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. These festivals and events have made Hong Kong a living, breathing cultural experience, like none other in Asia, or indeed the world and shouldn’t be missed.
1. Chinese New Year
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
2. Wine and Dine Festival
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
3. Cheung Chau Bun Festival
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
4. Dragon and Lion Dance Festival
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. It 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
5. Dragon Boat Festival
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
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.
7. Mid-Autumn Festival
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
8. Chinese Opera
From June 13th, 2017 to August 13th, 2017, 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
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. From restaurants with Halloween-themed menus and Disneyland and Ocean Park theme parks to shopping malls, full of Halloween decorations, everyone will be sure to find a way to celebrate Halloween, in 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.
10. Tin Hau Festival
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 festival 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
A city full of fantastic experiences
Hong Kong‘s fusion of cultures will offer visitors many fantastic experiences. It is also one of the reasons why this city is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations.
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