Tatler Guide: How to Celebrate Christmas in Hong Kong
With comfortably cool nights decked out in festive lights, Christmas deals on every corner and no shortage of Michelin-starred seasonal menus to indulge in—Hong Kong might just be one of the world’s best places to celebrate Christmas after all.
If you’re planning to be in town over the holidays, here are several ways to celebrate Christmas in Hong Kong:
1/9 Deck the halls (and the Christmas tree)
Decorating the home for the holidays is one of the first ways to get festive, and most Hong Kong homes will put up a Christmas tree—real or plastic—and decorate it with beautiful baubles, tinsel and of course, gift-wrapped presents under the tree.
“I married into a Canadian family that’s super into Christmas—even their last name is Yuill,” says Thierry Chow, Hong Kong feng shui master and founder of Go Lucky. “Every Christmas, we go Christmas tree shopping, place all the presents for each other under the tree, and open them on the morning of Christmas Day.”
2/9 Take in the festive lights
There really is no skyline like Hong Kong’s and during the holiday season, the city becomes even brighter with festive displays taking over the major buildings. The daily Symphony of Lights show at 8 pm continues but with a holiday boost, thanks to even more buildings joining in with extra lasers and LED screens. Stroll along the new Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui for the best views of Hong Kong island, or along the Central Harbourfront to see the lights on the ‘Dark Side.’
See also: 10 Reminders Of Why Hong Kong Is A Great City To Live In
3/9 Sing Christmas carols
There’s nothing like blasting some Christmas tunes to get into the mood, and for Tatler lister Alison Chan-El Azar, karaoke is a must. Her favourites? “Christmas carols and Mariah Carey!” says Alison, who’s already been spotted on Instagram belting out some tunes.
4/9 Go Christmas shopping
They don’t call Hong Kong a shopping heaven for nothing, and over the holidays, Hong Kong’s luxury shopping malls pull out all the stops with elaborate festive displays and installations. At Pacific Place, for example, shoppers can visit Santa’s printing house to take part in Christmas activities including reindeer wreath making and calligraphy workshops, in addition to meeting the big man himself.
See also: 10 Beautiful Scented Candles That Will Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas
5/9 Countdown to Christmas
In anticipation of Christmas, advent calendars are a great way to countdown to the big day and are often filled with luxury chocolates or beauty products. There are also sustainable options for those who want to re-use the calendar for a long-lasting Christmas tradition.
Hong Kong illustrator Kitty N. Wong says, “My friend bought me a wooden advent calendar that I put up on the 1st of December. It’s in the shape of a mini Christmas tree and has a drawer full of wooden toys that I hang up on the tree each day.”
6/9 Dine out or host a Christmas party at home
There is no better time to gather family and friends at home for a Christmas party with all the fixings, or if you prefer, head out to one of Hong Kong’s many Michelin-starred restaurants for a five-star festive meal.
“We usually travel over the holidays but we’ll be in Hong Kong this year,” says Marisa Yiu, founder of ESKYIU and executive director of Design Trust. “We’ll be hosting a family Christmas lunch with turkey and I’m really looking forward to it!”
See also: 17 Christmas Movies On Netflix To Get In The Holiday Spirit
7/9 Book a Christmas staycation
Check in to one of Hong Kong’s many luxury hotels for an atmospheric Christmas staycation, many of which come with generous dining and/or spa credit to make your stay even more complete. Our tip? Choose one that’s a little further away from where you normally live or work, and wake up to Hong Kong from a different point of view.
See also: 7 Boutique Hotels For A Hong Kong Staycation
8/9 See The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker returns from 19 to 29 December at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, which is a beloved holiday tradition for many. Often sold out throughout the Christmas season, the Terence Kohler classic—performed by Hong Kong Ballet and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta—follows Clara and Fritz as they help the Nutcracker reunite with his ballerina love and rescue the kingdom from the Rat King.
See also: Visions of Sugar Plums: Hong Kong Ballet Guild's Nutcracker Christmas Benefit 2019
9/9 Visit the carnival
The AIA Carnival and The Great Circus of Europe returns to Hong Kong from 12 December 2019 to 16 February 2020, bringing an array of neon-lit carnival rides and games to Central Harbourfront for a fun night out—perfect for couples, friends and families alike.
For younger children or the young at heart, head over to Disneyland to meet your favourite Disney characters, including Princess Anna and Olaf from Frozen, as well as Mickey and Friends at the Christmastime Ball.
Over at Ocean Park, the festivities continue with a shimmering Christmas forest and the debut of an all-new ride just before Christmas for thrill-seekers, The Wild Twister.