CHRISTMAS SEASON IS OFFICIALLY HERE & IT’S WINTERFEST 2014 IN HK!!!
And nope, I’m not too early at all… Come on, we all know that the week after the Halloween candy goes on sale, the Christmas songs are going to be busting out of the speakers and radios.
Another telltalesign? The red cups hashtag is trending and all their seasonal holiday drinks have returned to Starbucks! Peppermint mocha heaven… And well, at home, Mariah is already telling me she’s wanting me for Christmas.
Anyhoo, moving on to grander and bigger things…
What happens during holiday season in Hong Kong? Do people celebrate Hong Kong with the big turkey dinner and family gatherings? Well, yes and no. Read on to find out what to expect for your Christmas in Hong Kong!
Do people in HK celebrate Christmas?
Short answer is yes, albeit a little differently than what you probably have in mind (and excluding the Christians and Catholics in HK).
Here in HK, it’s less of a family oriented holiday (not like Winter Solstice or Mid-Autumn Festival), rather it’s more about having fun with friends and possibly family, taking photos of all the Christmas lights in Hong Kong, and perhaps going to a Christmas event. Perhaps in HK, Christmas as I see it is more of a commercial holiday and taking photos of all the Christmas lights in Hong Kong is a key activity.
Is Christmas a public holiday?
Both Christmas Day and the day after, Boxing Day (Dec 25 and 26) are HK public holidays, and at the discretion of your employer… you usually get off a bit early on Christmas Eve (Dec 24).
Do they eat turkey at home on Christmas Day?
Well, no because most ordinary HK homes don’t have an oven so they wouldn’t be able to cook the turkey. Even if they had an oven, it probably would be quite small and they wouldn’t be able to fit the bird in. Christmas Dinner is with family but you will then watch a movie or appreciate those Christmas Lights after.
Most HK people will go out to eat, but turkey dinners are $600+ HKD (for those expats); therefore, instead, they will Western cuisine such as Pizzahut (it’s branded as upscale in HK), Spaghetti House, Outback Steakhouse, etc.
What do people do?
They really like those Christmas Lights and to take pictures of those Christmas Lights.
Here are a couple of places that without fail, year after year, will have a display of lights that you can take pictures with that people anticipate for:
HARBOUR CITY in Tsim Sha Tsui
CANTON ROAD in Tsim Sha Tsui
EAST TSIM SHA TSUI, along the promenade of Avenue of the Stars
NORTH STATUE SQUARE, near Mandarin Oriental in Central
And also without fail, most malls will have an elaborate to very elaborate Christmas decor so you can take pictures. Places this year include:
MARITIME SQUARE at Tsing Yi (Frozen themed)
1881 HERITAGE at Tsim Sha Tsui
LANDMARK at Central (Mini Paris themed)
IFC at Central
FESTIVAL WALK at Kowloon Tong
TIMES SQUARE at Causeway Bay
What are some of the Christmas Events in HK?
According to the Discover Hong Kong site, there are quite a few things happening during the holiday season (mostly for children). Here are my personally curated highlights from their list:
HONG KONG HARBIN ICE FESTIVAL (Oct 1, 2014 – Jan 4, 2015)
The Hong Kong Harbin Ice Festival constructed along Tai Tong Shan Road, Yuen Long covers a total area of 290,000 sq. The whole venue will display a variety of patterns with different color lightings, in order for our visitors to feel as if they are in fairyland. A wide diversity of plentiful activities including the largest indoor ice exhibition hall, all kinds of skill game booths, giant inflatable zone, Kart City and a variety of talent shows will allow our visitors to have an enjoyable time with their families.
LOVE CHRISTMAS AT THE PEAK (Nov – Dec 2014)
This Christmas, The Peak Tower will be immersed in a ‘Love Christmas’ theme , starting from the beginning of your journey at the Peak Tram Terminus, where carol singers and cheering performers will greet you . Then you can soar up to Sky Terrace 428 and express your love on a wishing card hanging on a giant heart overlooking Hong Kong.
CHRISTMAS IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT AT DISNEYLAND (Nov 13 onwards)
Enjoy the awe-inspiring blend of seasonal lighting and music as we paint the Christmas Tree with the magic of snow falling on Main Street, U.S.A. Join us in celebrating another “Frozen” season with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna, and the all-new puppet show about Olaf and Sven in their search for Summer. This Christmas, we have the most fabulous range of new “Frozen” and Duffy & ShellieMay merchandise, and themed food that will thrill and delight every one. How could you possibly resist?
NOAH’S ARK (Dec 6, 2014 – Jan 1, 2015)
An amazing carnival full of surprises is waiting for you this winter! An out-of-the-box stage performance that blends Broadway-style musicals and creative magic shows will premier in Hong Kong to bring a roar of applause! An array of Christmas ‘edutainment’ activities will be available for your kids’ enjoyment.
OCEAN PARK CHRISTMAS SENSATION (Dec 13, 2014 – Jan 4, 2015)
Immerse yourself in a twinkling sea of eco-friendly lights in rainbow colours to see the park’s favourite attractions aglow in glistening festive illumination! Doraemon and friends all dress up in their festive finery to bring a joyful Christmas party to Whiskers Harbour!
THE NUTCRACKER BALLET (Dec 19-21, 24-28, 2014)
Tiptoe through a silent house with Clara and Fritz…everyone else is asleep but little do they know that these children are about to set off on a magical adventure! As the snow falls outside, Clara and Fritz step into the dream world of a dolls’ house and make friends with the family inside. Suddenly Clara and Fritz find themselves in the middle of a great battle; can the heroic Nutcracker conquer the dastardly Rat King and his army?
SMOO, SMOOMANDER AND SIR GOOFY CHAN WISHES EVERYBODY A MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!