Spring in Hong Kong is a time of celebration! From salubrious weather to gratifying shopping and an array of cultural fests, the season is marked by a great zeal and enthusiasm in the ‘Asia’s World City’. Here are some popular cultural carnivals that happen to express the real essence of Hong Kong, blending its contemporary persona with ancient rituals and bizarre customs.
Birthday of Tin Hau
Hong Kong boasts an influential maritime heritage, and the Birthday of Tin Hua, the goddess of the Sea, is an annual reminder of that! The locals flock to the temples of the deity and pray for safety, security and well-being of their fishing business. One of the famous places to witness this cultural extravaganza is Shap Pat Heung in Yuen Long, where a colourful parade of fa pau (floral wreaths) takes place, followed by the lion dances and a noisy procession of brightly decorated fishing boats. It generally falls on the 23rd day of the third lunar month (11th May in 2015) and attracts a huge number of holidaymakers who buy tickets aboard flights for Hong Kong.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
The century-old Cheung Chau Bun Festival is still one of Hong Kong’s most important cultural carnivals. Held in the fourth lunar month, the week-long event sees loads of merrymaking with fascinating Taoist ceremonies, lion dances, drum beating and exciting games and competitions. The locals, dressed in cultural costumes, parade statues of deities through the narrow alleys of the island. Many unique rituals are performed to keep the real essence of the fest alive, and this is what makes it one of the world’s top, quirky local festivals. Quite naturally, a fair share of travellers who grab flight tickets’ for spring holidays in Hong Kong partakes in the carnival.
Birthday of the Buddha
Also called the Buddha Bathing Festival, it surely reflects the spiritual sides of people in Hong Kong. A number of rituals, taken from the life of Lord Buddha, are practiced and make for a unique cultural experience for those who join the festivity after disembarking their Hong Kong flights. Devotees visit the temples and pay homage to the deity by bathing statues. Various cultural performances, group chanting and holistic sessions add to its spiritual significance. Eating the special green cookies signifies the passing of the hard time in life and remains a highlighted ritual of the event!