Celebrate the moon and the harvest at the Mid-Autumn Festival. This special event, which is the second most important festival in China and other Asian countries after the Lunar New Year, has a history stretching back over 3,000 years. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, when the moon is at its fullest and brightest. This puts it right in the middle of autumn for the northern hemisphere, which is why here in Melbourne, we’re celebrating it during spring. This harvest festival is also celebrated in other countries, like Vietnam (Tết Trung Thu), South Korea (Chuseok) and Japan (Tsukimi). This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival will take place on Friday September 29, and there’s plenty of fun events for you to check out around Melbourne.
1. Explore the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Queen Victoria Market
Head to Queen Vic Market for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Feast on traditional mooncakes and mouth-watering street food, then check out some live music, cultural performances and activities. The festival will run from 9am to 4pm on September 23 and 24. Learn more here.
📍C-D Shed, Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000
2. Celebrate at Chinese Traditional Cultural Festival in Fed Square
The 3rd Chinese Traditional Cultural Festival is coming to Fed Square. Enjoy traditional culture shows, listen to Chinese musical instruments and see a variety of dance and music performances. Browse through a market in the Main Square, and try on the traditional costume, Hanfu. While you’re there, take part in other activities, like lantern-making and calligraphy. The festival will take place on September 23 and 24, from 11am to 9pm. Find out more here.
📍Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000
3. Check out Luminous at 206 Bourke Street
Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in the heart of Chinatown, with Luminous at 206 Bourke Street. Immerse yourself in Chinese culture with plenty of live entertainment, like a traditional Chinese dragon dance. Take part in lantern making workshops, and look out for mooncake and dining giveaways. Stay after dark and admire the Wall of Lanterns, which will light up each night. Luminous will run from Friday September 29 to Sunday October 1.
📍206 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
4. Learn something at the Chinese Museum’s Autumn Moon Festival
The Chinese Museum is celebrating the season with their Autumn Moon Festival. Explore exhibitions and learn all about the Mid-Autumn Festival, with a mooncake-making demonstration, Autumn Moon Legend performance, riddle guessing and more. The festival will take place on Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1. More info here.
Meanwhile, the museum is also celebrating evenings under the Autumn Moon by opening its doors late during the month of October. Experience traditional, contemporary and reinterpreted Chinese popular culture, with workshops, music and more. Learn more here.
📍22 Cohen Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
5. Have fun at the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival
Outside the Chinese Museum, you can enjoy a free celebration at the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival. Enjoy two hours of traditional Chinese Lion Dancing, Dragon Dance and Kung Fu Martial Arts Demonstrations. If the weather goes well, there will also be a firecracker display. The first show will run from 11am to 11:50am, and the second will run from 12pm to 12:50pm on Sunday October 1. See more here.
📍22 Cohen Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
6. Join the festivities at the Melbourne Moon Festival at Box Hill
The Melbourne Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce (MTCC) is celebrating the 31st Melbourne Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Box Hill. Celebrate the harvest moon with 45 stalls, showcasing a variety of delicious food, arts and crafts. There will also be a stacked entertainment program on stage., with lion dancing, live demonstrations, dance performances and more. This year, over 50,000 people are expected to attend. The festival will take place on Saturday September 30, from 11am to 6pm. Learn more here.
📍Main & Market Streets, Box Hill VIC 3128
7. Feast on mooncakes
If you can’t make it to any of the celebrations, you can at least feast on some delicious mooncakes. Look forward to traditional bites, luxurious creations and interesting flavours. See our list of recommendations here.