Must-See Hong Kong Events: Hong Kong is a great place for shopping and dining; something the little island just off China’s mainland is globally known for. But there’s really more to Hong Kong than just modern entertainment. The city-state is known for its rich culture and heritage. The population is made up of over 90% Chinese decedents and hence a lot of the same Chinese holidays and events are celebrated year-round. Besides a rich Chinese culture, Hong Kong also celebrates quite a number of non-Chinese holidays such as Christmas and Easter. This is mostly rooted in British rule during the first opium war and the period after the Pacific War.
If you take a look at Hong Kong’s calendar of events, you’ll quickly discover that there’s a lot going on every month. So if you’re planning on a visit and want to really experience some of the culture and events, when would be the best time? Here are 5 hand-picked events which you might want to try to include in your travel plans.
Chinese New Year
This is one event you simply should not miss. It’s celebrated practically all over the world wherever there is a Chinese community residing. However, in Hong Kong, the entire region is brimming with festivities and celebrations. Chinese New Year is not only the biggest but is also the most important celebration in Hong Kong. The catch is, that every year Chinese New Year changes the date fluctuating more or less one to two weeks between late January to mid-February. The entire event takes place over the course of 15-days and involves making alms and lots of praying. As a visitor and spectator, it’s mostly the shows, dancing, and music you should be on the lookout for. The dragon shows and fireworks are always a pleasant surprise for newcomers.
Dragon Boat Carnival
The next event would be non-other than the famous Dragon Boat Carnival. The event itself is actually an ancient Chinese festival but has today become a great, big, country-wide party. The event’s name is a dead giveaway on what it’s about. Basically, during the carnival, thousands of athletes compete in a 3 days intense boat race across Hong Kong’s iconic harbor. Expect lots of colors, banners, drummers, and excited spectators cheering paddlers to the finish line. During this same time, enjoy live entertainment with an ice-cold beer at the San Miguel BeerFest!
The Mid-Autumn Festival is yet another traditional Chinese event that involves praying to the moon god; thanking for a bountiful harvest. During this festival, visitors could expect lots of lanterns and light shows. After all, it’s about paying homage to the moon god. This is a festival that is about family, being thankful and enchanting lights!
WinterFest in Hong Kong
Towards the end of the year, Hong Kong sees the WinterFest; and yes, it is about Christmas celebrations. The difference is the wow factor that comes with this end-of-year celebration. Imagine a blend of Western traditions with the Eastern love of festivities! Combine the two and you get a Christmas that is multiple times brighter, merrier, and more dazzling. And when it comes to Hong Kong, it doesn’t stop at the lights and decorations but is highlighted by holiday season sales! Shopping is simply a given.
New Year Count Down
Ever thought of doing your New Year’s count down in a completely different country? Why not try Hong Kong. If you’ve already planned Christmas for Hong Kong, then stay on a few more days to celebrate New Year all in one go. New Year count down in Hong Kong is just simply amazing. Don’t miss the spectacular show of fireworks over Victoria Harbour that starts around 11 pm on the last day of December. Find a great spot that gives you a panoramic view of Hong Kong. Right on cue at midnight, the entire place erupts with a display of colorful fireworks that light up not only the sky but the waters of the harbor.
And there you go. Five Hong Kong events you simply do not want to miss. Do keep in mind that if you’re planning to visit during the festivities, most hotels would be full, especially international hotels that are popular among locals and travelers alike such as Novotel Hong Kong Nathan Road. To ensure your accommodation, book in advance whenever possible. Even when it comes to the local hotels, there might be just a room or two left to spare if you’re lucky.
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