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Mid-Autumn celebration kicks off at Shanghai's Yuyuan Garden Malls


A traditional temple fair to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival began on Sunday at Shanghai's landmark Yuyuan Garden Malls in an effort to revive the traditional Chinese culture.

Temple fairs are lively carnival-like gatherings around religious temples during traditional festivals. They feature worshipping deities, guessing lantern riddles, folk arts, acrobatics and street performances, traditional music and culture along with plenty of food and shopping.

The Yuyuan malls are situated where a prosperous temple fair market around the City God Temple during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) once stood.

As part of the ongoing Shanghai Tourism Festival, the 2023 "Mid-Autumn Lunar Goddess Parade" celebration will be held through September 28. The festival falls on September 29 this year.

Parades, art performances, a lantern fair and art installations will be launched at the iconic Zigzag Bridge, Mid-Lake Pavilion and other historical structures.


The celebration will be held at the dining and shopping facilities near the historical city garden to restore the folk customs for autumn and harvest dating back to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), according to the malls.

Admission tickets of 80 yuan (US$11) for adults and 50 yuan for children are required between 4pm and 10pm during the celebration.

A giant moon installation will be unveiled at the Central Plaza, while the Gold Plaza will showcase traditional dances celebrating the harvest. Giant lantern displays will bring to life famous traditional Chinese myths and legends.

Performers dressed like renowned Tang Dynasty poets Li Bai and Du Fu will entertain and interact with visitors. A traditional bazaar will offer hanfu, or the traditional attire of the Han nationality, and makeup services.

Visitors are also invited to collect stamps and receive a limited-edition lotus lantern. They can also use Alipay's AR (augmented reality) section to enhance experience at the malls.

The event aims to combine traditional Chinese culture with contemporary appeal, making it a cultural hotspot for the younger generation, according to the malls.

A set of lanterns, a nationally listed intangible cultural heritage, will look to restore the traditional mid-autumn scenery in Jiangnan, or regions south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Yuyuan has launched a campaign themed around the 24 solar terms to promote traditional culture while boosting consumption.

Tourists and citizens are invited to play various traditional games, learn heritage skills and visit time-honored stores, such as the 239-year-old Tonghanchun TCM pharmacy, Mid-Lake Pavilion, Wenchang Street and the Yuyuan Department Store in the six-story Tianyu Mansion, known as the tallest Ming- and Qing-Dynasty-style building in the city's old town.

If you go:

Venue: Yuyuan Garden Malls

Address: 265 Fangbang Road M.

Dates: Through September 28

Admission: 80 yuan for adults and 50 yuan for children between 4pm and 10pm