Chinatown’s Free Mid-Autumn Moon Fest Turns 80

Mooncakes, lantern-making workshops, and chances to look through a telescope are popping up around the historic neighborhood.


What to Know

  • Saturday, Sept. 29
  • 5 p.m. to midnight
  • Free

The number 80? 

What a beautiful and gratifying sight, thanks to the prominent presence of that auspicious eight leading things off, followed by a zero which, at first glance, looks as round and as full as any Harvest Moon.

We're in that moment, of marvelous fall moondom, and several spots around Southern California, from The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena have set the stage for meaningful and merry mid-autumn moon festivals. (Or, in the case of The Huntington, a series of sold-out nighttime walks.)

Next up is on the celebration calendar is Chinatown, which will stage its 80th annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival on Saturday evening, Sept. 29.

The long-running festival is free.

Two versions of the moon will be the night's superstars, with the actual moon, as in our nearest space neighbor, presiding high over the joyful proceedings, as well as the mooncakes that serve as the sweet and symbolic sustenance of the celebration.

There shall be other vittles to buy, of course, thanks to the line-up of food trucks. Vivace Pizza, Kogi, and Love Bird, as well as several other local gotta-noshes, are set to show and sizzle.

Activities are plentiful during the seven-hour soirée, but do make time to stop by the visiting telescope on Central Plaza, as well as the one at Mandarin Plaza, should you want to get to know the party's honorary guest better.

That would be, yes, the moon. Surely the moon wants to attend any party that includes its name? We would.

Astrology-smart people will standing near the telescops to talk about planets, stars, and the ever-amazing mysteries of the universe.

Other autumn-lovely to-dos at the fest including lantern-making and kite-making workshops, a beer garden, the Craft & Vintage Market, a live music stage, and magic.

Of course, a mid-autumn gathering always has some magic woven through, so you should feel plenty of enchantment, whether you're admiring our lunar satellite, the neon signs of Chinatown, or the delicious mooncake in the palm of your hand.

Chinatown's free Mid-Autumn Moon Festival celebrates its 80th anniversary from 5 o'clock to midnight on September's final Saturday.

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