Celebrate the Moon The Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore
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Celebrate the Moon: The Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore

Ever since becoming a permanent resident, I’ve loved so many aspects of living in Singapore. One of these aspects is the festivals and celebrations, and if I were to choose a favorite, it will have to be the Mid-Autumn Festival

To say that the Mid-Autumn Festival is so fun is such an understatement. This festival is full of life and color, and—not to forget—there are so many good foods to eat!

If you’re planning to come to Singapore and experience this festival, let this article be your guide. Here’s everything you need to know about the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore. 

What is the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore?

What is the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional festival in Chinese culture that is celebrated on the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar when the moon is believed to be at its brightest.

The history of this festival can be traced back to roughly 3,000 years ago. The Chinese people started celebrating their harvest during the autumn full moon in the Shang Dynasty, which was around 1600–1046 BCE. 

Chinese communities at the time practiced moon worship. The moon was associated with the concept of rejuvenation, women’s menstruation, and pregnancy, and this was why women would give offerings to the moon when it was at its brightest. 

The Moon Festival Legend of Chang’e: Mid-Autumn Festival Origin

The Moon Festival Legend of Chang’e Mid-Autumn Festival Origin

There’s a legend associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival involving Chang’e, the moon goddess. 

In this legend, her husband Hou Yi saved the world by shooting down nine blazing suns, and as a reward, he was given the elixir of immortality.

Hou Yi refused to drink the elixir because he wanted to be with Chang’e; unfortunately, Chang’e ended up drinking it. As a result, she floated toward the moon and became the moon goddess. 

Since there was nothing Hou Yi could do to get back his wife, he decided to honor her by preparing an annual feast when the moon was at its brightest. The legend has been passed around throughout the years, and so it’s become associated with the festival.

This tradition eventually spread throughout China and even to other countries in Asia. Some of the festivals that are similar to the Mid-Autumn Festival include Japan’s Tsukimi, Korea’s Chuseok, and Vietnam’s Tết Trung Thu. 

What does the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore celebrate?

What does the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore celebrate

The Mid-Autumn Festival is more than just worshipping the moon. It also celebrates three fundamental concepts, which are as follows:

  • Thanksgiving for the harvest and harmonious unions 
  • Gathering of families and friends as well as a lucrative gathering of crops
  • Praying for various hopes and dreams, such as finding a spouse, getting pregnant, and living a long life

When is the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore?

When is the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore

As mentioned earlier, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, specifically on its 15th day. In the Gregorian calendar, this date falls somewhere between the middle of September and early October. 

In other words, the date for this festival changes every year. In 2022, it was on September 10, and for the year 2023, it will be on September 29. 

In China, the festival lasts for eight days, but in Singapore, it’s only for a single day since it’s not officially considered a public holiday.

What are the Mid-Autumn Festival traditions in Singapore?

Mid-Autumn Festival traditions vary depending on the location, but the following are the ones you will most likely see in Singapore:

Hanging Glowing Lanterns

— From: autumnnrhapsody  

The moment the sun goes down on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival is when all the fun begins. And one of the first signs you’ll see is when people start hanging lanterns all over the place. 

Lantern hanging is popular among children especially, but even I, a grumpy adult, get excited about it. 

And how can I not get excited? You can see people’s creativity and ingenuity in the lanterns they make!

I’ve seen lanterns that look like cartoon characters and others that are shaped like cars, dinosaurs, and whatnot, and there are also lanterns that float to the sky. 

My favorite has to be the lanterns with riddles. It’s so fun trying to guess the answer.

My lanterns are always so simple (either shaped like a star or a moon) because I’m not that crafty, but it’s nice to see what other people can make just based on their imagination.

Sending Mooncakes to Friends, Families, and More

— From: kangdi2n 

A Mid-Autumn Festival won’t be complete without mooncakes. If you don’t know what a mooncake is, it’s basically a round pastry with a rich thick filling.

