It’s Arts Month – a Complete Guide to Hong Kong in March

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The Hong Kong Flower Festival runs from 15 to 24 March in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island. Photo Credit: CPCPEY

Hong Kong Travel

Nothing is more emblematic of spring than flowers, and the Hong Kong Flower Festival is just one of the many activities – indoors and out – that is taking place this spring. Plus: village festivals, world cinema, art fairs, and Taste Hong Kong. Check out this quick guide! 

March in Hong Kong

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The gritty streets of Kowloon provide amble fodder for photographers. Photo Credit: Phey Palma Nowadays, courtesy of the Hong Kong Affordable Art Fair.

Hong Kong has often been likened to a cultural dessert. While that judgment might seem a bit harsh, Hong Kong is certainly not in the same cultural league as New York or London or Paris.

Every winter and spring, however, Hong Kong does blossom into something of a cultural oasis.

First there is the Hong Kong Arts Festival, which runs from late February to late March. Some of the world’s greatest performing arts troupes – from symphony to ballet to opera to jazz – perform at venues on both sides of Victoria Harbour.

In early to mid-March, two important village festivals take place, and both of them celebrate an illustrious historical figure: Hung Shing!

In late March, the focus switches to the visual arts with the arrival of Hong Kong Arts Week, which started out a few years back as Art Gallery Week.

There are high-profile events such as Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central, which are aimed at both serious art collectors and the general public.

There is the Asia Contemporary Art Show, which – staged in hotel rooms rather than a large public venue – seems  more commercial in nature.

Smaller scale events such as Art Gallery Night and South Island Art Day are one-day wonders, more intimate and interactive in nature, giving attendees more of a chance to interact with each other and with artists.

Film buffs from around the region fly in for the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

The month ends with a foodie’s dream come true: Taste Hong  Kong!

What I Love

And now for my personal favourite event in March: the HKWalls Street Art Festival, which will see blank walls in yet another Hong Kong neighborhood serve as canvases to be transformed into original works of art.

image-of-hkwalls-in-shamshuipo-copyright-www.accidentaltravelwriter.net

Here I am posing in front of a painting of Leslie Cheung in an alley in Kowloon’s gritty Sham Shui Po district. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

I explored Sham Shui Po, site of an earlier year’s festival, with camera in hand, taking lots of pix. I also met some interesting people along the way, including a couple of entrepreneurs.

One had opened a coffee house called Sausalito and another a retail outlet.

One of the problems of staging an event like this in Sham Shui Po, I was told, was that not all businesses and property owners in the gritty district had bought into the concept.

“What are you up to, and what’s in it for us?” they must have wondered.

Will the community in Wanchai – which is further along in the route to gentrification – be more receptive?

I can’t wait to see what is in store for the walls of Wanchai in March 2019!

Schedule of Events

taste-hong-kong-on-the-central-waterfront

As with many of the major events held in Hong Kong, Taste Hong Kong is held on the Central Waterfront overlooking Victoria Harbour on Hong Kong Island.

Here’s a quick look at some of the cultural events and  activities taking place in March  2019. Click on the underlined titles for a direct link to their websites.

The Hong Kong Arts Festival – 21 February – 23 March

Focusing on the performing arts, the Hong Kong Arts Festival got underway in late February and will continue until late March. This is one of the largest – and oldest – international cultural events of the year in Asia.

At various venues throughout Hong Kong.

Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair – 3 March 

Honouring Hung Shing, a.k.a. the God of the Sea, this festival is celebrated by fishing communities  in Southern China.  T

The celebration at the Tai Kok Temple in Mongkok features a full day’s activities, complete with  a fashion  show, a grand parade, 18 dancing lions, and a  500-foot long illuminated dragon performing

From 10 am to 9.30 pm.

Tai Kok Tsui Temple – No. 45, Fuk Tsun St., Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

FIA Formula E Hong Kong Eprix – 10 March

The fifth leg of the next season’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship will be held against Hong Kong’s dramatic skyline along the shores of Victoria Harbour.

There will be an eVillage along Lung Wo Road and in Tamar Park with international music acts, live action big screens, games, simulators, and a kids’ area.

Food and beverage and merchandise will be sold.

Hong Kong Central Waterfront

Hong Kong Flower Show – 15 – 24 March

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The Hong Kong Flower Show in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island in 2016. Photo Credit: CPCPEY

“When Dreams Blossom” is the theme of this year’s Hong Kong Flower Show. The hibiscus is the featured flower.

From 9 am to 9 pm.

Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island.

