Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Hong Kong in February 2019

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Lobby of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula. Photo Credit: FLalkf20.

Hong Kong Travel

If February is one of the coldest and driest months of the year in Hong Kong, it is also also one of the most festive! Chinese New Year falls in early February, and the Hong Kong Arts Festival gets underway toward the end of the month. And so much is happening in between!

What to Do in Hong Kong in February

The usually mild temps, low humidity, and infrequent rainfall make February one of the best months to go sightseeing in Hong Kong. Outdoor activities – such as hiking and bicycling – can usually also be enjoyed.

What you might not know is this: nearly half of Hong Kong’s territory is undeveloped, and much of it is cross-crossed with well-maintained hiking trails.

It is even popular to go swimming in February – but not for the faint of heart!

If you’re willing to brave the chilly waters, Deep Water Bay on the South Side of Hong Kong Island remain open year round, with lifeguards on duty from 8 am to 5 pm in the month of February.

The swimming pontoons, however, are currently undergoing maintenance and won’t be reinstalled until March.

A handful of public swimming pool – both indoor and outdoor – are also open to the public in February.

February Festivals, Holidays, and Special Events

Chinese New Year

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The Harbour City shopping mall at Ocean Terminal in Kowloon will welcome the Year of the Pig with the “HAPPIG New Year” celebration until 19 February 2019. Photo Credit: Harbour City.

The date of Chinese New Year varies from year to year because it is based on the traditional Lunar Calendar rather than the Gregorian Calendar, which is now in universal use around the world.

Chinese New Year can fall as early as 21 January and as late as 20 February. It falls on 5 February this year.

Hong Kong experiences a mass exodus during Chinese New Year, as residents head to China for family reunions or to take holidays in other countries.

The outflow, however, is counter-balanced by as even larger influx of visitors from China, who flood Hong Kong’s shopping malls and its many tourist attractions.

The first three days of Chinese New Year are official holidays in Hong Kong, and schools, banks, and most offices close in celebration of the festival.

Many street stalls and small businesses – especially those that are family run – will close for a few days at Chinese New Year, as well. For most larger businesses, however, it is business as usual.

You will find, in fact, that many of the stores and shops at Hong Kong’s ubiquitous shopping malls have big sales during Chinese New Year – so expect them to be crowded with bargain-hunters!

Most shopping malls in Hong Kong are already decked out with extravagant Chinese New Year decorations, which will remain up until mid- to late February.

Hong Kong Disneyland

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The Three Little Pigs are taking centre stage during Year of the Pig Chinese New Year celebrations at Hong Kong Disneyland. Photo Credit: HKDL.

Hong Kong Disneyland got a head-start on Chinese New Year, putting up festive decorations along Main Street, U.S.A., on 17 January.

In celebration of the Year of the Pig, the Three Little Pigs are donning traditional Chinese garb and joining Mickey and Minnie Mouse is greeting park-goers throughout the theme park.

Food and beverage outlets throughout the park and at the Hong Kong Disneyland’s three hotels are also serving special CNY-themed dishes and set menus.

Disney fans visiting Disneyland from 5 to 9 February will receive lai see packets as they enter the park.

At Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island in the New Territories. Until 24 February.

Ocean Park

Not to be outdone, Ocean Park is staging a park-wide Lunar Lucky Fiesta.

The entire park has been festooned with Chinese New Year decorations, and food and beverage outlets are serving CNY snacks and dishes.

McDull, Hong Kong’s lovable pig, is staring in Fishball on the Run, a whimsical musical theatre performance at Applause Pavilion.

Park-goers can have their photos taken with McDull and McMug at a Meet and Greet in Old Hong Kong.

At Ocean Park in Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island. Until 19 February.

Chinese New Year Flower Markets

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Temporary flower markets are set up in the run-up to Chinese New Year at parks across Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB).

Mandarin orange trees, orchids, daffodils, pitcher plants, lucky bamboo, peonies, and other live plants are among the flora on sale at temporary flower markets that are set up at parks throughout Hong Kong in the runup to Chinese Near Year.