The center is usually lotus seed paste, but red bean paste and mixed nuts are popular choices as well. 

On the night of the festival, people either make their own mooncakes or buy them from a store, and then they share them with their loved ones. 

The mooncake’s round shape is said to symbolize completeness, so giving it to someone means good luck. I love the meaning behind this tradition, so even though I suck at baking, I always try to help out when my family makes them. 

Reunions and Public Get-Togethers

— From: kevision1 

It’s also tradition during the Mid-Autumn Festival to reunite with loved ones and have a public get-together. In a way, this festival is about love, which is why families come together and celebrate. 

Sometimes, we just spend our time in our own homes, but other times, we go out to eat at fine Chinese restaurants or go to a park and enjoy the festivities there. 

Speaking of love, the festival is also an occasion to celebrate marriages for some couples. Single people usually pray to the moon goddess that they will find someone soon, or they might go to a party or dance in hopes of meeting someone there. 

Bazaars All Around

— From: marina_mishc 

As with any other festival, bazaars and carnivals can be found in some places in Singapore.Chinatown, in particular, becomes a lively wonderland—with countless stalls lining the streets and selling everything from mooncakes to shiny ornaments!

So, don’t hesitate to hit up a bazaar or go to a carnival during the night of the festival. Buy as many mooncakes as you want or treat yourself to beautiful ornaments or clothes and just have fun. 

Parties by the Beach

— From: ganeshacp08 

Aside from bazaars and carnivals, parties by the beach will also pop up all around Singapore. The moon is very much visible on the beach—it always shines so brightly on the horizon—so people choose to hold a party there. 

I’ve never gone to the beach during the Mid-Autumn Festival, but my friends who have told me that it’s such a fun experience. There are always LED lantern displays that just dazzle you, and the mooncakes are exceptionally scrumptious.

Where should I go to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore?


(From: Walking Singapore)

Considering that the Mid-Autumn Festival is a Chinese tradition, it only makes sense for you to go to Chinatown to celebrate this momentous occasion. Chinatown really goes all out for this festival. 

To begin with, the streets in Chinatown get lit up with gorgeous lanterns, and you can also find larger-than-life sculptures of mooncakes with inscriptions from various Chinese languages.

When you’re hungry, head straight for the food fair. The aroma wafting from the stalls will be enough to convince you to splurge out.

But my favorite part about the Chinatown celebrations is the stage shows. Live performances and the dragon dance will put a smile on your face. 

If you’re quite artistic, I suggest joining the lantern painting competition, which is just so much fun.

Gardens by the Bay

(From: Walking Singapore)

Website: https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/ 

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday – 5 am to 2 am 

Gardens by the Bay is one of Singapore’s iconic attractions, and it’s mostly known for its diverse array of flora and fauna. But come the Mid-Autumn Festival, this public park becomes even more beautiful with all the lights and spectacle.

Just like in Chinatown, the Gardens features an exhibition of Chinese lanterns, which look amazing against the backdrop of greenery. Walking past the displays leaves your mouth agape, and you can’t help but take photos on your camera phone along the way.

Of course, it would be remiss for me not to mention the live performances and the delicious food you can get at the Asian food street. There’s just so much to see and experience here during the festival, so don’t miss out!

Takashimaya Fair 

(From: DanielFoodDiary)

As I said earlier, mooncakes are the main event of the Mid-Autumn Festival, so it just makes sense that you head to Takashimaya Fair because it’s the largest mooncake fair in all of Singapore!

I’m not kidding when I say that you’ll be totally amazed by the amount of mooncakes here. There are over 60 beloved brands participating in the fair, and each stall has its own unique spin on the delicious mooncake. 

When I came here with my family in 2022, I was stuffed in just an hour of roaming around because I kept getting tempted to taste a new mooncake. 

That said, I have no regrets because everything I tried at the time was exquisite. 

Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival

— From: tangenghui

Address: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, 12 Tai Gin Road, Singapore 327874

The Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival takes on an adorable twist on the celebration. When I came here back in 2022, I saw sculptures of the moon, sun, and other planets on the outdoor lawn, and they were so cute!

I literally wanted to squish them even though I knew they weren’t stuffed toys. The sculptures also thrilled my little cousins, who ran all over the place and squealed about how fluffy the celestial beings looked. 

If you’re planning to come to this festival this year, you might want to participate in the riddle-guessing and storytelling sessions. 

Jewel Changi

(From: Jusjusruns world)

Address: Basement 1, Jewel Changi, 78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819666

Located within Changi Airport, Jewel Changi is an attraction in its own right, but in my opinion, it becomes even more appealing during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

This glamorous mall is decked with colorful decor in honor of the festival, and in 2022, there was even a giant bunny by the Rain Vortex. It was so adorable!

And let’s not forget about the “street” that’s inspired by ancient China. On this so-called street, you can find all sorts of carnival games. 

My family and I had so much fun filling rice buckets and tossing herb prescriptions!

Lakeside Garden 

(From: Walking Singapore)

Address: Lakeside Field, Jurong Lake Gardens, Yuan Ching Road, Singapore

Located in Jurong Lake Gardens, Lakeside Garden is the venue for Lights by the Lake, which features glowing installations in honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival. 

I already love strolling along the Gardens, but every time the festival comes around, I have even more incentive to roam around because I enjoy seeing all the installations. 

In 2022, the theme was the four seasons, and I got to see miniature lanterns inspired by different countries all over the world. My favorite installations were the ones inspired by Italy and Germany.

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Address: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

If you’re a big fan of live performances like me, then you’ll love going to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Esplanade hosts Moonfest, which is jam-packed with countless events. 

My personal favorite part of the celebration is the slew of live performances. There’s just something so enchanting about watching artists perform traditional Chinese arts. 

Additionally, there are also ticketed workshops for all kinds of arts and crafts. I’m not artistic, but I managed to create a paper lantern that I was proud of (a moon rabbit—so easy and so cute). 

I can’t wait to do it again this year (maybe I’ll make a string puppet this time)!

Singapore Discovery Center

— From: onglai.art 

Address: 510 Upper Jurong Rd, Singapore 638365

Moon-LIT!, the Mid-Autumn event at Singapore Discovery Center, is a favorite among the young members of my extended family. This is mainly because the celebration comes with so many fun activities—from lantern walks to games to workshops!

In 2022, the highlight was when the Singapore Chinese Orchestra performed “The Moon Represents My Heart,” and I was just in awe. Another activity that I loved so much was art jamming by the lake with a beloved local artist Ong Lai. 

Charges apply when it comes to attending Moon-LIT!, but in my opinion, the event is worth it. You’ll be entertained all night long by all the activities going on here. 

Jurong Point

(From: marionzkievlog )

Address: 1 Jurong West Central 2, Singapore 648886

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, the entrance to Jurong Point becomes one of the most Instagram-worthy places in Singapore. There’s a magical lantern showcase that just brings good vibes to everyone passing by. 

In 2022, the showcase was a tunnel with cute character lanterns, and my little cousins were such big fans of that. It took us some time to enter the mall because they kept insisting on taking pictures. 

I don’t know what theme they’re going for this year, but I’m excited to see it all the same. 

What foods should I eat at the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore?


— From: smackthesnack 

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve mentioned mooncakes in this article, but I have to reiterate it again. I mean, are you really celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival without eating mooncakes at least once during the event?

Luckily for you, mooncakes are very easy to find during the festival. Practically every stall you come across is likely to sell them, so be sure to buy one.

I suggest trying out different flavors because there are so many of them!

Duck Dishes

— From: letssaygrace 

In many places in China, it’s tradition to eat duck during the Mid-Autumn Festival because of an old folktale. 

In the 14th century, the Han people decided to fight against a Mongolian army called Dazi. Dazi sounds like the word for duck in a Chinese dialect, so “eat ducks” became a code for their secret mission against the Mongolian Yuan dynasty.

