Hong Kong Festivals and Events
May 2013

The top Hong Kong Festivals and events for May 2013 feature an array of colorful festivals: Boat parades for the birthday of Goddess Tin Hau, Buddha bathing ceremonies, and the one-of-a-kind bun-scrambling contest at the unique Cheung Chau Bun Festival.

Here's this month's line-up:

Also check-out these popular ongoing events during May 2013:

Birthday of Tin Hau - May 2, 2013

Tin Hau  Festival Hong Kong

Tin Hau is the Goddess of the Sea, given that in the past Hong Kong was a fishing town and most everybody's lives were tied to the sea, Tin Hau is sort of the "patron saint" of the city and you can imagine that the Tin Hau Festival is a really big deal.

There will be colorful and lively celebrations including boat parades, lion dances and feasts anywhere there is a Tin Hau temple nearby, and there are over 60 in Hong Kong.

Some of the most vibrant and notorious celebrations are in Stanley, Lamma Island, and Joss House Bay which boasts the largest Tin Hau temple in Hong Kong.

The Tin Hau Festival Boat Parade in Victoria Harbour

The Tin Hau Festival Boat Parade in Victoria Harbour is sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board in conjunction with the Hong Kong Fishermen's Association. A flotilla of over 40 brightly decorated boats will sail accross the Harbour starting from Hung Hom and ending at Joss House Bay which is home to the oldest Tin Hau Temple in Hong Kong.

The Parade assembles at Kowloon Bay and proceeds to Hung Hom, Tsim Sha Tsui East / Avenue of Stars, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, North Point, Shau Kei Wan and end in Joss House Bay where it disperses.

Best places to watch are all along this route, specially the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade and the Avenue of Stars, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza and Golden Bauhinia Square on the opposite side.

When?: May 2, 2013 - 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Where?: See above for parade route and best places to watch

How Much?: Free!

The Yuen Long Tin Hau Festival Procession

Without a doubt, the Procession and Fa Pau Parade in Yuen Long with a whole array of lion and dragon dances, marching bands and cultural performances is one of the most colorful ones in the territory.

When?: May 2, 2013 - Parade at 10:00 am, Fa Pau Raffle at 3:00 pm

Where?: From Yuen Town to Tai Shu Ha

How Much?: Free!

Here's more on Hong Kong's Tin Hau Festival.

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The Cheung Chau Bun Festival - May 12 - 18, 2013

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

A very colorful and unique festival in the island of Cheung Chau, just a short ferry ride away. The Cheung Chau Bun Festival has been celebrated for hundreds of years and is dedicated to the god Pak Tai, in thanks for protecting the island and to drive away the evil spirits.

One trademark of the festival is the huge bamboo mountains covered with handmade buns which are set up near the Pak Tai Temple where the majority of the celebrations take place.

There are the parades, lion dances, the many rituals and of course lots of drumming!

This is a very lively event, not to be missed if you are in Hong Kong during this period.

When? This is a week-long celebration starting on May 12 and culminating on May 18, 2013:

Getting to Cheung Chau: 40 or 60 minutes with ferries from Central Pier #5 approx. every 30 minutes. The fast ferry is an enclosed cabin, the standard or slow one is a much more scenic way to get there on the outside decks.

For Ferry Schedule and Ticket information go to the First Ferry Website.

More on the Cheung Chau Bun Festival

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The Birthday of Lord Buddha - May 17, 2013

Buddha Birthday Festival

A celebration that will be observed at most monasteries, shrines and buddhist temples in Hong Kong to commemorate the birth of Buddha as worshippers and followers flock to the temples to pay their respects. The "Bathing of the Buddha" Ceremony is performed as part of the festivities.

One of the biggest celebrations is at the Hong Kong Big Buddha in Lantau and the nearby Po Lin Monastery.

Here's more on the Buddha Birthday.

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The Birthday of Tam Kung - May 17, 2013

Tam Kung Birthday Festival

Tam Kung, together with Tin Hau, is considered the protector of the fishermen and the seas, and so there is also a festival in his honor, on the eight day of the fourth moon, this year on the Western calendar it will be celebrated on May 17, 2013.

