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Mid-Autumn Festival is a timeless celebration dating back many centuries. It's also known as the lantern or moon festival and takes place annually on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. This year, the harvest festival is taking place on Saturday, 10th September 2022.

While there are many legends connected to the festival, it is a day for people to come together to give thanks to the moon; pray for better luck, fortune and fertility; and reunite with the family to celebrate and admire the moon in its full glory.

The festival is observed in different countries in a variety of ways, such as China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Celebrations also take place across Abu Dhabi, from themed feasts to adventurous activities, there is so much to do!

Common traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival

  • Lanterns
    Have you seen those stunning viral videos of lanterns floating up into the sky? It is common practice during this festival to make sky lanterns, write your deepest wishes on them, light them in honour of the moon goddess and then let them go into the twinkling night sky.

  • Moon-gazing
    The festival lasts for three days where moon-gazing is the main element; on the first day, you welcome the moon, on the second day you admire it and on the third day, you bid it farewell. These moments are better enjoyed if you have a great viewing angle, and you are accompanied by your family!

  • Mooncakes
    Have you ever sunk your teeth into a mooncake? A traditional Chinese pastry, they look like little (delicious) bites of the moon, symbolising togetherness and harmony. Your first bite into one will bring a medley of savoury, sweet and salty flavours. Made with flour, oil and sugar, the traditional filling is that of red bean, lotus paste, salty egg yolk, preserved fruit, and chocolate. If you are visiting someone who celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival, definitely take mooncakes with you to express your love and gratitude!

Where to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

Bringing their sixth edition of the Lantern and Moon Festival to life, Shangri-La Hotel will feature an amazing list of activities for everyone in the family to take part in.

  • A memorable dinner affair at Shang Palace or Hoi An
    With unlimited set menus, choose between either restaurant to commemorate the festival. Prices start from AED 228.
  • Dive into a food fest at Shang Palace
    Book The Peking Social Brunch at Shang Palace, inclusive of drinks and food. Prices start from AED 198.
  • Enjoy a family brunch at Sofra Bld. or Hoi An
    If you want a wholesome family day out, book a brunch at Sofra Bld or Hoi An, inclusive of live entertainment and a chocolate workshop and lantern-making for the kids! Prices start from AED 298.
  • Festival essentials
    Load up on gift-worthy authentic mooncakes in traditional flavours like Green Tea Paste, Mixed Nuts, Lotus Paste and Red Dates Longan Paste, sold in a pack of 4 for AED 288.

Manarat al Saadiyat

Louvre Abu Dhabi

How does kayaking under the moonlight sound? Soak in the stillness of the water on a beautiful night tour of Louvre Abu Dhabi. Explore the museum and appreciate the moon in all its glory in this unique 60-minute experience.

Emirates Palace


Get into the spirit of the moon festival at city favourite, Hakkasan, located within Abu Dhabi's opulent Emirati Palace. With a penchant for flair and flavour, tuck into traditional festive dishes with your family and friends during these wonderful celebratory nights.

Etihad Arena

Hyperound K-fest

Celebrate this incredible day with a cool Korean music concert on September 10th at the Etihad Arena! The confirmed lineup includes P1Harmony, Sik-K, DJ Woogie, GOT7 member Jay B, Peakboy, The Rose, Paul Kim and Loco.

Plan your trip

Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in Abu Dhabi