January – February
Chinese New Year Festivities
Kick-start the new year in auspicious circumstances and get ready to let loose at Hong Kong’s raucous Chinese New Year celebrations. The annual Chinese New Year Night Parade welcomes tens of thousands of revellers into Hong Kong’s city streets for a spectacular procession of coloured floats and exuberant streets dancers, all snaking their way around the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Even if you miss out on the parade, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy some breathtaking pyrotechnics or a traditional temple visit during festivities lasting up to a fortnight.
Late February – Early March
The Hong Kong Arts Festival
One of the premier cultural events on the city’s crowded calendar, the Hong Kong Arts Festival was founded in 1973 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. Featuring a constantly evolving calendar of classical and Chinese music, operas, dramas and dance numbers, this popular month-long festival is one of Asia’s principal performance art events.
Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
It’s not often the spotlight of world sport shines on Hong Kong, but when the Rugby World Sevens rolls into town, it does so in front of some of the city’s most enthusiastic crowds. Played out of the 40,000-capacity Hong Kong Stadium, the Hong Kong leg of the IRB Sevens World Series is arguably the most popular on the world tour. Showcasing the very best of international sevens rugby, this three-day extravaganza is a fun-filled weekend every time it takes place.
A traditional Chinese holiday widely observed across Hong Kong, this Confucian festival sees many of the city’s residents turn out en masse to honour the dead at cemeteries throughout the city. Though sweeping graves and lighting incense in memory of the departed may seem a sombre affair, there’s also a sense of regeneration among those who choose to picnic underneath sunny Springtime skies amid newly tended gravesites.
June - July
Hong Kong Summer Spectacular
The Hong Kong Summer Spectacular is undoubtedly one of the high points of Hong Kong's jam-packed cultural calendar, as the city gets set to ring in the hot summer months with a raucous city-wide celebration. Highlights include Hong Kong's annual Tuen Ng and International Dragon Boat races, as well as a fun-filled Beer and Music festival.
Dragon Boat Carnival
Beginning with the annual Tuen Ng festivities in early June and culminating in the wildly popular International Dragon Boat Races a week later, the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival attracts hundreds of spectators to the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront Promenade. These sleek, traditional paddleboats tear across the water at tremendous speed, providing a thrilling spectacle to the teeming hordes of spectators massed along the shore.
Lan Kwai Fong Beer and Music Fest
What better way to slake a summer thirst than with a selection of over 100 beers from more than 30 different countries, all washed down to the strains of an eclectic range of live musical performances? The Lan Kwai Fong Beer and Music Fest has firmly established itself as a Hong Kong summer favourite, helping transform this cooler-than-cool district into the place to party away the city's long hot summer nights.
Hungry Ghost Festival
The seventh month of the lunar calendar conjures spiritual overtones in Chinese culture, for that’s when hungry ghosts are said to roam the earth in search of food and entertainment. The Hungry Ghost Festival – or Yu Lan in Cantonese – sees many residents aim to appease their spiritual ancestors with offerings of food, entertainment and even faux money. The local Chiu Chow community even runs its own month-long Yu Lan festivities, burning incense and traditional joss money, performing pious Chinese operas and distributing rice in aid of placating any hungry wandering souls.
Generally commencing in September each year, this popular Chinese celebration commemorates the brightest moon of the year. As in many other Asian cities, it began as a fairly traditional harvest festival but today, the colourful lanterns, fiery dragon costumes and ubiquitous mooncakes mark it out as a contemporary celebration of an age-old ritual conceived to thank the moon for a bountiful harvest.
Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival
The four-day official Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival anchors a month-long epicurean extravaganza. Designed to showcase some of the finest international food and wines on offer in the very heart of Hong Kong, this multi-faceted event boasts wine and cheese master classes, guest lectures from internationally renowned chefs and, of course, plenty of opportunities to sample some of the most sought-after wines available in Asia.
Late November - Early January
Celebrate Christmas in inimitable Hong Kong style, as the city gears up for Winterfest and its annual Yuletide celebrations. Running from late November until the new year explodes into action on January 1, this four-week celebration sees the city festooned with Christmas decorations and festive ornaments, while carollers regale late-night shoppers with traditional noëls in celebration of one of Hong Kong's most festive times of year.