Cheung Chau Bun Festival
If the cultural richness of Hong Kong has ever caught your fancy, you should definitely visit Cheung Chau and take a first-hand experience of Taoist ceremonies through Cheung Chau Festival.
This festival is iconic particularly to the people of the island who leave no stone unturned in making it a grand affair. The history of the festival goes back to a plague that was eradicated with the help of the rituals that are still performed here.
The celebration goes on for an entire week and involves buns, colourful costumes, a bamboo tower, a parade, and a lot of Taoist rituals and customs. Two of the highlights one should watch out for are The Bun Scrambling Competition and The Piu Sik Parade.
Month & Date: 27 April to 1 May 2020
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Quench your thirst for a cultural exploration of Hong Kong by planning your visit in the eighth lunar month because that is when the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated.
The modernization of old rituals pertaining to the harvesting season has given Hong Kong this joyful festival that is celebrated in almost all parts of the territory with great enthusiasm. Since the festivities take place on the full moon night, it is also known as the Moon Festival.
Apart from the pretty decorations in streets and marketplaces, a number of interesting cultural activities and performances are also worth checking out. Some of these include Fire Dragon Dance, Lantern Displays and Carnivals, and Folk Shows.
Celebrated At: Victoria Park, Hing Fat Street, Hong Kong
Month & Date: 1 October 2020
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Hungry Ghost Festival
If the Chinese mythology is to be believed, the seventh month in the lunar calendar is when spirits and ghosts roam freely on the earth, and humans are supposed to appease them through a set of rituals.
Making sacrifices to their ancestors is the major ritual, so the locals can be seen offering food, faux money, and other things to the ghosts of their ancestors for their afterlife. This festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar in a few countries in Southeast Asia.
A lot of other cultural performances are also organized during the festival which makes it fascinating for the visitors.
Month & Date: 2 September, 2020
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Chinese New Year
The arrival of a new year experiences delightful revelries all over the world, but the festivities of Chinese New Year in Hong Kong are a class apart with unique customs and celebratory feels engulfing the whole territory.
The kind of vibrancy this festival adds to the cityscape of Hong Kong is exciting to witness. Recent additions to the ancient customs make this period a fun-filled joyride for all. This is one of those festivals in Hong Kong that experience overwhelming participation not just by locals, but also by foreign tourists.
The celebrations span over a period of three days during which exciting spectacles like night parade, fireworks, and horse racing competition amuse people soaked in festive vibes.
Month & Date: 25 January 2020
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Spring Lantern Festival
Being in Hong Kong in the first lunar month gives you a chance to witness one of the most beautiful festivals in Hong Kong – Spring Lantern Festival.
This festival marks the first full moon of the new year and offers various kinds of treats to couples, tourists, and people seeking an opportunity to extend their festive mood. This is also the last day of the New Year extravaganza in Hong Kong, and thus experiences overwhelming participation.
Hong Kong looks pretty with colourful lanterns hung in the markets, streets, restaurants and trees. The illuminated public spaces during the festival are mesmerizing to one’s senses and can cheer anyone up.
Celebrated At: Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Month & Date: 8 February, 2020
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Tin Hau Festival
Tin Hau or the Goddess of the Sea has an unrivalled significance in the cultural and spiritual dynasty of Hong Kong, so this festival dedicated to her is naturally considered a big event by the locals.
The territory houses more than 60 Tin Hau temples, and each one of these temples displays an elating dynamism on this festival. Counted among the most colourful festivals in Hong Kong, Tin Hau Festival sums up the vivid culture of the place and demonstrates it to the world.
Parades, dances, and other cultural performances add to the festive mood of the place. Without a doubt, the Tin Hau Festival is the most recommended time to be in Hong Kong if you are interested in enriching your heart with a stimulating experience.
Celebrated At: Fung Cheung Road, Yuen Long, Hong Kong
Month & Date: 27 April, 2020
Dragon Boat Festival
It is a festival where several teams participate in a sensational race of dragon boats while the spectators cheer them up, watching the live action from the banks. Locals believe that this traditional race is being carried forward since the 3rd Century.
Whether you are a culture vulture, an adventure junkie or a photography buff who is interested in defining the soul of Hong Kong through some pictures, Dragon Boat Festival is an opportunity you should not miss out on.
Owing to the adrenaline pumping activities it brings to life, some find the Dragon Boat Festival to be one of the most exciting festivals in Hong Kong. For the most rewarding experience, you can go to Victoria Harbour and Stanley Main Beach where these races and other activities are organized.
