May 23, 2022

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Wicked Real Estate

Lunar holiday provides radiant inspiration for Autumn Harvest Festival at South Coast Plaza

2 min read

For anyone curious about the sudden arrival of breathtaking colorful lanterns, cherry blossom trees and a photo exhibit showcasing pristine Chinese landscapes in and around Garden Terrace at South Coast Plaza — the Autumn Harvest Festival has arrived.

Now through Sept. 21, visitors to the Costa Mesa complex can enjoy a seasonal celebration marked by Asian cultures across the globe on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, when the moon is believed to be the brightest all year. This year, that celestial occurrence falls on Sept. 21.

In anticipation of this year’s festival, South Coast Plaza worked with various bakeries throughout Southern California to source a selection of mooncakes, a type of pastry typically consumed as part of the annual celebration.

“The Magnificent Nature of China,” on display in the Nordstrom wing during Autumn Harvest Festival at South Coast Plaza, features photos selected to showcase China’s most notable landscapes.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

On Saturday and Sunday, a special mooncake pop-up created among several community partners will feature special selections of the tasty treats, including two flavors — boba and luna mooncakes — created specially for the local celebration.

Specialty boxed moon cake and tea gift sets are available for purchase at participating bakeries. For more visit

A visual treat for the eyes, several red lanterns are on display at Garden Terrace and lining the center’s picturesque Bridge of Gardens, an ideal spot for reflecting on the festival’s central themes of gathering and reunion, thanksgiving and prayers for good fortune. The area lends an especially photogenic backdrop at night when the lanterns are lit.

Shoppers Friday on South Coast Plaza's Bridge of Gardens, where lanterns are lit nightly during the Autumn Harvest Festival.

Shoppers Friday on South Coast Plaza’s Bridge of Gardens, where lanterns are lit nightly during the Autumn Harvest Festival, which runs through Sept. 21.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Visitors can also enjoy “The Magnificent Nature of China,” located in the Nordstrom wing and presented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, courtesy of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles.

In 2005, a committee of 200 scientists, sociologists, writers and photographers selected 114 sites throughout the nation that best reflect the splendor of the Chinese landscape from among 500 candidates.

The exhibit presents landscapes divided into categories, including mountains, lakes, canyons, waterfalls, forests and grasslands, provides viewers a visual tour of China’s most stunning natural scenes.

South Coast Plaza is located at 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

Shoppers walk hand in hand under a ceiling of red lanterns Friday on South Coast Plaza’s Garden Terrace to mark the Autumn Harvest Festival.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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