So now you know all about the history of Mid Autumn Festival and where to get your mooncakes – it’s time to talk lanterns. If you’ve never walked through a Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival in your life, you’re in for a real treat! Being a Chinese festival, Chinatown is the main focus in Singapore, with the biggest and brightest celebrations for families. When we say ‘big’, we mean BIG! Like more than 1,000 hand-crafted flower-themed lanterns and more than 10,000 LED light bulbs big! A “family tree” hung with 112 animal lanterns is the centrepiece. The decorations were the work of students from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and more than 30 Sichuan craftsmen from China.
Wander the festive carnival and make sure you don’t miss the nightly live shows either (from 8pm daily) or the annual mass lantern walk on 1 October 2017. A good one for the whole family! Read on for all the events.
Lantern Painting Competition: An event for all the family (with prizes too). Just preregister first.
When: 17 September 2017, 9.00am – 12noon
Lantern Display at Pagoda Street – 1,000 hand-crafted flower-themed lanterns, more than 10,000 LED light bulbs and a family tree centerpiece!
When: 23 September – 19 October 2017, All Day
Mid-Autumn Festival Carnival – opposite People’s Park Complex
When: 10 September – 9 October 2017, 11.00am – 10.30pm
China Town Street Stalls
Get your lanterns ready! This is gonna be big. Over 300 festival stalls (plus a lot of plastic fantastic), handicrafts, moon cakes, and lanterns.
When: 20 September – 4 October 2017, 10.30am – 10.30pm
Official Light-up and Opening Ceremony
When: Saturday 23 September 2017 , 7.00pm – 10.00pm
Where: New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street
The big event includes a not-to-miss dragon dance performance, as well as lots of traditional songs and dance performances by local and overseas troupes from China. To end the night – don’t miss the spectacular fireworks displays.
Nightly Stage Shows at Kreta Ayer Square
When: 23 September – 4 October 2017, 8.00pm – 10.30pm
Catch nightly shows of Chinese cultural acts, dances, traditional folk songs, and music by local entertainers and troupes from China.
Mass Lantern Walk
Date: 1 October 2017, 7.00pm – 10.00pm
From Kreta Ayer Square to Lucky Chinatown – join the walk and bring a lantern for this wonderful community walk around Chinatown. Look out for the dragon dance troupes, and stage performances with pyrotechnics!
Free Chinatown Walking Trail
Meeting Point: Kreta Ayer Square
Date: 30 September & 1 October 2017, 3.30pm – 5pm
Limited to 10 people. Registration is on first-come-first-serve basis. For one weekend only, the Mid Autumn Festival Walking Trail covers Chinatown’s heritage with the theme of “Celebrations of Our Traditions”. Get your cameras ready and your phones charged for this guided walk (in English).
Esplanade’s MoonFest is a lovely festival for kids and parents alike, complete with performances and activities. Don’t miss The Magic Paintbrush (this adaptation uses puppetry and entertaining music to tell a classic Chinese folktale in Mandarin (with English subtitles). Ticketed activities include their mooncake making workshop and lantern making arts and crafts session, while others are free like their street opera scenes from yesteryear performed at an outdoor stage.
When: 29 September to 4 October
Where: Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay
Be prepared to be wowed! Gardens by the Bay always goes big on their decorations – you can expect Mid-Autumn Festival galore in the pretty gardens.
“Autumn Harvest” floral display
When: Sep 1-Oct 29, 9am-9pm
Price: Admission charges into the Flower Dome apply.
Fruit and vegetable shaped lanterns will be adorned from the Flower Dome to the (free) outdoor gardens. A giant Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage is the cherry on the cake so to speak, right in the middle of the dome.
FREE Lantern Displays
When: Sep 22-Oct 8, 7-11pm
Where: from the Dragonfly Lake to the Supertrees, there are thousands of lanterns in different colours, including 100 larger-than-life dragonfly lanterns– quite a spectacular sight!
Moonstruck – Sleepless in Lunar Palace
The Arts Fission Company presents a free performance – Moonstruck, a contemporary dance-theatre performance using the familiar Chinese legend of the lady in the moon (Chang Er 嫦娥,) Expect dancers in whimsical costume alongside music that is ‘inspired by the moon’ like Dvorak’s opera aria Song to the Moon and Beethoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata. A great one for the whole fam – just pack a picnic!
When: 30 September, 7-8pm
Where: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage
Kid Friendly: Hold Your Own “Moon-Viewing Party”
Make like an Auntie on the veranda and set up shop alfresco to admire the full glowing moon. What kid isn’t enchanted about the idea of staying up after their bedtime? Kit your place out with coloured paper lanterns, tea lights and nibble on mooncakes (pssst they do chocolate ones nowadays too!).
The serene expanse (13.5-hectares) of green space at Chinese Gardens feels like a slice of ancient China with its series of stone bridges, twin pagodas, and a teahouse. Come mid autumn festival, lanterns of all different colours and sizes bring this tranquil garden to vibrant life at night.
Chinese Gardens, 1 Chinese Garden Road Chinese Garden, Singapore 619795, Singapore