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Feature Story

Christmas Extravaganza in Hong Kong



Covid-19 restrictions notwithstanding,Hong Kong is set to celebrate Christmas and New Year with gusto this month. CityLife gives a rundown on all the festive activities taking place across the city.
 

Christmas in Hong Kong is unlike anywhere else in Asia – a unique combination of ecumenical revelry and secular festive celebrations in equal portions; the city’s substantial Christian community, whether Catholic or Protestant, and its pervasive shopping culture befitting its moniker as a shopping Mecca, means only one thing- Christmas crosses boundaries and ethnic lines in Hong Kong and the city goes all out to celebrate Christmas, spiritually and commercially.

And the prelude to Christmas comes early,  with yule tide decorations and lighting displays appearing in early November, gathering pace until the city is transformed into a winter wonderland – with high-rise building draped in glittering lights;  shopping malls decked out in red, green and gold, outdoing each other in Christmas décor and nativity scenes, events, performances, and sale promotions; restaurants offering gastronomic Christmas meals; caroling groups out and about singing all the favourite Christmas songs; and legion of Santa Clauses, stout and otherwise, injecting joy and happiness to all they come across. In the process, Christmas has become a real boost to the city’s retail economy, with some stores relying on up to half of its business from Christmas sales.

Above all, though, Christmas is still a most religious occasion which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Whatever Christmas means to you, the city’s festive spirit is infectious and joyous, making it one of the happiest and most festive holidays of the year So, join us as we countdown our holiday celebrations and best of all, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Christmas Bazaars, Fairs and Markets: Picking out gifts and knick-knacks for family and friends at Christmas markets is always good fun. Several of these markets are organized by the various expatriate community groups, and some contribute part of their proceeds to charities, and all are worth visiting and browsing around to soak in the yuletide spirit.

1 Stanley Plaza Christmas Market: Taking place over three weekends, this popular Christmas market offers crafts, holiday gifts, yummy treats, and knick-knacks from a wide range of vendors. Be sure to check out the waterfront and other parts of Stanley too while there.

 

11-12 December; 19-19 December; 24 - 27 December; 10-8 pm

Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, Hong Kong

2 Prestige Christmas Fair at the Conrad- Prestige Lifestyle and Gifts Fair: This longstanding fair is one of the largest gift fairs of its kind in Hong Kong. The hotel’s grand ballroom is turned into a smorgasbord of jewellery and accessories, fashion items, handcrafts, housewares, gourmet treats and stylish toys from all over the world.  

9 December Thursday; from 10 am

Ballroom, Conrad Hong Kong; 88 Queensway Admiralty, Hong Kong

 

 

3 Swire Properties White Christmas Street Fair: Pick up cool Christmas gifts while helping with charity -what’s not to like. This street fair on Tong Chong Street is turned onto “Santa’s Whimsical Factory” with fancy toys and tasty treats. YOU can even make your own gifts too. Part of the proceeds will go to Operation Santa Claus which supports designated local charities.

2-3 December, 12-9pm; 3-4 December, 1-7 pm

Taikoo Place, Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

 

4 Discovery Bay Sunday Markets: This idyllic Christmas market feature handmade products and handicraft items by local businesses. While there, be sure to check out the plaza and the beach nearby for a nice day out.

DB Plaza, Discovery Bay Road, Discovery Bay, Lantau

17 and 19 December, 11am to 6pm

 

 

Lights and More Lights. In a city already famous for its light displays on high-rise buildings,the Christmas period illuminates Hong Kong and its iconic harbour into one gigantic lighting extravaganza.
1.Victoria Harbourfront: We suggest you take a walk along either the Central and Wanchai Harbourfront promenade or the Avenue of Stars on Tsim Sha Tsui to soak in all the glittering lighting works

 


2. Tsim Sha Tsui East: Each year,the buildings along the waterfront of Tsim Sha Tsui East are lit up with colourful Christmas lighting displays during December,replete with a slate of dazzling lighting displays. This year,in cooperation with Disney,the gigantic LED screens covering the facades of Tsim Sha Tusi Centre and Empire Building will be themed with Disney characters and images,creating a fantastic and enchanting display.

