Christmas in Hong Kong
- Celebrated: Dec. 24, 2013 to Dec. 25, 2013
- Location: Hong kong
For your Christmas holidays, where in the world could you go to enjoy Christmas? Surprisingly, Hong Kong often makes it among the top of the list in the world. If you are looking for entertainment, shopping, food, and glitz, and not a primarily religious experience, Hong Kong might be best for you.
Hong Kong is known for major cultural and amusement events, special, fantastic, and large Christmas displays, the lighting up of Victoria Harbor, markets and special Christmas sales, and specially prepared Christmas dinners in hotels and restaurants: check them out!
Hong Kong churches take the holiday seriously though, and whether you are Orthodox or Evangelical, most churches focus on events and special presentations on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and welcome visitors.
A special treat for tourists arriving in December is to find mild weather. It never freezes, and you might find it warm and dry!
Big Christmas Events
Hong Kong Disneyland
Disneyland on Lantau Island hosts Christmas-themed amusement and entertainment starting before Thanksgiving and ending after New Year's Day. This is a good amusement for kids especially. Main Street is transformed into a fairytale Gingerbread Village with houses plastered with sugary sweets like candy canes and gingerbread.
There is a "Let it Snow" Christmas parade with floats, dancers and entertainers and a "Parade of the Toys" with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and etc.
The Nutcracker — Hong Kong Ballet (14th–26th December, 2012)
The Nutcracker is a world-renowned operatic ballet, and it is also a special Yuletide tradition enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Set to a joyous score by the famed composer Tchaikovsky, this fairytale ballet invites the young and old alike to rediscover Christmas.
The tale begins at a party when a young girl named Clara receives a Nutcracker as a Christmas gift. The Nutcracker is transformed into the handsome Prince of Bonbon Land. The Hong Kong Ballet features sumptuous sets and costumes and live music by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.
Now there is a jazzy 21st century choreography inspired by Austrialian Terence Kohler in collaboration with Australian dramaturge Clair Sauran. Judith Yan directs the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. The performances are featured at the Grand Theatre in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre next to the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon.
Times: December 14–16 and 20–24 at 7:30 pm, and 15–16, 22–23, and 25–26 at 2:30 pm
Christmas with the Hong Kong Philharmonic (December 23rd and 24th)
The Hong Kong Philharmonic performs selections of classic Christmas pieces, such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Martin and Blane and Hansel and Gretell by Humperdinck. Traditional Christmas carols for the audience to sing are included. The Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestra is a professional HK government-sponsored orchestra.
In the days before Christmas and on Christmas Eve, groups of carollers from churches and schools walk around and sing in the parks and malls. You might spot them in Central, in Kowloon Park or elsewhere, joyously singing!
Hong Kong WinterFest (November 23, 2011 – January 1, 2012)
Hong Kong puts on a winter festival after Thanksgiving that is a highlight of the Christmas season. The American CNN network named Hong Kong's WinterFest as one of the Top 10 places to spend Christmas. Hong Kong's Symphony of Lights and Avenue of Stars pedestrian walk along the bay is known around the world.
The buildings along the harbor put on a light show with Christmas and New Year's decorations. During WinterFest, most of the the city is aglow with festive lighting, and Victoria Harbor is a dazzling sight especially when the fireworks burst on New Years Eve.
Christmas Displays and Decorations
Every shopping mall dons Christmas decorations, and the ritziest malls put up spectacular and expensive displays to draw crowds. In the recent past, 1881 Heritage near the Star Ferry Terminal, Harbour City, Langham Place, Elements Mall and the IFC Mall put up dazzling, intricate and large displays.
The Best Christmas Display
The Hong Kong Tourism Board puts on a free treat for the tourists at Statue Square, about 200 or 300 meters from the IFC Mall. The small plaza is sided by a British colonial building that affords a fine Christmas background to an epic Christmas tree. Two years ago, for example, the Swarovski jewelry company put up 20,000,000 pieces of crystal on their 30 meter-tall glass tree. Computer controlled lightning made the tree dazzling and glamorous.
In 2012 Tiffany will erect a giant 18-meter-tall blue tree. The display features festive touches such as Santa’s House, Tiffany Funland, Tiffany Candy Shop, and an enchanting fairytale-inspired 24-seat carousel.
