Top Places to Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in China

A nice place to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival should be wide and open, or high, or somewhere with water. Because one can appreciate the full moon or moon reflection more easily in these places while eating delicious moon cakes.

Beihai Park, Beijing
Beihai Park, Beijing

 Altar of the Moon: This is where the emperors of the Ming (1368 - 1644 AD) and Qing (1644 - 1911 AD) dynasties offered sacrifice to the moon. Inside it, there is much architecture related to the moon and the legends of Mid-Autumn Festival.
 Marco Polo Bridge: “Moon over the Marco Polo Bridge at Dawn” used to be one of the eight most beautiful scenes of Beijing. Distant mountains, nearby water, bright moon and a beautiful bridge certainly make a charming picture.
 Beihai Park: Or more specifically, Circular City inside the park. It used to be the place where emperors appreciated the moon. The moon’s reflection on the glittering Taiye Pond is rather beautiful.
 Shichahai: The best choice for those who want to appreciate the moon on a floating boat.
 Taoranting Park: The highlight here is the various colorful lights. It is a great fun to appreciate natural moonlight and manmade light at the same time. A similar place is the Yuyuantan Park, which is ablaze with lights all night on the Mid-Autumn Festival.
 Summer Palace: This was the site where the royal families appreciated the moon. The Hall of Utmost Blessing at the apex of the eastern ridge on Longevity Hill was where the Empress Dowager Cixi used to gaze at the moon.
 Jingshan Park: It is located on the highest point of Beijing city’s axis. People can enjoy the bright moonlight and have a bird’s eye view of the city here.
 Old Summer Palace: The newly opened Jiuzhou Scenic Spot is a perfect site to enjoy the scenery of the lake and the full moon.

Skyline of Pudong in Dusk, Shanghai
Skyline of Pudong in Dusk, Shanghai

 Skyscrapers: As a metropolis, Shanghai boasts skyscrapers, which are good places to have a close encounter with the moon. In addition, there are usually delicate restaurants serving delicious foods up there. Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Tower and World Financial Center are the “Golden Triangle” in Lujiazui of Shanghai to admire the bright moon.
 Huangpu River: The “museum of international architecture” on the west bank of Huangpu River, the “museum of international skyscrapers” on its east bank and the sparkling water flowing in the river consist of the most famous night view of Shanghai. If one adds a bright full moon in the sky, it is definitely a picturesque scene. One can order a cup of tea or coffee and have a seat to admire the scene quietly, or get on board a cruise ship to “chase” the moon.
 Parks/Green Fields/Lakeside: There are many such places in Shanghai, including Yuyuan Garden, Grand View Park, Oriental Land, Guilin Park, and Sheshan National Holiday Resort. They offer wider views.
 Ancient Towns: If you want to appreciate the moon in someplace traditional in Shanghai, then Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, which is famous for delicate bridges and a murmuring brook, is a good choice. You can admire the moon at a teahouse or a restaurant along the brook. The Setting-fish-free Bridge in the town is also a good place to go.
 Countryside: Chongming Island should be the best place to spend a countryside style Mid-Autumn Festival. You can enjoy the local peasant foods and wine while appreciating the moon. Other choices include Changxing Island and Hengsha Island.

Festival Lanterns Decorating Xi'an City Wall
Festival Lanterns Decorating Xi'an City Wall

 Ancient City Wall: It is relatively high and there are no skyscrapers around hindering the view. If lucky, one may see dance and song performances at the south gate of the City Wall on the night of Mid-Autumn Festival. 
 Big Wild Goose Pagoda: Its surrounding is wide. Besides, there is a big musical fountain on its north square. One can appreciate the moon and the “jumping” fountain in the meantime.
 Tang Paradise: The architecture here is in traditional Chinese style, so one may spend the Mid-Autumn Festival in a traditional way here. There may be special performances and activities during the festival.
 Qujiang Pool Park: The air is fresh; the water is clear; the surroundings are wide. It is a nice place for a family to gather and appreciate the moon.
 Daming Palace Site: It is a quiet open wide place. The Taiye Pond inside it can be a good place for moon appreciation.
 Expo Park: It’s free with an open view. There is a large body of water for people to admire the moon's reflection.
 Chanba Ecological District: There are many sightseeing platforms along the river. Besides the bright moon, one can see the Chang’an Pagoda across the river.
 City Sports Park: It is large with a good environment. There is also a special playing area for children.
 Farmer’s Houses along the Qinling Mountains: These are the best places to experience the peasants’ lives and taste their food while appreciating the moon.