The festivities take place by the Tam Kung Temple in Hong Kong island and involve a large parade with the colorful dragon and lion dances, lots of drumming, acrobats and performers accompanying the floats and the procession.

When?: May 17, 2013 - 9:00 am to 2:30 pm

How to get there?: The Tam Kung Temple in Shau Kei Wan can be easily reached with the MTR: MTR Shau Kei Wan Station Exit D1, about a 5 minute walk to Tam Kung Temple Road, just follow the crowds.

Here's more on the Birthday of Tam Kung Celebrations.

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First Edition of Art Basel - Hong Kong - May 23 - 26, 2013

Art HK Hong Kong Arts Fair

ART HK, Hong Kong's Annual Arts Fair is being replaced by the first Hong Kong edition of Art Basel, elevating this already high profile Asian event to the ranks of the most prestigious platforms in the art world.

Recognised as the premier art event in Asia, this is where you get to see the latest developments in art from across Asia as well as the best from the West.
When?: May 23 - 26, 2013

Where?: The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

How Much? One Day Ticket HK 250

More Info: Art Basel Hong Kong

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Stanley Dragon Boat Warm-Up Races - May 25, 2013

Stanley Dragon Boat Warm Up Races

The Dragon Boat Festival is fast approaching and the Stanley Dragon Boat Warm Up Races are the perfect prelude to the most anticipated Dragon Boat International Championships coming up on June 12, 2013.

This is a great chance to take a peek at what is to come. The Warm Up races differ a bit from the regular races, the course is shorter and the number of paddlers is limited to 18, but although on a smaller scale, it is still a very exciting fun-filled day of dragon boat racing with the same action-packed festival atmosphere and enthusiasm as the main event.

When?: May 25, 2013, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Where?: Stanley Main Beach. Click here for more on Stanley Market, Stanley Beach and how to get there

How Much? Free!

Check out this short clip of the Stanley Dragon Boat Warm-Up Races held in the previous years:

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Ongoing Hong Kong Events for May, 2013

These are some popular ongoing events that are worth checking out, specially since they are FREE!

These events feature some of the great and ancient traditions of the territory and are offered by experts in their corresponding fields:

Hong Kong Ongoing Events: Tai Chi Class
Tai Chi Class

Hong Kong Ongoing Events: Lion Dance Demonstration
Lion Dance Demo

Hong Kong Ongoing Events: Feng Shui Class
Feng Shui Class

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The Symphony of Lights

HK Symphony of Lights

The Symphony of Lights is Hong Kong's light and sound show, a tribute to the city and its people, their diversity, energy and vitality.

The stage is the entire city, which is what makes it so unique, you can watch the lights from just about anywhere in the waterfront.

This free show offered by the city, takes place every night at 8:00 pm and lasts aboout 15 minutes.

When?: Every Night

Where?: Can be seen from both sides of Victoria Harbour

How Much? Free

Click here for more on Hong Kong's Symphony of Lights and best spots to watch.

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The Happy Valley Horse Races

Happy Valley Horse Races Happy Valley Hong Kong whether or not you are a horse racing enthusiast is an experience not to be missed!

The beautiful horses, the skillful jockeys, the crowds going wild, they all add up to an exciting, fun-filled, thrilling atmosphere in a world-class venue.

The Happy Valley race course itself is a sight in itself, the city has built around it through the years and it is now practically surrounded by skyscrapers, an awesome experience specially at night when the city is illuminated.

When?: Wednesday Nights. First race starts at 7:15 p.m. and the gates open at 5:15 p.m. The races are done by 11:00 p.m.

Where?: Happy Valley Race Course

How Much? Depends, there are many ways to experience the races, from General Stand to Private Boxes and special packages including dinner and drinks. General Stand entrance starts at HK10.

Click here for more on Happy Valley Horse Racing, how to get there and options for viewing the races.

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