Hong Kong set to entertain in 2019
Hong Kong is set for a massive 2019 with a calendar that is jam-packed with events and festivals to suit every visitor. Join the action and experience a different side of Asia’s world city…
29 November-24 February: Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival
For three months visitors and locals will be treated to a sparkling lineup of light-filled free festivities and visual feasts. Regarded as the largest open-air light festival in Hong Kong, the festival will feature an array of glowing installations by artists from across the globe, and complimented by a winter edition of the nightly “A Symphony of Lights” light-and-music show.
5 February: The International Chinese New Year Night Parade
Regarded as Hong Kong’s largest and most colourful festival, visitors and locals alike will be caught up in the energy and atmosphere of Chinese New Year, Hong Kong style. Squeeze into temples to pray for good fortune, browse festive markets selling auspicious foods and blooms, take in the red lanterns that adorn the city or sit back and enjoy one of Hong Kong’s most anticipated annual events, the International Chinese New Year Night Parade.
17 February: Hong Kong Marathon
Elite runners from around the world will compete in Hong Kong’s largest outdoor sporting event, the Hong Kong Marathon. The event has seen huge growth in popularity since its conception in 1997 when just 1,000 competitors participated, to now attracting tens of thousands of participants last year. It is expected to be even bigger this year with a full marathon, a half marathon and a 10km run taking competitors past some of the best urban scenery Asia’s world city has to offer. The fierce competition is just as exciting for spectators as it is for runners, with the 42.195km full marathon starting in the scenic Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon, racing up into the New Territories and heading back down to a spectacular finish in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island.
19-20 January: Hong Kong 100
Hong Kong 100 is an ultra endurance race and part of the prestigious Ultra-Trail® World Tour (UTWT). The race was first held in 2011 and has quickly become one of the most popular events in the global trail running calendar. The 100km course is based around Hong Kong’s famous MacLehose Trail and covers some of the most beautiful countryside scenery in Hong Kong, with panoramic views of the busy city, making for a unique way to experience Hong Kong. The race has been elevated to the Series level in the UTWT, making it the only Series event in Asia.
1-31 March: Hong Kong Arts Month
Every March the city hosts the annual Hong Kong Arts Month, where local and overseas artists converge to deliver inspiring programmes including exhibitions, dance, music, theatre and more. In addition to major international events, visitors are encouraged to take some time to explore the vibrant local neighbourhoods and art communities where art of all kinds can be discovered around every corner.
10 March: Formula E Hong Kong E-Prix
The 2019 Hong Kong E-Prix will see a range of electrifying new features added to its programme as 22 drivers from 11 teams take to Hong Kong’s iconic harbourfront street circuit on Sunday 10 March. Spearheaded by the debut of the long-awaited Formula E Gen2 car, which has almost double the range and energy storage capacity of the previous car, fans will be among the first in the region to witness the future of everyday electric road vehicles. With no mid-race car swap, a new team in the HWA RACELAB, and Nissan e.dams replacing Renault, fans can expect more action on track than ever before.
29-31 March: Art Basel
Art Basel is an international art fair with three shows staged annually in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach, Florida; and Hong Kong. Each show is organised into sectors which showcase contemporary artworks by established and newly emerging artists. Underlining Art Basel’s commitment to the region, half of the participating galleries once again have exhibition spaces in Asia and Asia-Pacific. The show provides an in-depth overview of the region’s diversity through both historical material and cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists.
5-7 April: Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
The world’s greatest rugby players will descend on the vibrant city of Hong Kong for the forty-fourth Rugby Sevens tournament in April. The roar of more than 120,000 passionate spectators will engulf the stadium to create an electric atmosphere as international teams battle it out for glory and honour. The three day event will be held at Hong Kong’s largest outdoor sports venue, Hong Kong Stadium. Located amongst the foothills in the south of Causeway Bay, the stadium delivers picturesque surrounds with easy access via the MTR (Hong Kong’s railway system), plus loads of surrounding restaurants and bars where visitors can refuel. However, the party doesn’t stop there with the whole city embracing the excitement, from fancy dress costumes and the Fan Zone in Central to special dedicated events, don’t miss the Rugby fiesta.
9-13 May: Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Every year the people of Cheung Chau get busy making papier-mâché effigies of deities, preparing costumes, baking buns and building a bamboo tower as they’re preparing to welcome thousands of people for the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. The festival originated following a plague that devastated Cheung Chau in the late Qing dynasty (1644–1911). The islanders built an altar in front of the Pak Tai Temple and petitioned the god Pak Tai to drive off the evil spirits besieging the island. The plague ended after the performance of these Taoist rituals and 100 years later the rituals are still performed in a festival that is listed as an intangible part of China’s cultural heritage. The week-long event includes Taoist ceremonies and music, a parade, lion dances, drum beating and an exciting bun scrambling competition.