 


3.Lee Tung Avenue: The chic and trendy Lee Tung Avenue puts on a enthralling lighting dispaly during Christmas. Expect the same this year with the Disney themed“Shine Like A Princess”lighting display and more.
 

Shopping Malls–themed displays,markets and holiday sales: You can count on every shopping mall to put on its best face for Christmas,with ever fancier and more elaborate decorations,themed displays,performances,promotional events and blow-out sales!There is no better time to shop and be treats to delightful visual treats. During Christmas,one can argue the shopping mall becomes the de facto gathering place for Christmas. While way too many to mention them all,notable shopping malls worth visiting include:


1.Harbour City: The Christmas installation at Harbour City has become an institution,eagerly anticipated and visited by thousands. This year,the giant shopping mall is adopting a Charity Christmas Bear as its icon. In addition to the entrance to Ocean Terminal,it also is using its Ocean Terminal Extension Deck and Lawn for other bear related displays,all of which make for excellent Instagram spots.


2.City Plaza: The popular characters from the hit movie Monster Inc will take centre stage at City Plaza in Tai Koo Shing with its Merry GIFTmas with Monster Inc thematic display. Have fun shopping and getting gobbled up by lovable creatures.
 

3.tmt Plaza at Tuen Mun: This large regional plaza will don Disney paraphernalia with its Disney Magical Snowy Christmas plus a plethora of promotional events to attract shoppers and visitors alike.


4.MegaBox: Harry Potter,arguably the most iconic character from the land of fantasy helps herald in Christmas at the MegaBox. Harry Porter in the Wizarding World show cases the magic and wizardly fantasy of Harry Potter and his pals while soaking in the festive shopping ambience.

 


5.Pacific Place: Head out to Pacific Place at Admiralty for a real winter Christmas feel at its Mt. Christmas Resort with the adorable Yeti family. Check out the one-of-a-kind AR Santa experience and a virtual skiing adventure.
 

 

Performances: A rich line-up of performances of all genres await in celebration of Christmas. They range from the perennial beloved ballet,The Nutcracker,to the Christmas Fantasia concert by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra,to the A Thankful Christmas,a concert by the Hong Kong Oratorio Society,and many more. Check out our Calendar section for more events.


Attractions: Every Christmas,the city’s major attractions and amusement parks such as Disneyland Hong Kong and Ocean Park will showcase entertaining themes to celebrate Christmas;expect the same for this Christmas,including Ngong Ping 360’s Chocolate Christmas Carnival in collaboration with Venchi,the chocolate confectioner.

 


Churches: The city’s hundreds of churches will be hosting various mass and other Christmas church services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrating the birth of Jesus. Whatever your language preference and denomination,there are plenty of choose from. Some of the more well-known or historical include:
1.St. John’s Cathedral: The city’s oldest and most famous church will be hosting mass to its Anglican Church faithful and any other worshippers. Take a stroll around the grounds and admire its architecture and its solitude in the heart of the city.


2.St. Joseph: This iconic Catholic Church on Garden Road above Central is also a haven for Filipino domestic helpers as it offers mass in Tagalog,plus English as well.


3.St. Andrews Church: This historic Anglican church in Tsim Sha Tsui offers English services to it faithful both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

 


4.Methodist International Church Hong Kong: One of the more visible Methodist churches in the city enjoys a spanking new facility with its recently completed redeveloped building in Wanchai. The church offers multi-lingual services and will also be putting up nativity scenes as part of its celebration.
 

 

 

Christmas Giving:
1.Operation Santa Claus: Ostensibly the city’s most well-known Christmas charity event,Operational Santa Claus is an annual charity fundraising campaign organised by South Cina Morning Post and RTHK. The proceeds of the campaign will go towards selected non-profits entities in various civic and social areas.
2.Salvation Army: Yes,after 91 years in Hong Kong,the Salvation Army is still doing good work and helping the needy. The church will be having its fund raising campaign during Christmas,give generously.


3.Make A Wish: This longstanding charity organisation supports a unique campaign of fulfilling the wishes of needy children. This year,D-Park in Discovery Park in Tsuen Wan is holding a Whishng and paining Santa Claus activities. D-Park will donate $1 every time it collects a wish from donors.


 

 

 

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