By: Melissa Stevens
If there is one thing Hong Kong knows how to do well, it is to celebrate an occasion with a fitting amount of style and showmanship. Christmas is no exception, with the city coming to life with light shows and seasonal displays guaranteed to delight. While it is not a traditional Chinese celebration, it is still marked enthusiastically across Hong Kong. Here is a list of some of the highlights.
Sparkling Bulgari Roman Holiday
It’s fair to say that the annual Christmas display in Statue Square is the city’s marquee display and a much-anticipated highlight. Part of the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Winterfest, a different sponsor each year is given the opportunity to design the display. This year jeweler Bvlgari is bringing some Italian bling to Statue Square with its ‘Sparkling Bvlgari Roman Holiday’ display which intertwines an Italian Christmas with a Condotti streetscape on a star-filled night lined with Christmas trees and the sparkling 14-metre high Serpenti luminaire centrepiece, using 50,000 LED lights.
Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show
The spectacular 3D Pulse Light Show uses exciting audiovisual effects to beam 3D graphics and images on to the buildings of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and the Clock Tower at Tsim Sha Tsui accompanied by a special musical score. The light show occurs three times throughout the year – summer, Christmas and Chinese New Year. From December 9 to 28 the light show will feature seasonal images.
ICC Light & Music Show
Hong Kong’s tallest building, the International Commerce Centre, is the canvas for the ICC Light and Music Show, which has a seasonal theme from early December. The “Dancing Fun, Sharing Fun” show is set in the festive spirit of the season and turns the facades of ICC into a large stage where different characters dance to add festive cheer. ICC will also have an illumination countdown for Christmas. The best viewing locations are the outdoor terraces of Podium Levels 3 and 4 of IFC Mall and anywhere along the waterfront promenades of Hong Kong Island, from Sheung Wan to Causeway Bay. The accompanying music is broadcast at Podium Levels 3 and 4 of IFC Mall. ICC Light and Music Show apps are available.
Christmas at Hong Kong Theme Parks
Hong Kong’s two major theme parks are pulling out all the stops in December. Many of Disneyland’s events have a Christmas theme and characters are dressed in festive attire. A magnificent Christmas tree greets visitors as they enter the park at Main Street and forms one of the key Christmas events with Frozen’s Anna and Elsa lighting the tree at 6.20pm each night. The nightly fireworks include a light show which sees the Sleeping Beauty castle illuminated. Ocean Park’s Christmas Sensation features a Christmas ice-skating extravaganza which combines 3D projections with an art ensemble of elegant ice skating and aerobatic aerial acts choreographed by the Winter Olympic team from December 12. The park also has a 70-foot Christmas tree which lights up in the nightly Twinkling Christmas Tree Ceremony, and other Christmas events and activities throughout December.
Deck the Malls
Christmas shopping in Hong Kong can actually double as a fun family outing with the many fantastic seasonal displays. Highlights include Harbour City, which has partnered with Disneyland for a Christmas extravaganza with a Happily Ever After theme on the Ocean Terminal forecourt. Also on Kowloon side, 1881 Heritage Centre has set up a Royal Ice Palace, transforming its Grand Piazza into a 13-metre Gothic cathedral-like ice palace, complete with ice-skating rink, intricate ice sculptures and a glamourous rotating sleigh. Pacific Place has taken inspiration from the French classic, The Little Prince, for its instore display, with Santa in residence for photo opportunities. Elements has a display of 100 Kouklitas Christmas dolls and IFC has a Grow and Glow theme throughout. The Landmark in Central has a stunning hand-crafted clock machine, called The Wishing Machine, which bursts into life every half hour with a sound and light show.