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Christmas in Hong Kong — What to Do and Where in 2017

Hong Kong has one of the world's most festive Christmases. Hong Kong people celebrate Christmas perhaps the most grandly in all of East Asia. There is a two-day public holiday, and people usually enjoy dry, mild, and even sunny weather for Christmas.

See the fantastic Christmas displays, enjoy fine food, and Christmas shop. Here are details on various events in 2017.

Major Christmas Season Events

Christmas Display at New Town Plaza in Shatin There is a big Christmas display at New Town Plaza Mall in Sha Tin every year.
  • Disneyland – Christmas-themed amusement and entertainment starting from the middle of November to New Year's Day.
  • The Hong Kong Ballet – the Nutcracker is a delight for those who enjoy fine opera and ballet.
  • The Hong Kong Philharmonic – selections of classic Christmas pieces.
  • WinterFest – a variety of specials, promotions, Christmas displays, and events.
  • For the Hong Kong Symphony of Lights – the buildings feature Christmas light decorations.
  • Major displays are in the big malls and the important city squares.
  • Churches and Christians take Christmas seriously with big religious events, carol singing, and special performances.
  • Gourmet Christmas dinners are hosted by posh hotels and top gourmet restaurants.

Hong Kong WinterFest (December 1, 2017 – January 1, 2018)

The American CNN television network named the Hong Kong WinterFest as one of the Top 10 places to spend Christmas in the whole world.

Symphony of Lights showHong Kong at night

You can see the Christmas lights on dozens of buildings along Victoria Harbor choreographed in a light show with Christmas and New Year's decorations. During WinterFest, most of the the city is aglow with festive lighting and laser imagery.

Victoria Harbor is a dazzling sight especially when the fireworks bursts in the light show on New Years Eve.

Hong Kong Disneyland's "Happily Ever After Christmas" (November 16 – January 1, 2018)

Hong Kong DisneylandHong Kong Disneyland

Disneyland hosts Christmas-themed amusement and entertainment starting before Thanksgiving and ending after New Year's Day. This year, the theme park features a "Christmastime Ball" musical extravaganza, a "Magical Twilight Snowfall," and a tree lighting ceremony on Main Street, USA.

The Nutcracker — Hong Kong Ballet (December 15–17, 19–20, 22–26, 2017)

The Nutcracker is a world-renowned operatic ballet and a special Yuletide tradition enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Set to a joyous score by the famed composer Tchaikovsky, this fairy tale ballet invites the young and old alike to rediscover Christmas.

The tale begins 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. There is jazzy 21st century choreography inspired by Terence Kohler in collaboration with Australian dramaturge Clair Sauran.

  • Place: Grand Theatre in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre next to the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon.
  • Times: December 15–17, 19–20, and 22–24, 2017 at 7:30 pm; and December 16–17 and 23–26 at 2:30 pm.

Christmas for the Family, Hong Kong Philharmonic (December 23–24, 2017)

The Hong Kong Philharmonic presents a special Music for Kids. They play kids' favorite Christmas songs and classic Christmas carols for a sing along of thousands. The Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestra is a professional orchestra sponsored by the HK government.

  • Times: December 23 and 24 at 8 pm and December 24 at 3 pm.

Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show

Hong Kong Symphony of LightsHong Kong Symphony of Lights

As part of the WinterFest, this high tech laser audiovisual display dazzles the crowds in and around the plaza of the clock tower near the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui. Lasers tuned for 3D projection mapping play up pictures flying around the plaza and the adjacent buildings. It is astounding, but expect it to be crowded. It is much more popular than the regular Symphony of Lights.

  • 3D show dates: December 1, 2017 to December 28, 2017.
  • Times: 8:10pm, 8:40pm, 9:00pm and 9:40pm nightly (Starting after the Symphony of Lights, about 8 minutes per session)
  • Address: Open Piazza, Hong Kong Cultural Center, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

Christmas Symphony of Lights (Every Night at 8 pm)

Hong Kong Symphony of LightsICC Tower lighting effects

Every night during the season, you can head to Victoria Harbor and watch the free holiday light show. For Christmas, 2017, the entire show is being newly revamped and modernized. Many more lasers and LED screens will make a bigger spectacle than ever before.

