Festivals in Hong Kong

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals in Hong Kong

Hong Kong brims with an amalgam of local, Chinese and Western festivities. Here's a list of the most pompous and happening festivals in Hong Kong.

Here is the list of 20 Festivals in Hong Kong

1. Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

The dragon boat festival in Hong Kong is a traditional holiday being observed annually for over 2,000 years now to preserve the memory of the Chinese poet and politician Qu Yuan who is known for his patriotism. It is one of the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. During this festive time, the canoes are painted in bright vibrant colors to take the form of a traditional Chinese dragon and boat races to take place.

Date - June 25th 2020

2. Hong Kong Arts Festival

Hong Kong Arts Festival, taking place in the spring month of March mostly, is the perfect gateway to imbibe the essence of culture and art of Hong Kong and other parts of the world, too. Running for over three and a half decades now, HK Arts Festival is the annual series of cultural programs showcasing the music of all sorts, theatre work, contemporary dance, chamber opera and a lot more.

Date - 18th February to 4th March 2020

3. Hong Kong Ghost Festival

Popularly known as the Hungry Ghost Festival or the Yulan Festival, this event is a culturally rich festival of the Taoists and Buddhists, taking place on the seventh lunar month on its 15th day. Lion dances, opera shows, Chiu Chow dramas, and food are the highlights of the festivity. Believing that spirits roam in the city during this month, families provide offerings to the 'ghosts', a primitive way of ancestor worship, especially by the Chiu Chow community.

Date - 15th August 2020

4. Lantern Festival

Celebrated each year on the first full moon of the lunar month, the Chinese Lantern Festival is a traditional festivity of welcoming the advent of spring. Also known as the Spring Lantern Festival, the entire city lights up with lanterns of all kinds and colors, from the road to the skies. Illuminating lantern displays is a cultural practice prevalent here along with cultural performances, for over a week.

Date - February 4th to February 9th 2020

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5. Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Cheung Chau Bun Festival, a festival emerging within the rural communities of fishermen in Hong Kong during the 18th century, is now a celebrated annual national festival, occurring on the fourth lunar month from the fifth day to the ninth day. Fishers believed that Lord Pak Tai warded off the evil spirits of the plague that devastated the Cheung Can Island. The present venue of the festival is the very Cheung Can Island, with the official bun partner Kwok Kam Kee, delivering 60,000 buns for the event.

Date - May 9th to May 13th 2020

6. Le French May

To get a glimpse of the pragmatic appearance of French flavor in Hong Kong, the Consulate General of France organizes the biggest French arts festival named Le French May Arts Festival in Hong Kong and Macau as well. Receiving thousands of visitors for the festival from around the world, the festival showcases exceptional forms of opera music, contemporary dance, multi-arts performance, french culinary, cinema, fashion - evoking the essence of France in Hong Kong.

Date - May 1st to June 14th 2020

7. Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is celebrated glamorously in Hong Kong especially around the port area of Victoria Harbor. The first day of the Lunar New Year is marked by a special Night Parade followed by the magical Firework Show which takes place late in the evening on the second day. The third and the last day of this celebration ends on a high note with the Chinese New Year Day Race which is truly fascinating to watch with the participants all geared up and dressed up in beautiful dragon and lion costumes.

Date - February 12th to February 14th 2020

8. Freespace Festival

An initiative to encourage local craftsmanship and local talents in the area, Freespace Festival is an annual event held at Hong Kong's West Kowloon Promenade area. Launched in 2012, the festival usually occurs in November or December. Freespace Festival is the perfect place for handicrafts, Cantonese poetry readings, reading clubs on grass, selling of locally produced organic crops by farmers and uninterrupted music collaborations by artists from various locations.

Date - February 15th to February 16th 2020

9. Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Harvest Festival, is celebrated every year on the full moon night of the eighth lunar month. This festival involves worshipping the moon, which is often symbolized in the community as a sign of strength and unity, followed by gathering, thanksgiving, and prayers. With tasty Mooncakes on the platter, this festival is widely celebrated in the cosmopolitan hub of Hong Kong.

Date - October 1st 2020

10. Tai O Dragon Boat Festival and Water Parade

The annual celebration of the fishermen of Tai O celebrates the Dragon Boat Water Parade on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Symbolizing respect and faith to deities of the four temple shrines in Tai O, this visually pleasing festival hosts dragon boats towards the temples of Yeung Hau, San Tsuen Tin Hau, Kwan Tai and Hung Shing with residents floating paper offerings in the waterway, too.

