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Hong Kong Island of Festivals

By Lek Boonlert Subscribe to RSS | November 28th 2011 | Views:
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1. Chinese New Year. The most famous of the island’s big annual events and a more significant celebration since the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule, if you happen to be in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year you cannot fail to have a good time. The event takes the form of three days of feasting, partying and celebrating and the island’s night skies are awash with spectacular fireworks. Best experienced on the waterfront at either Victoria Harbour or one of the island’s other main bays.

2. Chinese history and the island’s heritage are present in Hong Kong’s second largest event, the Mid-Autumn Festival. A smaller scale version of Chinese New Year but still complete with dancing paper dragons in the street and fireworks up above, Mid-Autumn celebrates the Chinese people’s overthrow of their Mongolian overlords and is another feast of food, music and street parties. Hong Kong hotels can be in great demand at this time of year so it can be worth reserving in advance.

3. The Duan Wu, or Dragon Boat Festival, is considered by many visitors to be the most fun and exciting event to be held on Hong Kong each year. The celebration dates back almost 2,000 years and today is a typical mass of feasting, eating and live music in the streets and Hong Kong hotels. The highlight of the event is the Dragon Boat race itself, where as many as eighty oarsmen race long wooden boats about the harbours of Hong Kong. Visitors are allowed to take part in the races too but they are not for the faint-hearted!

4. For a more sedate side of Hong Kong culture, the Tin Hau Festival is the polar opposite of the Dragon Boat Festival. The celebration of Tin Hau recognises the saint who brings good luck to the island’s fishermen and the event itself is based on hundreds of boats carrying people from temple to temple around the island’s coast to give blessings to the saint.

5. Another of Hong Kong’s more cultural and less hectic events is the Ching Ming Festival, a very family-based event which acknowledges and celebrates the achievements and lives of one’s ancestors. Hong Kong locals tour the island’s cemeteries and graveyards to present offerings to their dead relatives and burn incense in tribute. Tourists are welcome to attend and observe this fascinating insight into local history and culture.

6. Hong Kong hotels are always busy and bustling around the time of the Hong Kong Arts Festival which takes place from the end of February until the end of March each year. The event has now been running for over 30 years and has grown in popularity each year, attracting such massive names in world music to play as Yo-Yo Ma, Jose Carreras and the Paris Opera Ballet. This event is a must for culture vultures.

7. Careful not to leave out something for sporting fans, Hong Kong is also home to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament, a celebration of rugby where touring major nations get to pit themselves against the local Hong Kong and Macau sides. This is perhaps Hong Kong’s largest sporting event and another occasion when Hong Kong hotels get very full!

Lek Boonlert - About Author:
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Hong Kong Hotels content.

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