Mid Autumn Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Hong Kong (it is 13th September in 2019). Traditionally family members gather together and watch the fullest moon of the year.
When it is Chinese festival that means there are quite some custom to follow. Here is a guide of what modern Hong Kongers would do during the festival:
Before the festival
Usually the preparation starts a month in advance.
1. Prepare mooncakes/ gifts
Mooncake is the main thing of the festival. That is why Mid Autumn Festival is also called Mooncake festival. The most traditional flavour is lotus seed paste with salted duck egg yolks inside. Please see our mooncake guide here. People usually give mooncakes as gifts weeks before the festival.
2. Plan the dinner
When there is full moon, Chinese people would hope that the family can "fully" gather happily on the day. That is why restaurants (especially Chinese restaurants) are always fully booked on the day and the weekend before. You should plan ahead and make a reservation.
3. Prepare lanterns
If you have kids, you can get them some lanterns. Traditionally the lanterns were made of papers, woods and candles (of course). Nowadays there are different styles of them with designs of the newest cartoons. Lanterns are not limited to children only indeed. Feel free to pick your favourite one also.
On the day (13th Sep)
1. Finish your work early
The day after Mid Autumn Festival (14th Sep) is a public holiday in Hong Kong whereas the day of the festival (13th Sep) is not. Many companies have a tradition that their employees can get off from work earlier than normal. Some can leave the office after having lunch with colleagues and some can leave at 3 or 4pm. This means traffic will start to be congested earlier than normal.
2. Have dinner, eat mooncake, watch full moon
Have dinner, exchange gifts with your family & friends, eat mooncakes after dinner as dessert, visit a park nearby, let the kids play around and look at the full moon. Enjoy the time with your family and have a Happy Mid Autumn Festival!