14-16 June: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival
In June, local and international teams will descend on the buzzing city of Hong Kong for the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival. It celebrates the Tuen Ng Festival, which dates back 2,000 years and commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese national hero. This highlight event takes place on Victoria Harbour where fierce-looking dragon boats compete in a lively colourful spectacle. Teams of 12-28 paddlers race the elaborately decorated dragon boats, to the beat of heavy drums and encouragement of spectators.
July/August: Summer Fun
Hong Kong shines in summer with an array of events and activities scattered throughout Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Discover local bites in hidden neighbourhoods, local art installations, join a themed tour or just relax in one of the many public spaces. Shop, eat and play.
August: e-Sports and Music Festival Hong Kong
Witness top gamers from around the world competing in Hong Kong to be crowned best of the best. The three-day event is packed with world-class e-sports tournaments, and the latest games, products, and a host of music and entertainment at the Experience Zone.
September-July: Horse racing
Hong Kong’s racing season starts in September and runs through to July of the following year. Meetings are held every Saturday and Sunday at Sha Tin and Wednesday nights at Happy Valley and provide a taste of the local passion for racing. Key events on the racing calendar include the Hong Kong Derby (March), the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (April) and Hong Kong International Races (December), when some of the richest racing purses in the sport attract horses and jockeys from all over the world and the competition is intense.
12-14 September: Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance
It takes 300 performers and over 24,000 incense sticks per night to continue the nineteenth century traditional of this three-day performance. The feature piece of this festival is a 67-metre dragon, which consists of 32 sections and whose head alone weighs 70kg. The festival started around 100 years ago after a series of unfortunate events including a typhoon, a plague and a python. The villagers decided the only way to stop these unfortunate events was to stage a fire dance for three days and nights during the upcoming festival. The villagers made a huge dragon from straw and covered it with incense sticks. Accompanied by drummers and erupting firecrackers, they danced for three days and three nights — and the plague disappeared. The fiery ancient ritual is still recreated and celebrated each year.
13 September: Mid Autumn Festival
“May we live long and share the beauty of the moon together, even if we are hundreds of miles apart” – this quote, from a historical Chinese poem, has formed the underlining foundation for the Mid Autumn Festival which centres around the moon. The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates unity in Chinese culture which is symbolised through the round shape of the full moon. Dating back to the early Tang dynasty (618–907), families would gather to make offerings of osmanthus-flavoured wine, spherical fruits such as pears, grapes, pomegranates and of course mooncakes to the heavens, to express gratitude for a strong harvest as well as enjoy a reunion with relatives who live far away. Mooncakes are believed to have originated from Yuan-dynasty (1271–1368) revolutionaries, who are said to have used the pastries to pass secret messages between each other. Traditionally, mooncakes are infused with embedded egg yolks and lotus seed paste, although Hong Kong now offers a variety of combinations for all taste buds.
Celebrate all things cycling in Hong Kong with the Hong Kong Cyclothon. With a mixture of amateur and professional races and rides, the event allows participants to push themselves to the utmost or enjoy the city’s scenery on long leisurely rides, while locals and visitors alike cheer on competitive cyclists from around the world and enjoy the carnival festivities.
October: Wine and Dine Festival
The Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival brings together world-class food, drinks and entertainment right next to the stunning Victoria Harbour skyline. Aside from wine-pairing meals designed by master chefs and tasting classes by industry experts, there are more than 400 booths featuring everything from single malts to craft beer to keep your palate refreshed.
1-30 November: Great November Feast
Set your tongue tingling with the Hong Kong Great November Feast, a month-long series of gourmet happenings, with everything from special tasting menus and world-class wine and spirit expos, to Michelin stared food stalls and local gastronomy tours.
31 December: Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations
Hong Kong knows how to party and New Year’s Eve celebrations are no exception. Every New Year’s Eve the radiant Victoria Harbour is the belle of the ball for Hong Kong’s spectacular countdown. With multimedia and pyrotechnic displays every 15 minutes from 11pm, bursts of shimmering lights will shower Hong Kong bidding farewell to 2019 and welcoming in 2020.
For further information on the 2019 event/festival highlights visit:
For general events/festivals visit:
Please note specific dates are subject to change so please check the above websites for further confirmation.
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