If you’re planning a visit to Hong Kong, you need to check something first.
There is so much going on in 2018, make sure you do your homework on the festivals and events calendar so you can align your travels with some of the world class entertainment happening throughout the year.
Here’s just a taste of the extraordinary range of festivals and events on offer.
Hong Kong Sevens
Since its emergence in 1976, it has become one of the great world sports events and no-one loves it more than travelling Aussies. The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is regarded as the most exhilarating display of rugby anywhere, in any format.
The high-adrenaline 15-minute matches have produced some of the most memorable moments in rugby history.
From April 6-8 in 2018, Hong Kong Stadium will be the centrepiece of an annual sporting celebration that extends to a citywide carnival.
Ticketing info: https://hksevens.com/
Hong Kong Great November Feast
World class food is one of the great reasons to visit Hong Kong. It follows that its culinary repertoire is showcased with a number of festivals and one of the most popular is the feast month of November.
Expect everything from ethnic food fairs and food and wine tastings, to restaurant tasting menus and culinary presentations.
For more details about this and other food festivals, read our story here.
Chinese New Year
The brightest and biggest festival is a wonderful time of celebration in Hong Kong. The energy around the 15-day Chinese New Year (commences February 16, 2018) festival has the streets buzzing adorned with red lanterns and flower blooms that frame upbeat crowds, markets stalls and more.
There’s also a wonderful night float parade that attracts more than 150,000 spectators, 3000 performances and fireworks over the Harbour.
In 2018, the parade begins at 8pm on February 16 on the main streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Entertainment begins from 6pm.
Cheung Chau bun festival
On the island of Cheung Chau – an historic fishing village – a celebration first instigated to mark the end of the plague (1644-1911) these days attracts people from all over the world.
The week-long festival commences on the Buddha’s Birthday every year (May 19, 2018).
Apart from the food on offer, highlights include the creation of a giant bun tower built around a traditional bamboo frame as a gesture to the God Pak Tai to ward off evil spirits, the spectacle of paper mache representations of deities wandering through the streets, a Floating Colours Parade where children adorn costumes and supported by poles, they appear to float above the crowds and then the final “bun scrambling” competition where people clamour up the tower to find the ‘lucky buns’.
Mid Autumn Festival
Another of the Chinese festivals that boasts a long history and international appeal is the Mid Autumn Festival (September 24, 2018). Since 618, families have gathered under the full moon to make offerings to the heavens, seek bountiful harvest and reunion with friends and loved-ones.
The spherical shape has great significance in Chinese culture as symbol of unity and consequently, it plays a central role in the celebrations.
Mooncake pastries for example are everywhere at this time of year. When they originated late in the 13th century, the cakes were filled with egg yolks and lotus seed paste but today, there’s any number of creative fillings offered to set your tastebuds buzzing.
Other highlights of the festival include the celebrated Fire Dragon Dance and extensive lantern displays and carnivals across the city that mark the occasion. The biggest of them all takes place in Victoria Park.
Hong Kong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival
It might be the modern incarnation of an ancient tradition but the Dragon Boat Festival has become one giant party that’s become a permanent fixture for many international visitors.
In 2018, the event will take place on June 22-24 on the Central Harbourfront. While super fit racers ply their trade on the water, live entertainment and the widely acclaimed BeerFest offer spectators plenty of extra reason to cheer along.
Right up there with its international standing in hosting rugby, Hong Kong is also a magnet for horse racing fans with its magnificent tracks at Happy Valley on Hong Kong Island and Sha Tin in the New Territories.
The horse racing season begins in September and runs for 11 months with featured highlight races including the Hong Kong Derby, Queen Elizabeth 11 Cup and the 12 Group 1 international races that can have prizemoney of up to HK$25 million.
Night racing is extremely popular and you can catch it at Happy Valley for ‘Happy Wednesday’ meetings.
Hong Kong Arts Month
In March 2018, Hong Kong shows off its sophisticated side with a celebration of the arts right across the month. Along with seminars and exhibitions expect world class performances in opera, ballet and music.
FOR THE FULL CALENDAR OF EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN 2018, VISIT THE OFFICIAL GUIDE HERE