Hong Kong has been the center of attention for its colorful and ancient festivals to date. The city itself hosts of a variety of events, authentic Hong Kong food, historic locations, shopping and much more. Hong Kong, similar to China has a variety of different festivals that mark the annual celebration of harvest, a significant person’s birthday or marking the anniversary of an important deity or figure. The festivities fall upon the Lunar calendar that is celebrated each year. For visitors, traveling to Hong Kong to witness the colors, sights and sounds of the festivals, mark your calendars as there will be more festivals to celebrate before 2013 comes to an end.
In September, Hong Kong pays tribute to the mid-autumn festival, honoring the ancient Chinese harvest ritual by developing luminous lanterns and eating moon cakes. Traditionally, the festival was celebrated by the gathering of the peoples under a glowing full moon. The festival has been dated back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) where people make offerings of alcohol and foods to the moon god as their undying gratitude for a successful harvest. Fast forward to the present, the rituals have slightly changed to accommodate the glamour of developing intricate lanterns, fire dragons and a wide arrange of festival foods. The festival runs from September 14-22, 2013.
Another festival to be enjoyed on September 9, 2013 is the revered Monkey God festival. The Monkey God, first appearing in the Ming Dynasty (1386-1644) novel, Journey to the West, this character has been renowned across the globe and used in different media interpretations. The Monkey God was born from a mystical stone on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits. Through Taoist practices, he gained supernatural powers but in doing so, he rebelled against Heaven. His punishment was to be trapped under the mountain until he was later freed by a monk, Xuanzang. Redeeming himself, he followed Xuanzang to India to retrieve the sacred Buddhist scriptures back to China.
In modern times to honor the Monkey God, people bring burning incense and paper offerings to the Monkey God Temple at Po Tat Estate in Sau Mau Ping in Kowloon.
For visitors interested in culinary exploration, in November Hong Kong will host its very own Wine and Dine festival. The festival hosts world-class culinary delights for 4 days boasting a myriad of exquisitely cooked foods and expensive beverages. In 2012, the festival was honored with more than 188,000 visitors and this year, the number projected is to be much higher. Not only does the festival contain world class cuisine, the event will contain live music and entertainment to boost the ambiance. The festival will be held at the New Central Harbourfront, in view of overlooking Hong Kong’s vibrant downtown and Victoria Harbour.
Whether the occasion is spiritual or simply for entertainment purposes, Hong Kong does not deny its visitors of a good show or an unforgettable experience. During this time, many participating hotels in Kowloon in Kowloon can be booked now to experience these events. Although visitors cannot participate in these named events, do not worry; Hong Kong contains many festivals scattered throughout the year, according to the sacred Lunar calendar. The city is sure to not disappoint would-be travelers looking for a take away memory etched in their minds.
- Photo credit: smartphotostock.com
Maria M. Clear is a travel blogger and runs her very own travel website. Maria has a strong affinity in studying religious practices from different countries and documents them in her journal. As of the present, Maria is retired and resides in Singapore with her husband and three children, going on local adventures and travel tours across the country.