Tuesday, November 10, 2015

5 Amazing Hong Kong Festivals

By Jonny Blair

I've been living in Hong Kong for almost two years now and I've been to a host of festivals in this amazing city, Here's my top 5 festivals. These are my own opinions and also in no real order of preference, to make it easier I have put them in chronological order.

1. The Time of Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is the most important one! Hong Kong is proudly Chinese and it holds a wide range of festivals during the annual Chinese New Year Festival. This includes the usual Chinese style activities such as the lion dance, traditional dressing up, countless food stalls and overall a special carnival atmosphere. The best parts of Hong Kong for CNY are Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Victoria Park. Though please note - it gets very busy!!

When? - Normally January or February (changes due to the Chinese Calendar). It lasts for a whole 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 actually a day of holiday to commemorate the death of a Chinese national hero who drowned himself in a protest, but these days it's a fun and entertaining day out rather than anything remotely morbid.

When is it? - Normally on a weekend at the start or middle of June.

3. Mid Autumn Festival!!

The mid-Autumn Festival is excellent. The weather isn't too hot. You can sample the amazing mooncake, a Chinese style cake which is only available during Mid-Autumn Festival and it comes in many varieties. My top choice of mooncake is blueberry or the white chocolate one, but also make sure you try the original one - it is made with egg inside it! At night there is a great vibe with kids playing with lanterns in the streets and everywhere lit up. As world festivals go this is quite a novelty, and this lantern craze is best witnessed in Hong Kong, because mainland Chinese people only do the traditional lanterns. In Hong Kong these lanterns can be Pokemon, elephants or anything really!

When? - Again this totally depends on the Chinese Calendar but usually end of September to early October time. It's a 1 day national holiday.

4. German Bier Festival!

So you're telling me I should go all the way to Hong Kong and then drink beer from Germany? Yes I am, mainly because this is a rare time in the Hong Kong year where the locals actually let their hair down and try to party like Europeans. It's funny watching the Chinese dance to the music of Chemical Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers and DJ Otzi! Plus it's a really amazing atmosphere. Who wouldn't want to drink beer and eat pork joints when your backdrop is countless sky scrapers and a setting sun...

When? - It normally lasts a month from the middle of October into early November.

5. Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival!!

Did you really think that Hong Kong (and a lot of Asia) doesn't enjoy the finer things in life like beer and wine? The Annual Wine and Dine Festival is a fantastic place to meet up with mates, listen to local music, try hundreds of wines and eat a selection of international foods. Plus it's a totally amazing place to watch the sunset in November!

When does it happen? - Around November time (lasting 3-4 days)

Visit Hong Kong and get to these top 5 festivals - these are just some of what Hong Kong has! There are lots more festivals in Hong Kong (for example Easter, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day, Halloween Party at Lan Kwai Fong). This city rocks and is a vibrant place for a mixture of entertainment.

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