Date - June 25th 2020

11. Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair

Dedicated to the worship of Hung Shing, also called the King of Seven Seas, this Tai Kok Tsui temple celebrates a day-long festival in his remembrance. Initially built in Fuk Chuen Village, this temple area was later moved to Tai Kok Tsui in Mong Kok, showcasing a grand parade from the beginning the morning of the fair. With locals being all decked up in colourful costumes, performing dragon dance and traditional kung fu shows, participating in drumming and lighting beautiful lanterns, the most exquisite of all is the 18 lions dance and the 500-feet luminous night dragon dance.

Date - March 1st 2020

12. Hong Kong Film Festival

With Hong Kong having an innate knowledge and passion for art and craftsmanship, the famous Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), occurring annually in this city, is one of the biggest platforms for emerging filmmakers to showcase their piece of work amidst thousands and thousands of eyes. With an average of 250 titles from more than 50 countries all over the world, this festival is a grand celebration of filmmaking in different genres, from different social strata.

Date - March 24th April 6th 2020

13. Christmas and New Year in Hong Kong

Hong Kong celebrates Christmas, one of the largest celebrations that occur in the country, with prom and grandeur. A travel delight for most tourists, the entire country is lit up in colors, lanterns, exquisite shopping experiences, the ravishing Winterfest. Visitors indulge in a walk through Disneyland, church visits and delicious gourmet Christmas dinners. With New Year around the corner, the celebrations continue till New Year's in Hong Kong.

Date - December 25th 2020 and January 1st 2021

14. Tin Hau Festival

Every year, in its third lunar month, this city celebrates the goddess of the sea, Tin Hau which keeps Hong Kong aka 'Fragrant Harbour' safe. The best visuals that Tin Hau festival shows are it's the extremely colorful lion, dragon and unicorn dances, the loud rhythmic sounds of cymbals and drums, the bright dresses and exuberant city gatherings. With myths coming to life, the never-to-miss is the Hakka Unicorn dance in Hong Kong which will surely take your breath away!

Date - April 27th 2020

15. Chinese Opera Festival

Chinese Opera is an enriched art form, performed vibrantly in all parts of the country. The festival of Chinese musical theatre is a perfect amalgamation of folk art forms like songs, dances, acrobatics, make-up art, and costume. Organized by Leisure and Cultural Services Departments, the cultural journey will be exhilarating amidst the rhythms of Kun, Peking and Yun Opera and also local Cantonese Opera (part of Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from UNESCO).

Dates TBA

16. Computer Festival

Hong Kong welcomes you to the event which is solely dedicated to the gizmo and technology lovers of this city! The Hong Kong Computer and Communications Festival, is spreading among the enthusiasts all the awareness and pieces of information about updated software, latest technologies, cheap digital buys and a lot more. A complete paradise for the residents, this exhibition cum festival now a robust event in the country.

Date - July 25th to July 28th 2020

17. Well-Wishing Festival

Hong Kong's Well Wishing festival continues to be one of the most colorful celebrations during the lunar New Year in Hong Kong. An age-old surviving tradition, the Well Wishing festival in Lam Tsuen of Hong Kong attracts tourists and locals into a mammoth celebration. This festivity includes a lion dance, parades, bursting firecrackers, well-wishing carnivals and never to forget, the Well Wishing lanterns and the enigma of the Wishing trees.

Date - January 25th to February 9th 2020

18. Buddha Bathing Festival

The festival entitled to the ultimate preacher of Buddhism, Lord Gautum Buddha is the Buddha Bathing Festival, happening on the birthday of Lord Buddha. Celebrated each year on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, this festival is a national holiday in this region with all monasteries decked up in grandeur. Symbolizing the enlightenment of Lord Buddha, lanterns are lit all around the city along with offerings and incense. Evoking the emotions of purification of the soul, this bath festival in Hong Kong is one of the most spiritual gatherings you will come across.

Date - April 30th 2020

19. Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival

Hong Kong is one of the most popular regions in the world, best known for its extravagant culinary approach. The Hong Kong wine and dine festival is one such opening for food lovers where they can find hundreds of booths filled with food from all over the world, along with exceptional wine collections. This four-day-long festival staged against the backdrop of the elegant victoria harbor, is a magnificent celebration of food in Hong Kong.

Date - Late October to Early November 2020

20. Ching Ming Festival

The 2,500 years old festival of Hong Kong is the Ching Ming festival, also famously called the Sweeping Tomb festival. This culturally rich Chinese festival is now celebrated as a public holiday where people spend their time cleaning the tombs of their ancestors, showing respect. To make their ancestral relations comfortable, Chinese during this time offers food and weeds in the monuments along with the burning of paper imitations for their ancestors, which are often believed as luxuries which will be later used by the ancestors in their afterlife.

Date - April 4th 2020

How many of these festivals in Hong Kong have you been to? Share you experiences in the comments below!

This post was published by Sreyashi Paul

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