Celebrated At: Central Harbourfront Event Space, Lung Wo Rd, Central, Hong Kong
Month & Date: 26 to 28 June 2020
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Hung Shing Festival
Falling on the 13th day of the second lunar month, Hung Shing Festival is the birthday celebration of Hung Shing Tai Wong – God of the Southern Sea. Owing to the reverence that Hung Shing enjoys here, this has to be one of the most significant among Hong Kong festivals.
This is the perfect occasion for foreigners to visit Hong Kong to absorb its festive vibes and join the locals in their celebrations. There are nearly 20 Hung Shing temples across Hong Kong where various traditional activities and shows are organized.
If you are wondering which would be the best place to witness the true spirit of this festival, the temples in Ap Lei Chau, Tai Kok Tsui, and Ho Sheung Heung are recommended.
Celebrated At: Hung Shing Temple, Fuk Tsun St, Tai Kok Tsui, Hong Kong
Month & Date: 6 March, 2020
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Qingming or Ching Ming Festival is one of the ancient Hong Kong festivals, majorly celebrated by Han Chinese in many countries in Southeast Asia.
This is another occasion involving ancestor worshipping. People go to their ancestors’ graves and tombs, sweep them, weed them, and light incense. Pouring wine on the graves of ancestors and making food offerings is also an important ritual observed by families during the festival.
If you are in Hong Kong during the third lunar month, you can join a family on their course and satisfy your curiosity regarding the local culture.
Month & Date: 4 April, 2020
Chung Yeung Festival
A memorial day cum festival that majorly involves the ritual of ancestor worshipping by congregating at cemeteries, Chung Yeung Festival is well-regarded in almost all of Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.
As it is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth moon of the Chinese lunar calendar, it is also called the Double Ninth Festival. The most important and popular custom on this day is climbing up the hills and paying homage to the graves of one’s ancestors.
A lot of families also go out on picnics and share some light moments with their dear ones on Chung Yeung Festival. Eating special cakes called “ko” in hope for heavenly rewards is also a common custom.
Month & Date: 25 October 2020
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Winter Solstice Festival
This festival is celebrated in Hong Kong on 22 December when the day is the shortest and the night is the longest. An essentially Chinese festival whose significance is derived from the concept of Yin and Yang.
Winter Solstice Festival is an occasion to inculcate a feeling of optimism and welcome light. Among the customs that characterize this day, a special family dinner is most significant, owing to which most of the good restaurants in Hong Kong remain fully booked for the evening.
The lavish dinner spread usually includes a variety of delicious Chinese dishes, each with unique auspiciousness.
Month & Date: 22 December 2020
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The birthday of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is naturally one of the greatest festivals in Hong Kong. This day is celebrated either in the month of April or May, depending on when the eighth day of the fourth lunar month falls.
All major streets and markets across Hong Kong can be seen painted in the festive shades of the occasion for at least an entire week. A lot of overseas tourists also come and participate in the festivities.
Cultural enthusiasts are suggested to visit Po Lin Monastery located on Lantau Island to learn about various rituals and witness the celebrations from a closer distance, as this temple holds an unrivalled reverence.
Celebrated At: Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Hong Kong
Month & Date: 30 April, 2020
Monkey God Festival
Celebrated all over the territory with zeal and reverence in the month of either September or October, Monkey God Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Hong Kong.
This festival is celebrated to honour Monkey God, who is a well-celebrated character in Chinese culture and mythology. In bygone times, the festival is believed to have had involved supernatural acts and many ancient rituals.
In the present times, the most commonly observed customs of Monkey God Festival are walking over hot coals, burning incense, and present offerings. For the most authentic experience, you can visit Monkey God Temple in Sau Mau Ping.
Celebrated At: Po Tat Estate, Po Lam Road, Sau Mau Ping, Hong Kong
Month & Date: 2 October 2020
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National Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China and is one of the most significant Hong Kong festivals. This is the time of the year in Hong Kong when you can see it at its vibrant best.
Although the flag-raising ceremony and parade are essential parts of the affair, it is the spectacular firework display on Victoria Harbour that steals the show. The grand celebrations attract travellers from different nooks and corners of the world come to witness the glory.
So if you plan on visiting Hong Kong during this time, make sure to get your booking done well in advance as hotels and restaurants run almost full.
Month & Date: 1 October
Christmas and New Year
This is that time of year in Hong Kong when a sense of happiness cloaks the entire region and motivates people to create some wonderful memories with their loved ones.
Along with the rest of the world, Hong Kong also observes a week-long period of revelry on the occasions of Christmas and New Year. While the prettily decorated street markets and shopping malls boom with good bargains, nights become dynamic with parties all over Hong Kong.
So, if you are planning to tour Hong Kong, it would be a wise decision to schedule the trip around this time so you can get to experience an embellished version of the territory.
Month & Date: 25 December to 31 December
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