Eventually, the Han people won, and the Yuan dynasty was overthrown. All this occurred during the Mid-Autumn Festival in 1368, hence eating a duck during the festival became a tradition in some places.

Not everyone in Singapore strictly follows this, but I still recommend it. After all, duck is a delicious meat. 

If you don’t know which duck dish to pick, I suggest roasted braised duck or sour plum duck.



Do you want to have good fortune in the near future? Then, you might want to eat taro during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

In some places in China, taro is associated with the coming of good fortune, and since the Qing Dynasty, it has been a custom to eat it in an effort to dispel bad luck and bring forth wealth and fortune instead.

With that said, it won’t hurt to eat taro during the festival. Plus, taro is a widely used ingredient, especially in desserts, so you can find it everywhere (taro milktea is my recommendation).

Lotus Roots

— From: cook.n.plate

Speaking of vegetables with auspicious meanings, lotus root is another one that people eat during the Mid-Autumn Festival in hopes of having good fortune. 

In the lotus root’s particular case, its Chinese name means “togetherness” and “pair,” so many people associate it with strong family bonds. 

Creating a meal with lotus roots doesn’t have to be elaborate. I usually just toss them into a salad or between my sandwich, but you can also stir-fry or deep-fry them if you want.

River Snails

— From: eat.better.homemadefood

Listen, I know river snails aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. They have an unpleasant odor, which is why they’re an acquired taste. 

That said, when cooked with herbs and sometimes mixed in noodles, river snails actually taste great.

In addition to this, eating river snails is said to bring about a good harvest and drive away bad luck. They also have health benefits because they’re rich in iron, calcium, vitamin A, and more. 

So, if you’ve never tried eating river snails before, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the perfect occasion to do so. 


— From: bia.bloom 

You’re most likely going to see pomelos during Chinese New Year, but they’re also quite popular during the Mid-Autumn Festival. For many people, offering a pomelo to the moon means that their families are going to get blessed with good luck and happiness.

So, why not eat this fruit when you’re celebrating the festival? It’s easy to find, tasty, and refreshing!


— From: glutenfreepoppy 

Since the Mid-Autumn Festival is also the time when some women pray to get pregnant, pomegranates are a staple for this event. This is because this fruit is considered a symbol of fertility and abundance in Chinese culture due to the number of seeds it has.

In other words, eating pomegranates is believed to attract luck and fertility. Even if you’re not planning to get pregnant, I’d still recommend this fruit because it’s delicious. 

Osmanthus Wine

— From: suiro.teas

In China, osmanthus flowers are in full bloom during mid-autumn, so drinking tea or fermented wine from these flowers has become a tradition in some parts of China. 

If you could get your hands on osmanthus wine or tea in Singapore, I highly recommend you try it out during the festival. Drinking it is believed to bring you a happy life, and who doesn’t want to have that?

Tips to Have the Best Mid-Autumn Festival Experience

Tips to Have the Best Mid-Autumn Festival Experience
  • Plan accordingly. Determine where you’re going to go to celebrate the festival, then look up the address and the time when the venue opens. If you’re bringing a car, you should also plan where to park ahead of time. 
  • Come early if possible. To avoid being stuck in crowds, it might be best if you go ahead of time. That way, you can enjoy roaming the area or buying food without being stuck in a long queue. 
  • Show respect. Even if you’re not Chinese, you should still be respectful of this festival and its customs because it holds a cultural significance to the Chinese community in Singapore. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking around during the festival, so it’s ideal if you wear comfortable clothes and shoes. 
  • Bring a water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated, and though you can just buy water while you’re in the venue, you might want to bring your own bottle instead. That way, you get to save a bit of money.
  • Put your belongings in a secure bag. Since there are a lot of people, there’s a chance that some pickpockets are in the area. To avoid getting your stuff stolen, put your valuables in a secure bag. Never just put them in your pocket.