Against the background of brightly lit skyscrapers with their own syncopating lightning decorations, the scene is a special one. The Bank of China Tower is a skyscraper that forms a shiny backdrop on one side with its own crystal-like designs.
Transport: MTR Central Station Exit K
Christmas Symphony of Lights Along Victoria Harbor
A lot of visitors like to sit along the shore at the pedestrian walk called Avenue of Stars, have a meal on a restaurant boat, or simply ride the Star Ferry during the Symphony of Lights display. Along the shore, you can hear the music from loudspeakers and the accompanying narrative. A lot of buildings put up special Christmas light displays to complement the usual lightning and visual effects architectural choreography.
A special treat might be taking the Star Ferry across the harbor. Going across takes about seven minutes and costs only about 25 US cents. Kids might enjoy the ferry ride and watching the lights shimmer on the waves. The performance starts at 8 pm and last for about 25 minutes unless the weather is stormy.
Christmas Sales and Markets
Unfortunately, unlike in other countries, there aren't pre-Christmas sales with lower prices to attract shoppers. Prices actually go up. However, the malls try to to attract customers through special Christmas displays, decorations, and entertainment. And the places to find bargains like the outdoor markets still try to compete on prices.
If you are looking for Christmas gifts on regular electronics, clothing, and other common items, the places to go to bargain for deals are Ladies Market in Mongkok (clothing, electronics, souvenirs, pets, jewelry, etc.), Temple Street in Mongkok (a variety of products plus many open-air restaurants for Chinese food), and Stanley Market in Stanley on Hong Kong Island (souvenirs).
Christmas Dinners and Food
Hong Kong is known for having more good restaurants than perhaps any other similarly-sized location in Asia (as ranked by Michelin and other such ratings bodies). Michelin listed about 257 Hong Kong restaurants on their 2011 list. The world-class 4-star and 5-star hotels in Hong Kong serve special Christmas dinners from about the 22nd of December until Christmas Day.
Many Michelin starred restaurants are quite affordable for the average tourist, though they might not have special Christmas fare per say. Check our list of restaurants on our restaurant guide.
If you'd like a luxurious meal, after seeing the Christmas tree in Statue Square, head over to the Four Season Hotel that is part of the IFC Towers complex. Now it has two Michelin 3-Star restaurants: Caprice for French cuisine and Lung King Heen for Cantonese cuisine. At least according to the Michelin guide, these are the finest Cantonese and French restaurants in Hong Kong.
For an especially Christian Christmas atmosphere for your Christmas celebration, a place to go is the Salisbury YMCA. It may be the world's ritziest YMCA. You can hear Christmas music playing in the background. There are two restaurants that feature buffets. Guests can also enjoy a great harbor view and the extensive sports facilities including a swimming pool and rock-climbing room that make the hotel fun for kids. Several churches meet there on Sundays, and there is a Christian bookstore.
Where to Live During Christmas
China Highlights has handpicked six Hong Kong hotels with great value during the Christmas 2012.
Free Christmas E-cards
Hi Liza, for hotels in HK, I recommend below the hotels:
3 star: Metropark Hotel Mongkok - Hong Kong
• Address: 22 Lai Chi Kok Road, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
• Tel: 00852-23976683 (Book this hotel, call 800-2682918)
Hotel Concourse is conveniently located in Mongkok, the city center of Hong Kong, 40 kms from Hong Kong International Airport.
4 star: YMCA of Hong Kong
• Location: Tsim Sha Tsui
• Address: 41 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon
• Tel: 00852-22687000 (Book this hotel, call 800-2682918)
The YMCA of Hong Kong is situated at the tip of Kowloon Peninsula and the business center of Tsimshatsui, with magnificent views of Victoria Houbour and Hong Kong Island.
5 star: Harbour Plaza Hong Kong
• Address: 20 Tak Fung Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
• Tel: 852-26213188 (Book this hotel, call 800-2682918)
Situated along the Whampoa waterfront, the Harbour Plaza offers spectacular views over Victoria Harbour towards Hong Kong Island and the South China Sea.
More hotels in Hongkong, please check here:http://www.chinahighlights.com/hotel/hong-kong-hotels/
Whitney Liao Replied on 2013-04-24
Hi Ruby, some young people and foreign trade companies also celebrate the Christmas in China. And their Christmas Tree are almost same as the one in western countries.Whitney Liao Replied on 2012-12-03