange, and purple have been strung up at the Gold Coast Piazza’s courtyard, split across a six-metre lantern pavilion and a 16-metre-long lantern corridor where you can stroll under the colourful lights.
On 18, 21, 22 September, shoppers who spend $800 or more in three or less same-day transactions can borrow an adult- or child-sized qipao or cheongsam for the ultimate photo op. Click here for more details. Until 22 September.
Gold Coast Piazza, 1 Castle Peak Road, Castle Peak Bay | (+852) 2452 6566
For its “Full Moon Reunion Carnival,” Hysan Place has transformed its fourth-floor landing into a “Heaven of Lights” with 500 lanterns, forming a three-metre-tall canopy of glowing light. Besides the lights, there is also a schedule of festive performances, including a show by a children’s dance troupe and a pop music show performed via traditional guzheng (Chinese plucked zither). There will also be family fun in the form of interactive zoetropes of the jade rabbit, lantern riddles, and photography services (the last of which is exclusive to Lee Gardens members). Until 22 September.
Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2886 7222