Hong Kong Festivals and Events
April 2012

Here are our top picks for Hong Kong Festivals and Events for April 2012. This month features an array of exciting and colorful festivals. Tomb sweeping at the Ching Ming Festival, colorful boat displays for the birthday of Goddess Tin Hau, the Buddha Festival and the one-of-a-kind Cheung Chau Bun Festival.

In the entertainment arena, the Hong Kong Film Awards, the Oscars of Hong Kong take place in April and the Hong Kong Film Festival wraps up this month.

Also check these Ongoing Hong Kong Culture Events during the month of April 2012 offering an array of FREE programmes ranging from tai chi classes, lion dance demonstrations, etc.

Ching Ming Festival - April 4, 2012

Hong Kong Ching Ming Festival The Ching Ming Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day is a day to worship the ancestors. Cemeteries accross the land will be crowded with thousands of worshipers carrying incense sticks and offerings of paper money, fruits and wine, as they come to pay respects to their ancestors.

Tombs are tended and swept and paper money and all other paper offerings are burned so that the deceased "receive" the essence of the burned goods.

Special attention must be paid if you will be travelling through any areas where there are cemeteries or burial grounds, specially if using public transportation as the crowds will be quite substantial and delays are guaranteed.

Hong Kong International Film Festival - March 21 - April 5, 2012

Hong Kong International Film Festival On its 36th year, this is one of Hong Kong's largest cultural events, with over 300 film screenings at Hong Kong's top venues. It is Asia's leading platform bringing together cinematic talent and fans from all over the world.

Ticket prices for screenings are quite reasonable, tickets for weekday matinee screenings for example are only HK$40 and is a great way to get to see some of Hong Kong best architecture from the inside as well!

Venues include the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong City Hall, the HK Space Museum, and the HK Science Museum.

Screening listings and full programme lineup will be announced on February 23, 2012, tickets go on sale on February 25, 2012.

More on the Hong Kong International Film Festival

Birthday of Tin Hau - April 13, 2012

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 Duk Ling, Hong Kong's beloved sampan will trail the procession.

The Parade route will start by assembling at Kowloon Bay and proceed 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 will disperse.

Best places to watch will be 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?: 13 April, 2012 Parade starts to asssemble at 11:00 and gets underway from 11:30 a.m. to approximately 2:00 p.m.

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?: 13 April, 2012 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Fa Pau Draw at 2:00 p.m.

Where?: From Yuen Town to Tai Shu Ha

How Much?: Free!

The 31st Hong Kong Film Award Ceremony - April 15, 2012

Hong Kong Film Award

On its 31st year, the Annual Hong Kong Film Award Ceremony is the Oscars of Hong Kong. Like the Academy Awards, it recognizes achievements in filmmaking and is open to Hong Kong Films longer than one hour that were released in Hong Kong within the previous calendar year.

It is a star-studded affair with prominent local celebrities that make an appearance at this most prestigious red carpet event.

When and Where? It will take place on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The Hong Kong Electronics Fair - April 13-16, 2012

Hong Kong Electronics Fair Organised by the HKTDC, this is Asia's largest Electronics Fair where innovative products are launched and where thousands of exhibitors and brands are represented. The exhibitions are spread out into zones for easy navigation i.e. Home Appliances, Electronic Gaming, Solar Technology, Personal Electronics, etc.

There is also a "Small Order Zone" where hundreds of products and samples are available in small quantities.

When?: April 13-16, 2012

Where?: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Admission: HK100 but free if you pre-register at the HKTDC website. Visitors must be over 18 years old.

For more info: HKTDC Hong Kong Eletronics Fair.

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival - April 25-29, 2012

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 culminating on April 28, 2012:

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.

The Birthday of Lord Buddha - April 28, 2012

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.

In 2012, a special celebration is planned in conjunction with the Hong Kong Buddhist Association which is organising a Grand Blessing Ceremony dedicated to all citizens of Hong Kong to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the handover to China as well as the 2556th celebration of the Buddha's Birthday.

The highlight of the celebration is the one in a lifetime opportunity to see the Buddha's Parietal-bone Relic which is being brought to Hong Kong for the first time. This relic is believed to be a part of the skull of the Supreme Buddha Sakyamuni, the only known in the world and naturally one of the highest spiritual objects in Buddhism.

When?: 25 - 29 April 2012

4:30pm - 5:30pm, 25 April;
2pm - 10:30pm, 26 April;
8am - 10:30pm, 27 - 29 April

Where?: Hong Kong Coliseum, Hung Hom

How Much?: For visitors, a limited number of free tickets (designated sessions) are available at the Hong Kong Tourism Board's Visitor Centre at Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Concourse from 23 - 29 April while stocks last. You are entitled to 2 free tickets and must bring your passport.

For details contact the official site: www.relic2012.hk

Here's more on the Buddha Birthday.

The Birthday of Tam Kung - April 28, 2012

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 April 28.

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?: April 28, 2012 - 9:00 a.m. to approximately 12:00 p.m.

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.

Lyuba: The World's Best Preserved Baby Woolly Mammoth - 12 April - 10 May, 2012

Lyuba, the world's best preserved 42,000-year-old baby woolly mammoth is on display at the IFC Mall in Hong Kong.

This priceless Ice Age relic, discovered in 2007 in present day Siberia, is estimated to have lived a mere 32 days. The body is almost 100% intact and is on display for everyone to see at the IFC Mall, just around the corner from the Apple store.

The two-foot tall baby mammoth has been brought from her home at Russia's Shemanovsky Museum. Also on loan is a huge two-ton replica of a woolly mammoth skeleton and some real skulls from now extinct animals from Lyuba's period.

When?: April 12- May 10, 2012

Where?: The International Finance Centre IFC Mall

How Much? Free!

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