Branches of cherry and plum blossoms are also for sale as well as decorations, fruit, candy, snacks, and other items.

The largest and most popular flower markets are at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island and the Fa Hui Park Flower Market in Mongkok on the Kowloon Peninsula.

There are three additional flower markets in Kowloon and 10 scattered about the New Territories.

Hong Kong Island

Victoria Park

  • MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit E, then follow the crowds along Great George Street, or
  • MTR Tin Hau Station Exit A2, turn left at exit.

Kowloon Peninsula

Fa Hui Park Flower Market

MTR Prince Edward Station Exit A, walk along Playing Field Road, then left to Sai Yee Street, then right to Boundary Street. Fa Hui Park will be on the left.

  • Cheung Sha Wan Playground in Sham Shui Po
  • Morse Park in Wong Tai Sin
  • Kwun Tong Recreation Ground in Kwun Tong

New Territories

  • Tat Tung Road Garden in Tung Chung
  • Kwai Chung Sports Ground in Kwai Tsing
  • Sha Tsui Road Playground in Tsuen Wan
  • Tin Hau Temple Plaza in Tuen Mun
  • Tung Tau Industrial Area Playground in Yuen Long
  • Shek Wu Hui Playground in the North District (between Sheung Shui and Fanling)
  • Tin Hau Temple in Fung Shui Square in Tai Po
  • Yuen Wo Playground in Sha Tin
  • Man Yee Playground in Sai Kung
  • Po Hong Park in Tseung Kwan O

At Victoria Park in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island and many other venues on Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories. From 12 noon to midnight, 30 January until 4 February. From 12 midnight to 6 am (or until flowers run out) on 5 February.

International Chinese New Year Night Parade

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One of the many colourful floats at the International Chinese New Year Parade. Photo Credit: HKTB.

Held on the first day of the Lunar New Year, the International Chinese New Year Night Parade will feature more than 30 floats as well as dragons, martial artists, marching bands, lion dancers, acrobats, and more from around the world.

From the Hong Kong Cultural Centre near the waterfront, following north along Canton Road, turning on Haiphong Road, and then South on Nathan Road to arrive  back on the waterfront by Salisbury Road, ending in front of the Sheraton Hotel Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula. From 8 pm to 9.45 pm on 5 February.

Chinese New Year Fireworks

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Fireworks over Victoria Harbour as viewed from Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula. Photo Credit: Harbour City.

The skies over Victoria Harbour explode in a spectacular pyrotechnic display of rockets launched from a fleet of boats and barges anchored in the heart of Victoria Harbour.

Crowds line both sides of the harbour, and many food and beverage outlets with views of the Victoria Harbour offer Chinese New Year set menus.

The breathtaking show lasts approximately 25 to 30 minutes.

Over Victoria Harbour, visible from along the waterfront of both sides of the harbour. At 8 pm on 6 February.

Birthday of Che Kung

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Celebrants visit Che Kung Temple hoping to attract good luck in the New Year. Photo Credit: HKTB.

Falling on the second day of the Lunar New Year, Che Kung’s Birthday is one of four Che Kung festivals each year celebrated at Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin.

The festival draws approximately 100,000 people each year, paying tribute to the Song Dynasty general. They twirl the good luck wheel of fortune and beat drums to ensure good fortune in the new year.

At 7 Che Kung Temple Road in Tai Wai in the New Territories. On 6 February.

Chinese New Year Raceday

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Actress Charmaine Sheh and singer Hana Kuk will appear at Chinese New Year Race Day at the Sha Tin Racecourse. Photo Credit: Hong Kong Jockey Club.

If Hong Kong has a national sport, it is horse-racing, and the biggest fixture of the year falls on the third day of the Chinese New Year.

There will be more than horse racing on Chinese New Year Race Day. Featured events will include lion dancing, a celebrity show, and appearances by star jockeys.

