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Mid Autumn Festival

Mid Autumn Festival 2017 and 2018

During the full moon on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar, Hong Kong celebrates the Mid Autumn Festival.

YearDateDayHoliday
20175 OctThuThe Day Following Mid-Autumn Festival
201825 SepTueThe Day Following Mid-Autumn Festival
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In the Gregorian calendar, this occurs in either September or October. In Hong Kong, the day after the festival is a public holiday.

This is a harvest festival that has its history dating back over 3,000 years to the Shang Dynasty when people thanked the moon god for the harvest. It is still a time of giving thanks. The Mid Autumn Festival is a time for families to spend special time together, and for prayer where people pray their specific requests.

The festival runs for a week and, during that time, Hong Kong is transformed into a show of sound, colour and light. Lanterns are everywhere, from ancient style, modern and paper and children are captivated by the fun lanterns they are given.

One of the best shows to watch is the lion dance, which is put on in many locations across Hong Kong. The lion dance involves two people dressed in a stunning costume doing amazing feats of balance and dance.

To be a part of the atmosphere, some of the most popular places to visit are Causeway Bay, Victoria Park and Victoria Harbour but many towns and villages put on special shows too.

The most popular treats that everyone eats too much of are the moon cakes and is why the festival is known to some as the Moon Cake Festival. Others refer to it as the Lantern Festival.

A special delicacy for Mid Autumn Festival is the hairy crab, which is only in season for a few months from September. The male hairy crab, unusually, is in high demand, rather than the female of other varieties and is an expensive menu item at many restaurants during the festival. Hairy crab is often accompanied by Chinese wines or ginger tea.