The 3D Pulse Light Show makes the Christmas season the best time to watch, especially in front of the Hong Kong Cultural Center along the shore at the pedestrian walk called Avenue of Stars. where you can see both shows and hear the narrative and music from the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

You can also watch while having a meal on a restaurant boat or while simply riding the Star Ferry during the Symphony of Lights display.

Loudspeakers broadcast music and accompanying narrative. A lot of buildings display their own special Christmas light effects to complement the architectural choreography show.

New Year 2018 Firework Display

Hong Kongers like to celebrate both the Western New Year and the Chinese New Year in a big way, so if you're there near midnight on December 31, 2017, you'll see the fireworks spectacular in the New Year's countdown. Some of the same buildings involved in the Symphony of Lights take part in this spectacle, and large crowds line both sides of the harbor.

This year, some of the fireworks are from a European company, and the display starts earlier, at 11 pm. There is accompanying music, and lasers light up the atmosphere.

  • Times: Shooting stars: 11:00pm, 11:15pm, 11:30pm and 11:45pm. Main show: 12:00.

Major Christmas Displays and Decorations

Christmas, Hong KongChristmas carolers in Hong Kong

Every shopping mall dons Christmas decorations, and the ritziest malls put up spectacular and expensive displays. 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.

1881 Heritage Royal Ice Palace: the ritzy hotel on Victoria Harbor builds grand themed decorations in its front plaza each year.

Statue Square Christmas display: Every year, the best display is hosted at Statue Square by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. These are epic displays put up by big jewelry companies such as BVLGARI. The Bank of China Tower skyscraper is a shiny crystal-like mirror backdrop. Dates: December 1 – January 1, 2018.

Local Celebrations, Including Carolling

Along with these big public events, churches, millions of local people, and many businesses, restaurants, and hotels celebrate Christmas as well. Many of the excellent restaurants and hotels have Christmas celebrations and special dinners that the locals attend.

In the days before Christmas and on Christmas Eve, groups of carolers from churches and schools go around and sing in the parks and malls. You might spot groups of children, teenagers, and adults walking in Central, Kowloon Park or elsewhere, joyously singing! Music groups and orchestras also put on free concerts.

Christmas Sales and Markets

Shopping during ChristmasChristmas shopping in Hong Kong has everything but the snow.

Unfortunately, there aren't pre-Christmas sales with lower prices to attract shoppers. Instead, during the Christmas to Chinese New Year winter shopping season, prices actually go up. However, the malls try to to attract customers through special Christmas displays and entertainment.

Christmas gifts of electronics, clothing, and other common items might be bought at the street markets such as Ladies Market in Mongkok (clothing, electronics, souvenirs, pets, jewelry, etc.).

Temple Street near the harbor is where you'll find a variety of products for tourists plus many open-air restaurants for Chinese food. See Christmas Shopping in Hong Kong in 2017.

Excellent Christmas Season Dining

The Lung King HeenThe IFC's Lung King Heen is the best for Cantonese cuisine in Hong Kong. The ethereal dining area is ideal for watching the light show all around the harbor.

Hong Kong is known for having more excellent restaurants than any other similarly-sized location in Asia (as ranked by Michelin and other such ratings bodies). Many of 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.

Hong Kong has about 80 Michelin-starred restaurants in 2017, and many are quite affordable for the average tourist although they might not have special Christmas fare. Check our list of recommended restaurants on our restaurant guide.

For a more Christian atmosphere for your Christmas celebration, a place to go is the Salisbury YMCA. It has two restaurants that serve buffets. Several churches meet there on Sundays, and there is a Christian bookstore for gifts.

Touring Hong Kong / China with Us at Christmas

Tour Hong Kong with China HighlightsTouring Hong Kong with China Highlights

The last half of December is an excellent time for touring Hong Kong. The busy crowds of Chinese tourists don't arrive until Chinese New Year, and many foreigners visit during their Christmas and New Year holidays.

For your Christmas holidays, we can arrange a fine Hong Kong / China tour for you.

Recommended Customizable Tour Ideas:

Or let us help you plan a tailor-made Hong Kong tour.

Free Christmas E-cards

You can easily send Christmas cards to your family or friends (from China). China Highlights has designed some exquisite Christmas e-cards

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