Popular actress Charmaine Sheh will join the Opening Ceremony at Sha Tin Racecourse and play games with racing fans, and singer Hana Kuk will perform Chinese New Year classics.

Feng Shui Master Lee Shing Chak will share his fortune tips with racegoers. They will join our jockeys to celebrate the festival and wish everyone a year of winning fortunes.

At Sha Tin Racecourse in the New Territories. On 7 February.

The Asia Horse Week

Several conferences on topics such as breeding, welfare, sport, and horse education will be held during the second edition of The Asia Horse Week.

At AsiaWorld-Expo on Lantau Island in the New Territories. On 14 and 15 February.

Masters of Hong Kong

The seventh edition of the Hong Kong leg of the Masters Series will feature spectacular equestrian performances by the world’s top show jumping riders and horses.

At Asia Word Expo on Lantau Island in the New Territories. From 15 to 17 February.

Hong Kong Marathon

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Running through the streets of Hong Kong during the Hong Kong Marathon. Photo Credit: Tom@HK.

Tens of thousands of running enthusiasts will compete for glory in the Hong Kong Marathon, which is now in its 22nd year. A record of 11,000 runners from overseas competed last year.

At various venues on Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories. On 17 February.

Spring Lantern Festival

The Spring Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities. It is celebrated with colourful lanterns, which are hung from restaurants, shops, and markets.

One of the largest official celebrations is organized by the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department, with colourful displays and activities.

At the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Plaza iin Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula. From 7.30 pm to 10 pm on 19 February.

Hong Kong Arts Festival

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Lobby of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula. Photo Credit: FLalkf20.

More than 1,700 artists from around the world will take to the stage in 166 performances in Asia’s largest international festival of the performing arts.

Established in 1973, the Hong Kong Arts Festival presents a combination of both local and overseas acts, with an equal representation of traditional and contemporary works.

Concurrent with the festival is HKAF Plus, which presents more than 300 educational activities to students as well as the community at large.

Highlights of the 47th annual Hong Kong Arts Festival will include …

  • Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan’s 45th Anniversary Gala Programme Retrospectives of Lin Hwai-min’s Works;
  • Jockey Club Local Creative Talents Series Always by Your Side;
  • Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier’s The Nutcracker;
  • Beijing Li Liuyi Theatre Studio’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark;
  • Gangsters of Hong Kong written by Loong Man-hong and directed by Lee Chun-chow;
  • The Fuel, Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, and Royal & Derngate Northampton co-production Touching the Void;
  • Wagner’s Tannhäuser, produced by Oper Leipzig;
  • Geoff Sobelle’s HOME;
  • Li Biao Percussion Group’s P is for PERCUSSION! Family Concert;
  • Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier’s The World of John Neumeier; and Theatre Re’s The Nature of Forgetting.

At Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Sha Tin Town Hall, and many other venues on Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories. From 21 February to 23 March.

Xiqu Centre Opens in West Kowloon

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Designed by Revery Architecture and Ronald Lu & Partners, the design of Xiqu Centre was inspired by traditional Chinese lanterns, blending traditional and contemporary elements to reflect the evolving nature of Chinese opera. Photo Credit: West Kowloon Cultural District.

Xiqu Centre, the first performing arts venue to open in the West Kowloon Cultural District.

The official grand opening was held in late January. Guided tours, exhibitions, film screenings, and performances are now taking place.

Xiqu Centre is an eight-story building whose goal is to promote traditional Chinese theatre. Xiqu is Mandarin for traditional Chinese opera.

Here’s a quick overview of what the building comprises …

  • Atrium – at the entrance to the centre is a large circular atrium with a podium with shops as well as spaces for exhibitions and performance.
  • Grand Theatre – a world-class performance venue designed for the staging of traditional Chinese opera. Seating 1,073 people, the Grand Theatre is located on the centre’s top floor.
  • Tea House Theatre – located on the first floor, it is a flexible space targeted at small-scale productions. In addition to seats are small tables, so that attendees can be served tea and dim sum. Seats up to 200 people, it is reminiscent of a traditional Chinese tea house.
  • Seminar Hall – an auditorium designed for education and audience building.  It seats 108 people.
  • Studios – located on the second floor are eight studios for rehearsals, including one that has the same dimensions as the stage of the Grand Theatre.

