Chinese New Year celebrations
The single most important event of the year, Chinese New Year sees Hong Kong come alive with a series of colourful street processions, night parades and food stalls spread across the city. Skyscrapers are dressed with giant neon greeting cards, elaborate firework displays are held over the harbour and there’s a distinctive buzz permeating every street corner and road-side kiosk. Fragrant flower markets are set up all over town and horse racing enthusiasts come together to cheer on their favourite jockeys at the New Year Race Day. Usually falling between mid Jan and Feb (23rd January 2012), on the first full moon, this is a great time to visit and get involved in the festivities. Check out the dragon dances in the New Years Day parade, party amidst elaborate floats and street performers or set off on a harbour cruise and watch the celebrations from the water.
Dragon Boat Festival
Inspiring, culturally significant and incredibly entertaining, the Dragon Boat Festival witness’s teams from across the world arrive in Hong Kong to battle it out on Victoria Harbour in their intricate and beautifully decorated boats. Commemorating the drowning of Chinese hero Qu Yuan, this is one of the most popular and atmospheric events in the Chinese calendar and usually falls in June. Join the crowd lined up along the Tsim Tsa Tsui promenade to see the boats speed past and cheer on their favourite teams, before heading off in search of sustenance at one of the delicious food stalls set up along the city streets. (The exact date of this festival in 2012 is yet to be announced).
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Unique to Hong Kong, the Bun Festival sees every inch of Cheung Chau Island covered in handcrafted Chinese buns. One of the more eccentric events held in Hong Kong, this festival has its roots in local folklore and is believed to ward off evil spirits and plague. Between April and May every year, three enormous bamboo towers laden with pink and white Chinese buns and effigies of the gods form the focus of the festivities. After a day-long procession which features children wearing elaborate costumes being paraded through the crowd on stilts, locals race up the towers at the stroke of midnight and compete to collect as many buns as possible – the winner being blessed with good luck for the rest of the year. Enter into the carnival spirit and enjoy a taste of true Hong Kong culture.
Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
A festival of an entirely different sort, Hong Kong’s Rugby Sevens championship is an internationally renowned sporting event where world-class players from 24 different countries and regions across the globe descend on the city to compete in Asia’s top rugby tournament. First held in 1976, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is a popular occasion amongst ex-pats and locals alike, and usually culminates in a massive party that goes on well into the early hours. Some don fancy dress for the festivities whilst others go simply to see some fantastic rugby…the level of participation is entirely up to you. Taking place this year on the 23-25th March we are able to source a full day out at the 7’s for you, with private dining facilities and VIP tickets to boot.
BEST OF THE REST:
- Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival (date yet to be announced)
- Wine & Dine Month (Oct-Nov 2012, exact date yet to be announced)
- Hong Kong International Races (Dec 2012)