Hung Shing Festival – 19 March

A large temporary opera house constructed of bamboo is set up near the village square each spring, with Cantonese opera and sometimes Canto-pop performances staged over two weekends.

There is also lion-dancing and other activities. Vendors set up pop-up food stands.

Ho Sheung Heung Village, near Sheung Shui, New Territories, Hong Kong.

St. Patrick’s Day – 17 March 

The fourth annual Irish Village will be held at Ocean Viewing Court, Cyberport, Hong Kong from 12 noon until “late”.

There will be a St Patrick’s Day Parade from the Observation Wheel in Central to Tamar Park in Admiralty from 3 to 5 pm.

Other informal activities will be held at venues across town – think Irish pubs!

Hong Kong International Film Festival – 18 March – 4 April 

One of the largest international film festivals in Asia, the 43rd annual Hong Kong International Film Festival will showcase Hong Kong, Chinese language, and pan-Asian films while introducing international cinema to Hong Kong audiences.

At various venues on both sides of the harbour.

Taste of Hong Kong – 21 – 24 March

A four day feast of food and drink complemented by live entertainment with celebrity chefs showcasing their signature dishes.

Please note: Taste Hong Kong is divided into lunch and dinner sessions, lasting from four to five hours each. Tickets are for one session only..

Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong Island.

Art Gallery Night – 24 March

Coordinated by the Hong Kong Art Galleries Association, Art Gallery Night will see more than 30 galleries across the SAR extending their hours with special events, performances, and cocktail receptions.

Mostly at art galleries in Central and Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island  Hours are usually extended until 8 pm.

Art Central – 27 – 31  March

Now in its fifth year, Art Central will feature works from 107 galleries in 22 countries, with 75% of them in the Asia Pacific.

There will  be six large-scale installations scattered about the fair, a series of interactive and live performances, an immersive installation, a series of daily talks and panel discussions and live music.

If you get hungry, you will have nine dining options this year. In addition to the Terrace, where eight of Hong Kong’s most popular eateries will set up food and beverage stations, there will be an a la carte eatery called Scarpetta di Daniele Sperindio.

Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong Island.

Hong Kong Art Basel – 29 – 31 March

The seventh edition of Hong Kong Art Basel will feature artworks ranging from museum quality pieces to works by emerging artists from hundreds of galleries in numerous countries around the world.

More than half of the galleries are based in the Asia Pacific, and many of them will be participating in Hong Kong Art Basel for the first time this year. Included will be paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, multiples, prints, performances – the list goes on.

Many concurrent events will take place during the festival.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, Hong Kong Island.

Asia Contemporary Art Show – 29  March – 1 April

The 14th edition of the Asia Contemporary Art Show will showcase more than 2,000 pieces of art from Asia and beyond. Included will be original paintings, sculptures, and photography, with  works by both established and emerging artists.

Intersections: China, the fourth in a “sector series”, will present dynamic and diverse works by selected galleries, artists, and artist’s collectives.

Asian Dialogues will present solo and joint presentations scattered across 20 art spaces.

 Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong Island.

HKWalls Street Art Festival – 29 March

HKWalls Street Festival is back. This year, blank spaces in Wanchai will be turned into original works of art.

Many of the murals will be painted on security shutters so they will only be visible after shops close. The artwork is permanent and will remain after the festival ends.

Related events will include exhibitions, film screenings, and public workshops. 

Wanchai, Hong Kong Island.

South Island Art Day  – 23 March 

Nearly 20 galleries and artist’s studios will open their doors, hosting exhibition openings, artists talks, art performances, and guided tours. 

In addition to the indoor events, several interactive works of art will be installed in the streets of Wong Chuk Hang.

There will be a free shuttle service  between South Island Cultural District and the Grand Hyatt in Wanchai between 10 am and 2 pm.

Selected galleries in Wong Chuk Hang and Tin Wan on Hong Kong Island.

Hong Kong March Weather

The weather in March is generally mild in terms of temperature.

The daily high averages 22 degrees Celsius, or 72 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average low of 17 degrees Celsius, or 63 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sudden cold snaps, however, are not unheard of.

With an average relative humidity of 82%, March is also one of the most humid months of the year.

There is an average of 10 rainy days in March. Usually overcast skies, however, result in an average of just three hours of sunshine per day. There is sometimes fog along the coast.

In terms of clothing, keep in mind that air-conditioning in Hong Kong is nearly universal, and settings can be high – even when the outdoor temperatures are comfortable.

So you might want to bring light jackets, sweaters, or wraps if you are attending indoor events or riding on public transport.

Visiting Hong Kong?

Why You Should Visit Hong Kong is a monthly feature in the Accidental Travel Writer.

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