Arrivals & Departures Hong Kong gets festive: Top events in 2018

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

The colourful Chinese New Year, Rugby Sevens and dragon dancing: this year there'll be a jam-packed calendar of events for anyone heading to, or passing through, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Marathon 

January 21

Elite runners from around the world will compete in Hong Kong's largest outdoor sporting event, which attracts tens of thousands of participants. 

Options include a half marathon, 10km run and the full marathon starting in 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.

Chinese New Year 

February 16-18 

Regarded as Hong Kong's largest and most colourful festival, the Chinese New Year celebrations are beloved by visitors and locals alike. 

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 the International Chinese New Year Night Parade.

Hong Kong Arts Month 

March 1-31 

Hong Kong's flourishing arts scene is on show in March with events including opera, ballet, art installations and seminars.

Art Basel 

March 29-31 

The international art fair that visits Basel in Switzerland, Miami Beach in Florida and Hong Kong each year showcases contemporary works by established and emerging artists. This year will see 248 premier galleries from 32 countries and territories.

Rugby Sevens 

April 6-8 

More than 120,000 spectators will cheer on world-class rugby players over three days for the 43rd Rugby Sevens.

Cheung Chau Bun Festival 

May 9-23

Every year the people of Cheung Chau get busy making papier-mache effigies of deities, preparing costumes, baking buns and building a bamboo tower to welcome thousands of people for the Cheung Chau Bun Festival.

Dragon Boat Carnival 

June 22-24

Come June 22, Victoria Harbour will be the playground for fierce-looking dragon boats. Raced by local and international teams of 12-28 paddlers, they will be urged on by the beat of heavy drums and spectators.

Horse racing 

September to July 

Hong Kong's racing season starts in September and runs to July. Key events include the Hong Kong Derby in March, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in April and Hong Kong International Races in December.

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance 

September 23-25

Some 300 performers and more than 24,000 incense sticks are requied each night to continue the 19th century tradition at the heart of this three-day performance. It features a 67m dragon with a 48kg head.

Mid Autumn Festival 

September 24

This festival centers around the moon and dates back to the early Tang dynasty, when families make offerings of osmanthus-flavoured wine, spherical fruits such as pears, grapes and pomegranates, and mooncakes.

Traditionally, mooncakes are infused with egg yolks and lotus seed paste, although Hong Kong bakers now offer a variety of combinations to tempt all taste buds.

Cyclothon 

October

A mixture of amateur and professional races and leisurely rides through the city.

Wine and Dine Festival 

October 25-28

Enjoy food, drinks and entertainment with a view of the Victoria Harbour skyline at this festival. There will be wine-pairing meals, tasting classes and more than 400 booths featuring everything from single malts to craft beer.

Formula E Hong Kong E-Prix 

December

The latest innovations in electric vehicle technology will be on show and racing. There’s even FanBoost, which allows fans to give drivers an extra boost of power during the race.

Winterfest 

December 1 to January 1

The Statue Square Christmas Tree will sparkle in the city, while Victoria Harbour will light up with two nightly multimedia shows, A Symphony of Lights and the Hong Kong Pulse Light Show.

New Year Countdown Celebrations 

December 31 

Every New Year's Eve, Victoria Harbour lights up with multimedia and fireworks displays every 15 minutes from 11pm, while bursts of shimmering lights shower Hong Kong at midnight.

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