Having lived in Hong Kong for a year and a half and experienced many a festival in this metropolis, I thought I’d bring you a top 5 festivals. Please note these are my opinion only and in no particular order of preference, in fact for ease I have put them in order of when they happen chronologically!
1. Chinese New Year!
The obvious one! Hong Kong is no different to other Chinese countries and it holds many massive festivals during the annual Chinese New Year Festival. This includes the lion dance, dressing up, food stalls and just a real carnival atmosphere. The best places to head are Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Victoria Park. Though beware – it gets crowded!!
When is it? – Normally January or February (depends on the Chinese Calendar). It lasts for a week!
2. Dragon Boat Carnival!
The Dragon Boat Carnival is basically a one day boat race with a difference. Boats of many varieties and types take part in a number of races and charity events throughout the waters around the city. Bring a lunch and just watch or join a local team and take part!
Officially it’s a day of holiday to commemorate the death of a Chinese national hero who drowned himself as a protest, but these days it’s fun and entertaining rather than morbid.
More information on the Hong Kong Tourism website.
When is it? – Normally on a weekend at the start or middle of June.
3. Mid Autumn Festival!
I love the mid-Autumn Festival. The weather is mild, rather than too hot. You can enjoy the amazing mooncake, a special Chinese cake which is only available this time of year and comes in many varieties. My favourite mooncake is blueberry or white chocolate, but also try the original one – it has egg in it! Aside from this there are lanterns everywhere at night, and the kids enjoy playing with custom made lanterns. Somewhat of a novelty, AND this lantern phenomenon is best witnessed in Hong Kong, as a lot of mainland China just do the traditional lanterns. In Hong Kong lanterns range from football players to frogs to Mickey Mouse to Chinese cartoons!
When is it? – Again depends on the Chinese Calendar but normally end of September time (or early October). It’s a one day national holiday.
4. German Bier Festival!
What? You’re telling me to go all the way to Hong Kong and then drink German Beer?? Yes, because this is the one time of the year that the locals let their hair down and party like Europeans. It’s fun seeing the Chinese dance to the likes of Oasis, Neil Diamond and DJ Otzi! And it’s a really fantastic atmosphere. Come on, who wouldn’t want to sip beer and eat pork knuckle with an amazing view of skyscrapers just as the sun is setting?
When is it? – It usually runs for a month from the middle of October onwards.
5. Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival
And you were thinking that Hong Kong (and most of Asia) don’t appreciate the finer things in life like wine and beer!! The Wine and Dine Festival is an excellent place to meet up, listen to music, try countless wines and eat a range of international foods. Plus an amazing place to watch the sunset in November!
When is it? – Normally November (and it only lasts 3-4 days)
So get yourself to Hong Kong and try these amazing festivals – these are just a few! There are many more festivals in Hong Kong (including Christmas, Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day and even a Halloween Party in Lan Kwai Fong). It’s a place of endless entertainment.
I have more videos on my YouTube Channel , but here’s one from the 2012 German Bier Festival: