- CALL NOW
TO BOOK YOUR TRIP
01 433 1040
021 236 4638
Chinese New Year
When it comes to Chinese New Year celebrations, nobody does it better than Hong Kong. The streets are jammed with dragon dancers, street performers and illuminated floats. Doors are hung with colourful messages of good fortune and lights are draped over all the city's skyscrapers. Markets and temples become magical places filled with flowers, incense and celebration. The highlight of the festivities is the glittering night parade that is complemented by special lighting effects and concluded by traditional fireworks over the harbour, which is said to scare away demons and ensure good luck. Chinese New Year is a truly special time to visit Hong Kong and allows visitors to see the city at its most glittering, vibrant and colourful. Hong Kong's celebrations run for much longer than the three days usually set aside for Chinese New Year on official calendars; in 2013 Hong Kong is celebrating from the 4th to the 23rd of February, which gives tourists an extended window in which to plan their trips. Chinese New Year is Hong Kong's biggest event and it is attracting more and more foreigners every year.
Hong Kong Arts Festival
As a major international arts festival and the city's premier arts event of the year, the Hong Kong Arts Festival presents a fabulous assortment of music, theatre, dance and a wide range of creative visual arts by top international and local performers. The festival is renowned for the richness and diversity of its programme, ranging from classic entertainment to modern and innovative forms of performing arts. For example, the 2013 programme showcases an Australian chamber orchestra, Chinese opera, a French orchestra, American ballet, Chinese theatre, British theatre and numerous solo performers from various countries. The festival is opened with the Piazza Party that is a special open-air extravaganza of music, dancing and free entertainment. The Hong Kong Arts Festival also sees unofficial performances springing up all over the city, with street musicians and performers adding to the atmosphere, and smaller art and theatre venues contributing their own artistic gems. For lovers of the arts this festival is an exciting international event showcasing some of the very best that the world, and especially Hong Kong, has to offer.
Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng)
The Dragon Boat festival commemorates the death of a national hero, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in protest against the corrupt rulers of the 3rd century. Legend has it that the villagers threw rice dumplings into the river and beat drums to scare the fish away from his body in an attempt to rescue him. There are many variations of this myth but the main festival activities today bring to mind the event, as rice dumplings are eaten and teams of local and international racers compete in fast and furious dragon boat races to the pounding of drums, as well as competing in various other water-based activities. The elaborately carved, brightly painted dragon boats are the highlight of the festivities, combining heritage, sport and spectacle. It has become quite a prestigious sporting event and teams come from foreign countries and clubs to compete; recently the event attracted nearly 5,000 athletes, representing 180 clubs and 20 countries. The Dragon Boat Festival is also a huge party and the Victoria Harbour event attracts around 400,000 spectators all intent on a good time. The festivities in Victoria Harbour are the main event in Hong Kong, but the festival is celebrated all over China and some races are held in rivers in the New Territories as well.
One of the major festivals celebrated in Hong Kong, the Moon Festival is also one of the most widely celebrated festivals for Chinese all over the world, and is traditionally a time for family reunions. At this time of year the moon is thought to be the biggest, brightest and most beautiful, and to celebrate this sighting colourful lanterns in a variety of traditional shapes are lit and all open spaces and hilltops are crowded with families and bright lanterns, watching the full moon rise and eating traditional sweet moon cakes. As with many Chinese celebrations there are numerous ancient myths and legends to explain the festival. In Hong Kong the traditional ceremony retains its charm but the city also adds its own modern, neon touches to festivities, with light and laser shows and impressive exhibits. Moonlight cruises in Victoria Harbour are a popular Moon Festival activity and a delightful way to experience the bright lights and floating lanterns - not to mention the full moon over the harbour. For more information contact the Hong Kong Tourist Office Association on +852 2807 6543 or email
Hungry Ghost Festival (Yue Lan)
It is believed that the gates of the underworld open for a month, once a year, and the discontented and vengeful ghosts of those who died without proper funeral rites, who met a violent death, or whose living relatives neglected their after-life spirits, roam the earth looking to satisfy their hunger for attention and peace. The purpose of the festival is to prevent these ghosts from inflicting harm on the living in order to gratify their needs, and so elaborate religious parades with food offerings fill the streets, and roadside fires are built to burn gifts of money and crafted paper objects such as cars or furniture to appease the wandering ghosts. Various types of entertainment also take place to keep them happy. The festival's origins are similar to Halloween but the Chinese culture of ancestor worship makes it a far more personal festival in some ways; families often leave out food for their lost loved ones. One of the main highlights of the festival is the Chinese opera; operas in honour of the dead and showcasing their great deeds in life are performed all over the city. For more information contact the Hong Kong Tourist Office Association on +852 2807 6543 or
Hong Kong Sevens
The Hong Kong Sevens is one of the biggest sporting events in the city and one of the most exciting rugby events on the international calendar. Top national teams compete in this famed event while enthusiastic spectators whoop it up in the stands, particularly in the legendary South Stand party, where the music blares and the beer flows among the outrageously dressed fans intent on enjoying the rugby as well as having a good time. All the world's best rugby nations compete in the event and the competition is furiously contested. The games are short (15 minutes long) and fast - quite different to regular rugby matches - and the atmosphere for spectators is more light-hearted and festive than in big international matches. 40,000 spectators can pack into the stadium but this is just the centre of festivities and the event spurs a kind or carnival all over the city, with the party spilling into the streets and venues of Hong Kong. In 2013, due to its popularity, the event has been expanded to include a whopping 28 international teams which will be divided into two seperate competitions: the main event in which 16 teams participate; and a pre-qualification tournament involving 12 teams.
Hong Kong Summer Spectacular
Hong Kong is synonymous with shopping, so it is only fitting that the city would choose to dedicate a festival to it. Special offers and big sales are in abundance, from retailers to restaurants across the city. The diverse shopping experience features a host of summer events and promotions. The festival lasts the whole of the peak summer period in Hong Kong and incorporates the Hong Kong Spring/Summer Fashion Week. The celebrations of the sizzling season also incorporate the Dragon Boast Festival, which is a very popular event at Victoria Harbour and a giant party for spectators. And some big music events and international concerts are always staged in Hong Kong during this period. The whole city comes alive with celebrations, sales, special deals and events during the Hong Kong Summer Spectacular, which has become a general celebration of summer and all that the city has to offer - it is no coincidence that it occurs in the busiest months of the year. For many people, however, it remains first and foremost a shopping and fashion extravaganza and the best time to find bargains in Hong Kong's famous variety of shops.