There are a wide array of exciting festivals and events in Hong Kong, throughout the year. It seems there is always something going on, in every nook and corner of the island. From art festivals and modern or classical performances to food festivals, the country offers you a unique glimpse into traditional Chinese and local life, as well as Hong Kong living culture. Book your trip to Hong Kong now, and stay at the top hotels and Airbnb vacation rentals. These festivals in Hong Kong are a living, breathing cultural experience like none other in Asia, and shouldn’t be missed.
1. Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair (March)
One of the most vibrant celebrations in Hong Kong is during the Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair. This festivity is dedicated to the God of the Sea, Hung Shing. The god was highly respected the the fishermen in the Chinese villages in the olden times. Hung Shing was also regarded as King of the South Seas, and upon his early death, a temple was built after him. Worshippers would be given protection and good luck as they sail the seas. The fair is celebrated annually during March.
2. Dragon and Lion Dance Festival (1st Jan,2020)
This is yet another festival you need to see for yourself. Every year on January 1st, the Hong Kong Dragon and Lion Dance Festival is held. If you happen to be here during this time, be prepared to enjoy and see hundreds of celestial guardians, colourful dragons, lions and acrobats, as well as a happy Buddha, dancing and parading through the streets of Hong Kong, to usher in the New Year. This Hong Kong tradition is truly a feast for the eyes.
Many tourists flock to areas like Disneyland, Ocean Park, Wong Tai Sin Temple, Victoria Peak and Bauhinia Square, to see these spectacular performances. What are you waiting for? Join the crowd in the fantastic celebrations.
Dragon and Lion Dance Festival
Website: Dragon and Lion Dance Festival
3. Chinese New Year (25th Jan'20)
Hong Kong’s Chinese New Year festival is one of the most colourful and biggest festivals in the world. Locals mark the occasion with a unique fusion of modern fun and ancient customs. There is so much to see and enjoy, during the festival. From local and international performers to the flamboyant flower market and fabulous fireworks, it is full of fun and excitement. Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival and is celebrated in January or February of the lunar calendar. It continues until the 15th day of the lunar calendar.
While you are here, get ready to see parading dragons and dancing lions making their way down the streets. This is a great moment for friends and family to come together and share in the joy of the New Year. Come and experience the epitome of the city’s living culture, in Hong Kong. It is a sight to behold.
Chinese New Year
Website: Chinese New Year
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4. Discover new and modern artists at the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival (16th Feb - 24th Mar,2020)
One of the most sought after events in the Asia, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is a magnificent event to celebrate the arts in Hong Kong. Local and international artisans come to perform, showcase their pieces, sell their unique products, display their dance numbers for several weeks. Locals and travelers alike flock to this event annually as it is one of the few that celebrate the arts in Hong Kong.
This famous festival of Hong Kong has been a much-anticipated event people have been preparing for since 1973 and today, it’s become a platform to engage modern society into supporting the local arts. From ballets, symphonies, to operas, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is one many don’t miss out one and is a truly enriching experience to immerse yourself if you’re a tourist visiting Hong Kong during the festival.
Hong Kong Arts Festival
Address: Hong Kong Cultural Centre, L5, Auditoria Building, 10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong & the Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong, Central, Edinburgh Pl, 5號五號
Website: Hong Kong Arts Festival
Date: February 16 to March 24, 2020
Price: 0.26 USD to 0.64 USD (2 HKD to 5 HKD)
5. Tin Hau Festival (15th Apr,2020)
Tin Hau Festival is one of the most celebrated Chinese festivals, in Hong Kong. It is usually celebrated in April or May, annually. During the festival, Hong Kongers gather together to celebrate the birthday of Tin Hau, the goddess of the sea. If you have been to Hong Kong, you will notice there are many Tin Hau temples on the island.
What is unique about this Hong Kong celebration is you get to see various performances and parades, such as Chinese opera, as well as dragon and lion dances, which brings a festive mood, coupled with a lively remembrance in honour of the deity. The festival is not just celebrated by the older generation but also the younger. Large scale celebrations are normally held on some of the outlying islands, as well as Joss House Bay, Tuen Mun, Kowloon City, Tai Po and Yuen Long. Some temples and villages celebrate the festival on different dates. While you are here, just watch the colourful procession and enjoy the dragon and lion dance performances.