Xiqu Centre is the first of several performance venues and museums that will eventually comprise the West Kowloon Cultural District.

At 88 Austin Road West, at the intersection of Canton Road and Austin Road on the Eastern edge of the West Kowloon Cultural District on the Kowloon Peninsula. It is a five-minute walk from the Austin MTR Station (Exit F) and approximately two minutes from Express Rail Link Hong Kong West Kowloon Station (Exit G).

On-going Events in February

The following events got underway in January but will continue into February or beyond.

AIA Carnival

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The Great Circus of Europe at the AIA Carnival. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

With amusement park rides, carnival games, quick bites, and the Great Circus of Europe, which features the world’s strongest man, the rubber man, a cloud swing, the London Showgirls, and more, the AIA Carnival draws massive crowds during its 66-day run, which began on 14 December.

On the waterfront in Central on Hong Kong Island. Runs through 17 February 2019.

The Dragon and the Eagle

With artifacts borrowed from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Harvard Business School, and other prestigious institutions, The Dragon and the Eagle: American Traders in China, A Century of Trade from 1784 to 1900, explores the history of Sino-American trade in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

At the Hong Kong Maritime Museum on the waterfront in Central on Hong Kong Island. Runs through 14 April 2019.

Year-round Hong Kong Attractions

Some of the most popular Hong Kong points of interest can be visited year round. This is what will make them special in February 2019 …

The Peak

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Victoria Harbour as viewed from the Peak on Hong Kong Island. Photo Credit: HKTB.

With clear skies much of the time, February is a great time to visit The Peak.

Take The Peak Tram from the Lower Terminus on Garden Road in Central. Go shopping, have something to eat, and take a walk along the 3.5-kilometre Peak Circle Walk.

You will witness breathtaking views of mountainous terrain, stunning seascapes,  spectacular Victoria Harbour, and the Kowloon Peninsula.

Don’t leave your camera or smartphone at home!

From Central to The Peak on Hong Kong Island. Best to avoid Sundays and holidays.

Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

Cool temps make it a great time to walk along the Kowloon waterfront from the Star Ferry to Hong Hum for amazing views of Victoria Harbour and picture-postcard views of the  skyline on Hong Kong Island.

On the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula. Any time day or night.

Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival

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The exterior walls of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre are bathed in creating lighting during the Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival. Photo Credit: HKTB.

A special winter edition of the Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival features more colour than usual with additional ambient lighting effects and pyrotechnic effects from the rooftops of some of the buildings on specific nights.

Best viewed at Bauhinia Square in Wanchai on Hong Kong Island, along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade on the Kowloon Peninsula, or on board  a tour boat cruising through Victoria Harbour.

Country Parks

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A rest stop at Lantau South Country Park in the New Territorires. Photo Credit: HKTB.

Hong Kong is often thought of as a concrete jungle, but despite its reputation as being one of the world’s most densely populated cities, it also has a surprising amount of protected parkland.

This parkland, which accounts for roughly one-half of Hong Kong’s landmass, is crisscrossed with well-maintained hiking trails.

Low temps and low humidity make February a good time to explore this road less traveled.

On Hong Kong Island and the New Territories.

February Weather in Hong Kong

The coldest months of the year in Hong Kong are January and February, with an average high of 19 degrees Celsius, or 66 degrees Fahrenheit. The average low is 14 degrees Celsius, or 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

Occasional cold snaps, however, can cause the temperature to plummet well below 10 degrees Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit – even lower in the New Territories, where frost and sub-zero temperatures have been occasionally recorded.

February tends to have a bit more rainfall than January, but it is also the year’s least humid month, averaging just 70% against 74% for January. January has an average of five rainy days, vs. six for February. The actual amount of rainfall, however, is much higher.

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