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Top Festivals in Hong Kong

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Pretty much every district of Hong Kong offers something to visitors, from the sights and sounds of Victoria Bay to the hustle and bustle of Soho. There is always something going on within easy reach of your Hong Kong hotel. Travellers making for Hong Kong regularly cite Chinese New Year as being one of the main reasons for visiting, and the festival is a truly spectacular experience. The Chinese New Year festival takes the form of three days of celebrating and Hong Kong is illuminated by a huge firework show hosted in Victoria Harbour.

Second only in size to Chinese New Year is the Mid-Autumn Festival, a celebration of Chinese history and the major event of the overthrow of their Mongolian rulers. More fireworks about and dragon dances are sure to please, plus there are huge amounts of great food to indulge in. Be aware though that Hong Kong hotels are in greater demand around this festival so be sure to book ahead.

Hong Kong boasts some famous sporting events and festivals as well, and each year in late March the island welcomes visitors from around the world to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament. The competition is arguably Hong Kong’s biggest sports festival and is a great way to experience sport in an unusual environment.

Staying in a Hong Kong hotel is the perfect way to relax and unwind following a long-haul flight, and some of the accommodation in the downtown Kowloon district is as fine as anywhere in the world. Another of the island’s popular celebrations is the Hong Kong Arts Festival, which lasts for a whole month from late February until the end of March each year. This event attracts famous performers from across the world of entertainment, and incorporates all styles of music, from orchestral to Cantonese opera, blues to jazz.

March in Hong Kong also means Hung Shing Water Festival at Mui Wo Beach where tourists can mingle with local fisherman and villagers as they launch candle lanterns onto the water and light paper lanterns which are released into the starry sky at night. Mui Wo Beach also offers travellers the chance to take part in many different local village cultural practices.

Springtime in Hong Kong sees a couple of festivals which are as popular with the locals as they are with visiting tourists. In April tourists and natives alike gather at cemeteries for the Ching Ming festival, a family-oriented event where people visit their ancestors’ graves and leave gifts and offerings for them. Typical things to leave include food and drink and most people leave some incense burning at the graveside in tribute.

On the back of the Ching Ming event is the Tin Hau Festival, a piece of Hong Kong folklore turned into a public celebration. Tin Hau is the saint said to protect fisherman and as such the harbours around Hong Kong hotels are filled with hundreds of colourful dows and boats which transport festival-goers around the various Tin Hau temples of the island to wish for good luck.