Tin Hau Festival
Website: Tin Hau Festival
6. Cheung Chau Bun Festival (27th Apr -1st May,2020)
If you visit Hong Kong towards the end of April or beginning of May, you will get a chance to immerse yourself in a unique festival - it is none other than the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. It is a unique cultural experience, featuring huge bamboo towers covered with sweet buns and it should not be missed. The festival honours the Taoist god, Pak Tai, and involves four days of music, parades and sweet buns, galore.
The main venue for the festival is in front of the famous Pak Tai Temple, on Cheung Chau Island. The main event is the bun scrambling competition. Whoever climbs up and gets ahold of the buns at the top first, wins the competition. Besides this, the King and Queen Bun titles are also up for grabs. Everyone from locals to tourists will be vegetarian, during the festival, and no meat is allowed during this time.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Website: Cheung Chau Bun Festival
7. Awaken the inner Francophile in you at the Le French May (1st May - 30th Jun,2020)
Francophiles rejoice as the 27th annual Le French May Festival is one you can’t miss out on. It’s dubbed as one of the biggest French arts festivals in Asia and takes pride in showcasing about 500 world-class events inspired by the French to Hong Kong culture. From French films, music, dance, to paintings, sculptures, and theatrical performances, there’s an array of entertaining musings that can be seen in this annual and iconic festival.
Le French May also celebrates French fashion and cuisine which is celebrated through fashion shows by French designers, and of course, a wide selection of French vendors and dining establishments that encourage patrons to open their palettes and enjoy their wonderful food. Wine connoisseurs will be pleased as wine auctions and French wine tasting tours will be available for locals to attend. Make the most out of this superb and unique festival, Francophile, or not, there’s definitely something about France you’re bound to like after attending these events.
Le French May
Website: Le French May
Date: May 1 to June 30, 2020
8. Dragon Boat Festival (25th Jun,2020)
The main highlights of this festival are the fierce looking dragon boats, racing in a lively, colourful spectacle. It is usually held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Head over to Victoria Harbour and you will get to see different teams, racing to the beat of the drums. The special boats, which measure over 10 meters (32.8 feet), have ornately carved and painted dragon heads and tails.
Each boat can carry up to 23 paddlers at one time. The paddlers row with all their energy to the finish line, accompanied by the loud cheering crowd and pounding drums. It is very interesting to see both the drummer at the front and the steersman at the back, working together as a team, to race towards the finish line.
Dragon Boat Festival
Website: Dragon Boat Festival
9. Light some incense for your ancestors during the Ghost Festival (2nd Sep,2020)
Come September 2nd, the Hong Kong people come together to celebrate the Hungry Ghost Festival wherein they give tribute to the spirits of their ancestors and other restless spirits that are said to be roaming the earth. During this cultural event in Hong Kong, families come together to visit the graves and burials of their families who have passed and make sure to spend the day with them.
As part of their cultural heritage, the Hong Kong people have made it a point to light candles, incense, as well as leave offerings out on their graves to signify their intentions of helping them to have a peaceful journey towards the afterlife.
Other significant feats to notice during Ghost Festival is the burning of joss paper, fake money from the Bank of Hell in a metal container to further pay respect to the spirits. There are blessing ceremonies, public exhibits on the holiday all over the city, as well as live performances from the Cantonese Opera.
Address: Victoria Park, 1 Hing Fat St. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Website: The Hungry Ghost Festival
Date: September 2, 2020
Price: free admission
10. Mid-Autumn Festival (2nd October,2020)
This festival falls on the 15th day of the eight lunar month. To many Hong Kongers, this is considered to be the most important festival of the year and they celebrate it in style, every year. The Mid-Autumn Festival is not just about lanterns, but also mooncakes, which are believed to originate from the Yuan Dynasty revolutionaries, who are said to have made the pastries to pass secret messages to each other. Eating mooncakes is a must when celebrating this festival and there are different flavours to choose from, to suit the different taste buds of the locals, as well as visitors. One of the most popular flavours is lotus seed paste and egg yolk.
During the festival, you will see the city lit up with different shapes and colours of lanterns. You can also see Lantern Carnivals and the Fire Dragon Dance, throughout the festival. It is indeed a wonderful and colourful festival.
Website: Mid-Autumn Festival
11. Halloween (Oct,2020)
Every October, Hong Kong turns into a city of Halloween, full of a lively, festive atmosphere, with many Halloween activities. Hong Kong is a great place to celebrate Halloween, not just for locals but tourists, as well. If you happen to be here at this time of year, you can party and celebrate Halloween in almost any part of Hong Kong.
Get ready to snap photos of some chilling decorations, as well as costume parties. The city’s unique history as a place of East meets West means European festivals, including Halloween, are deeply entrenched in its cultural fabric.
12. Wine and Dine Festival (Nov'20)
This is another exciting festival. Every year, the Hong Kong wine and dine festival brings together world-class entertainment, food and drinks, right next to the magnificent Victoria Harbour skyline. Visitors and tourists can enjoy the festival, as they drink and eat all the amazing food on offer, during the festival. There are countless food and wine booths to choose from, apart from the wine pairing menus crafted by wine tasting experts and master chefs.
Come October, you will get to savour a wide array of delectable dishes, fine wines, cocktails, craft beer, and international whiskies. This is a food festival full of incredible treats, featuring unique delights. So, take a day off to explore this festival, held at the Central Harbour Front Event Space. In 2017, the festival will take place October 26th to October 29th. Mark the date on your calendar now and visit about 420 booths, which will give you more than a wining and dining experience.
Wine and Dine Festival
Website: Wine and Dine Festival
13. Enjoy some spectacular jazz music at Freespace Jazz Fest (9th - 10th Nov,2020)
The Freespace Jazz Fest is an annual jazz music event with headlining bands that will perform on Saturday and Sunday, GoGo Penguin, and Rober Glasper Trio respectively. This annual jazz festival will be taking place in West Kowloon Cultural District where many millennials and boomers alike can peacefully occupy the space and enjoy the performances.
Apart from the jazz music and performances, there are also workshops that will be held on teh two-day event. Some of these include jazz documentary film features, jazz musical workshops, handicraft flea market sales, as well as art booths for kids and kids at heart to come to check out. Indeed, this Freespace Fest has a little of something for everyone and definitely an opportunity to see a fusion of cultural taste from different kinds of people in Hong Kong come alive.
Freespace Jazz Fest
Address: Freespace and the Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
Website: Freespace Fest
Date: 10:30 pm to 8 pm, Sat, November 9th & 11 am to 7 pm, Sun, November 10th
Price: 66 USD to 92 USD
14. WinterFest (Dec,2020)
During the winter season, the skyline shines brighter than usual, in Hong Kong. At this time, shopping malls, buildings, as well as tourist attractions are adorned with colourful decorations. This is one of the best times to see the beautiful, sparkling city of Hong Kong, as it becomes a glittering wonderland, during Winterfest. The downtown district is filled with numerous winter celebrations during this time, as well as an exuberant carnival atmosphere.
This is a magical celebration, not to be missed by anyone. Indulge in the romantic Christmas ambience and marvel at the various special shopping offers to enjoy, along with a variety of festive programs. It is usually held between November and December, annually.
15. Chinese Opera (TBA)
Locals and tourists will get a chance to experience various opera genres in Hong Kong, including well-known Cantonese opera performances, which are UNESCO representatives of cultural heritage. Apart from this, star-studded cast members, from leading opera troupes from mainland China will also perform during the festival. This is an opportunity to understand more about the charm of Chinese Opera. Venues and times are subject to change. Hurry and do not miss this opportunity.
Website: Chinese Opera
A city full of fantastic experiences
Hong Kong‘s fusion of cultures will offer visitors many fantastic experiences, from street food tours to water sports to festivals. It is also one of the reasons why this city is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations.
Frequently asked questions about festivals in Hong Kong
1. What festivals are celebrated in Hong Kong during the summer?
Summer in Hong Kong is from late May to September, and the festivals celebrated during this period are the Le French May Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and Hungry Ghost Festival.
2. Which are the local festivals of Hong Kong that you can enjoy with family?
Some of the local festivals in Hong Kong that will be enjoyed by everyone in your family, even the little ones, are WinterFest in December and Mid-Autumn Festival and Halloween in October.
3. Which are the most famous festivals of Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is a hotpot for lively festivals that keep the spirit and culture alive and kicking. Some of the most famous ones are the Chinese Opera, WinterFest, Cheung Chau Bun Festival, and Tin Hau Festival.
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