The holidays in Hong Kong are some of the most festive events in the world. While this vibrant city celebrates Christmas over two days, this is just part of the almost month-long WinterFest celebration that culminates with the New Year’s festivities. The heart of Hong Kong’s holiday celebrations, WinterFest takes over Statue Square with a massive Christmas tree, a nook for Santa, a children’s carousel and choirs filling the air with song. While there may not be any snow, visitors enjoy fantastic holiday displays, delicious food and an electrifying festival atmosphere.
CHRISTMAS IN HONG KONG
Although Christmas in Hong Kong is not a traditional Chinese holiday, that does not dampen the enthusiasm of Hong Kong residents. Ranked as one of the top places in the world to spend Christmas, Hong Kong is a mesmerizing fusion of Eastern and Western cultural influences. Victoria Harbor and the stunning skyline serve as the backdrop for holiday lighting displays and laser light shows, such as the Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show and the Christmas Symphony of Lights. Stroll along the waterfront Avenue of Stars or ride the Star Ferry for a closer view of the exciting audio and visual effects. As part of their holiday markets, stores and shopping malls create elaborate and expensive displays. The festive atmosphere is accentuated by the sounds of carolers that entertain the crowds in malls and parks. Hong Kong restaurants feature special Christmas menus. The day after Christmas, Boxing Day, is a holiday based on English tradition. In addition to the Christmas-themed displays and shows at Hong Kong’s amusement parks, Ngong Ping Village with its beautiful natural scenery becomes the backdrop for a large outdoor music festival.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Not to be confused with the Chinese New Year that takes place approximately a month later, the celebration is still one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. While the Hong Kong Philharmonic provides a Viennese-style performance of waltzes and polkas, the New Year’s Eve Countdown Carnival features singers, dancers, acrobats and other street performers. The Dragon and Lion Dance Extravaganza is the world’s largest parade of its kind. After visiting the clubs in Lan Kwai Fong or local street fair, join the throngs of revellers along the iconic Victoria Harbour waterfront as the New Year’s Eve countdown is accentuated by a spectacular 8-minute music and pyrotechnic display that signals the end of WinterFest. The dazzling spectacle is just one part of the thrilling holiday atmosphere as fireworks are launched from barges, skyscrapers and city landmarks. You will need to stake out a prime viewing spot well in advance of the countdown starts 60 seconds before midnight. Ask the courteous staff at the 4-star Novotel Hong Kong Nathan Road hotel for advice on where to go for the best view. You may also want to consider an elegant meal at a top restaurant that overlooks the harbour.
While Hong Kong is an incredible destination any time of year, the holidays are some of the most popular occasions to visit the city. Book your travel and accommodation early to ensure that you do not miss the colourful parades as well as the world-renowned traditional music, dances, and cuisine.