4 Cultural Celebrations (With Halal Food Nearby!) For A Spectacular Getaway In Hong Kong


Cheng Sim •  Apr 23, 2019

During springtime, wandering the streets of Hong Kong will showcase a different side of the island than any other seasons. While flowers are blooming, you can sense the buzz of excitement from the cultural celebrations that are about to come. Beyond the soundtrack of a bustling city and the famous ding ding trams, Hong Kong is secretly the life of the party.

Credit: Giphy

If there’s one rule to follow, bring your energy and excitement to this ultimate destination during this time of the year. With many festivals taking the streets, you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Hong Kong, and that’s a promise!

1. Catch the dragon dance parade at Tin Hau Festival (27 April)

Credit: @hongkongsnapshot on Instagram

When the calendar flips to the third lunar month (generally, in April), Tin Hau Temple will come to life in celebration of Tin Hau Festival. Steeped in ancient traditions and spectacular shows, the festival pays respect to the Goddess of the Sea, which the festival is named after.

Credit: @hongkongsnapshot on Instagram

On this special day, the streets are cleared for the famous procession that consists of extravagant floral wreaths, lively traditional dancers and energetic marching band. Yes, the festival gets livelier with every beat of the drum. It’s so colourful and full of life, you’ll understand why the locals would continue to snap pictures from start to finish.

Halal food option

Ma’s Restaurant

If you’re craving for Xinjiang cuisine, Ma’s Restaurant is only a 15-minute drive away from Tin Hau Temple. Savour their sweet and sour fish and for that burst of spiciness, the chilli beef. And don’t you leave this place without trying their veal goulash!

Address: Ma’s Restaurant, 21-25 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Hong Kong

Operating hours: Daily, 11.30AM-11PM

Halal status: Halal-certified

Direction: Take a 15-minute taxi ride from Tin Hau Temple

2. Get lucky at Cheung Chau Bun Festival (9-13 May)

Credit: Discover Hong Kong

Don’t be fooled by the laid-back serenity of Cheung Chau Island because this place will portray its best self during the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. The festivity begins on the fourth lunar month (generally, in May) and it has an interesting story to boot! As the story goes, the villagers once summoned by a powerful deity named Pak Tai to protect them from a devastating plague. To ward off the evil spirits, a street parade took place which is what you’ll witness at the Cheung Chau Bun Festival today.

Credit: Discover Hong Kong

Here’s where the buns come in. On this special day, a famous local delight called “lucky buns” are made for everyone to enjoy. Traditionally stamped with a Chinese character for “peace”, festival-goers can sample these buns that come in three flavours: sesame, lotus and red bean, which are sold in various street stalls.

Credit: Leisure and Cultural Services Department, HKSAR

After sundown, stick around for the popular bun scrambling competition! In this event, participants will gather around a 14-metre bun-decorated tower and climb to the top within three minutes. It’s believed that the more buns they collect, the better their fortune will be. It’s fun to watch!

#HHWT Tip: The ingredients for the “lucky buns” are flour, sugar, and water. While the buns are vegetarian and made without any animal products, we advise you to dine at your discretion.

3. Invite yourself to Buddha’s Birthday (6-12 May)

Credit: Tugo Cheng

As the founder of Buddhism, Hong Kong celebrates the birthday of Gautama Buddha with a week-long celebration of carnival and spiritual experiences. If you have a chance to visit the temples in Hong Kong, catch a serene ritual called ‘Bathing the Buddha’, where worshippers would wash the Buddha statues with water as a sign of respect.

Afterwards, make your way for Buddha’s Birthday celebration carnival at Victoria Park, the Buddhist Birthday Charity Concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum and more festivities at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island.

#HHWT Tip: If you’re already planning to visit Lantau Island, you’re going to love your journey on Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride.

Halal food option

Hung’s Chinese Restaurant

If you’re looking for a halal food option around the Hong Kong Coliseum, take a 5-minute drive to Hung’s Chinese Restaurant! Tucked in a corner of Chungking Mansion Building, this cosy restaurant is famous for serving yummy crispy roasted chicken as well as black pepper beef and fried rice.

Address: Hung’s Chinese Restaurant, Chungking Mansion, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Operating hours: Daily, 11AM-11PM

Halal status: Muslim-owned

Direction: Take a 4-minute drive from the Hong Kong Coliseum

4. Marvel at the lion dance parade on Tam Kung’s Birthday (12 May)

Credit: Discover Hong Kong

If the name sounds familiar, Tam Kung is a respected sea deity that is widely worshipped by the local fishing communities. On the day of Tam Kung’s Birthday, hit the streets to catch brightly-coloured lion dances, loud drum performances and lively procession taking place. You can join the celebration during the fourth lunar month (generally, in May).

Credit: @olgacrouse on Instagram

Held at the century-old Tam Kung Temple, be the first to catch the lion and dragon dance parade from its starting point on Shau Kei Wan Street Main East and then, towards the final stop at Tam Kung Temple.

Halal food option

Islamic Centre Canteen

To find the best halal dim sum place in Hong Kong, take a 15-minute drive to Islamic Centre Canteen! Situated in a mosque, you can savour steamed siu mai with chicken, steamed shrimp dumpling, deep fried shrimp won ton and more.

Address: Islamic Centre Canteen, 5th floor, Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre, 40 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-3PM (dim sum), 6PM-9PM (Cantonese dishes only)

Directions: Take a 15-minute drive from Tam Kung Temple

Forget what you know about springtime because Hong Kong does it in a completely celebratory way! From Buddha’s Birthday to Tin Hau Festival, it’s the best time to experience Hong Kong as the life of the party. Besides that, there are more exciting things to do on this amazing island, and you can see it for yourself from our ultimate Discover Hong Kong guides!