Li River Cruise, Guilin
Li River Cruise, Guilin

 Li River: Accompanied by numerous verdant hills on both banks, one can appreciate the moon and its reflection in the crystal-clear river on a floating bamboo raft.
 Elephant Trunk Hill: There is a Water Moon Cave between the trunk and the legs of the "elephant”. When boating through the cave, one can see the amazing scene which is described as: one of the two moons lies quietly underwater, while the other one floats leisurely on the water; the water keeps flowing away but the moons stay; even if the moon sets, the water never stops flowing.
 Moon Hill: There is a “Moon Appreciation Route” at its foot. Traveling along this route, one can see the bright full moon gradually turning into a narrow crescent and then turns back.

Other Places

 Yangtze River: Get onboard a cruise ship and accompanied by the cragged peaks on both banks, one can appreciate the moon and its reflection quietly on the deck with a cup of red wine. What a romantic enjoyment!
 Mt. Emei in Leshan: Known as one of China’s four Buddhist holy mountains, Mt. Emei is also a good place to appreciate the moon on Mid-Autumn Festival. When watching the moon halfway up the hill, it looks like a golden plate; when at its highest point, the Golden Summit, it seems like the moon is within reach. The best place to admire the moon reflection here is the Guanfang Pond.
 Yellow Mountain in Anhui: When the moon rises, the mountain will turn into a silver world. Whenever one is strolling on the mountain roads or drinking something on the mountain tops, he/she for sure will be totally immersed. Although the moon may not be as clear as in other places due to the fog, it can be mysteriously attractive.  

Appreciating Full Moon on the Yellow Mountain
Appreciating Full Moon on the Yellow Mountain
 West Lake in Hangzou: “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon” here is so famous that it is printed on Chinese paper money. When the candles in the three small stone pagodas are lit, they will reflect in the West Lake like three little moons. When the real moon rises, moonlight, candle light, moon shadow, pagoda shadows, and cloud shadows make up a picturesque scene.
 Garden of the Master of the Nets in Suzhou: There is a Wind Pavilion inside this garden, which is surrounded by water on three sides and where a mirror is hung inside. When the moon rises, people can see three moons at the same time, one in the sky, one in the mirror, and one on the water, which is very unique. Another highlight here is the breeze, which can be cool and gentle when blowing from the water, fresh from the hill, and fragrant from the bamboo or pine woods.
 24-Bridge in Yangzhou: Famous for moon appreciation for a long time, this place is quiet and poetic. If you have any chance to know some Chinese, you should know there are many poems describing moon appreciation at Yangzhou 24-bridge.
 Erhai Lake in Dali: Erhai Moon is one of the four most famous scenes in Dali. With the surrounding snow-capped Mt. Cangshan, amazingly-shaped clouds, bright full moon, and all these reflections on the sparkling water, isn’t it breath-taking?
 Mt. Laoshan in Qingdao: The best place to admire the moon here is the mountain summit to the east of the Taiqing Palace. Stand there and look back, one can see the vague architecture in the palace; look forward, one can watch the moons in the sky and on the water contrasting finely with each other. It makes one feel like standing in a wonderland.
 Mt. Lushan in Jiujiang: The best place for moon appreciation here is Wangpo Pavilion (Watching Poyang Lake Pavilion). It is a great fun to sit in the pavilion and watch the moon rising slowly from the other side of the lake, and then light the clear water and the whole world. Another beautiful scene here is the “Moonlight Shining Pine Forests”.
 Dongting Lake in Yueyang: “Autumn Moon above the Dongting Lake” is one of the eight most beautiful scenes of Hunan Province. One can appreciate the moon on a floating boat, on the Yueyang Pavilion or the nearby Mt. Junshan.
- Last updated on Aug. 23, 2022 -
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