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Holidays Celebrations What are Hong Kong traditions for Christmas

Holidays Celebrations: What are Hong Kong traditions for Christmas?

I don’t know about you, but Christmas is my favorite holiday of all. Think streets adorned with lights, home-cooked family meals, and the exchange of gifts – something fun to look forward to before the year ends.

Just thinking about this fills me with the desire to share what Christmas is like in Hong Kong. And what better way to do it than to take you on a journey through the traditions? 

You never know – maybe one day you’ll get to practice them yourself when you come to celebrate the holiday with us!

What are Hong Kong traditions for Christmas?

Some popular Hong Kong traditions for Christmas include giving gifts and cards, decorating homes, and attending Christmas-themed events with family and friends. Hong Kongers also attend church services and visit theme parks to celebrate.

The holiday season isn’t just limited to a couple of days here. The festive spirit is kept alive until January 6, extending the celebrations well into the New Year.

Actually, one of the most heartwarming aspects of Christmas celebrations in Hong Kong is the way the community comes together. 

Picture this: locals and visitors, side by side in churches, harmonizing carols – it’s a beautiful blend of cultures that truly embodies the spirit of unity and togetherness.

Hong Kong Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Hong Kong bursts with tradition, shaping the very spirit of the season! So grab your pads and take note of these festive traditions. Let’s kick it off with…

Attending Winterfest

Let’s talk about a Christmas tradition that really lights up the city – Winterfest. Every year, Hong Kong’s Statue Square transforms into a holiday wonderland. 

There’s a majestic Christmas tree towering over the square, Santa’s grotto spreading cheer, and a medley of festive activities that make the season truly magical.

Locals and visitors alike gather in Statue Square to soak up the holiday spirit. From carol singing that resonates through the air to mesmerizing light shows that paint the night, it’s a joyous affair that culminates in a burst of fireworks.


Just like in many corners of the world, Hong Kongers love to exchange gifts during the festive season. It’s not just limited to family and friends: colleagues and neighbors also join in on the merry exchange.

What makes it distinctly Hong Kong is the vibrant red paper wrapping that adorns these gifts. In Chinese culture, red symbolizes good luck and prosperity, adding an extra layer of meaning to the festive exchange.

And here’s a heads up on Hong Kong’s unique gift-giving etiquette: present a gift with both hands as a sign of deep respect for the recipient. 

Oh, and don’t be shy about opening your gift right then and there – it’s a lovely custom that adds to the joy of the season! 

Sending off Christmas Cards

Here in Hong Kong, you’ll find people exchanging more than just gifts. Christmas cards play a significant role too, bringing a touch of personal warmth to the season. 

While many grab them from shops, there’s a charming group who still craft their own using traditional Chinese techniques. It’s really about the thought and effort (like most gifts, anyway!).

Come early December, the city also starts buzzing with the gentle shuffle of envelopes being sealed. Why? So that these heartfelt greetings can find their way to loved ones, making it in time for the magic of Christmas Eve or the warmth of Christmas Day. 

Decorating Homes with Festive Charm

During Christmas, the tradition of decorating homes, churches, and public spaces takes center stage. Poinsettia flowers, renowned for their vibrant red hues, become the artistic brushstrokes that infuse homes with Christmas color.

Tinsel, delicately draped, catches the gleam of Christmas lights. From cozy living rooms to grand public spaces, the city becomes a canvas for these festive adornments.

And then there are the Nativity scenes – a timeless tradition that brings the essence of the season to life. These scenes, depicting the story of Christmas, find their place in homes and churches. 

Capturing Moments with Father Christmas

A cherished tradition unfolds for the little ones – taking pictures with Santa Claus (or as we often call him, Father Christmas).

When children spot the festive figure, whether strolling through the streets or making appearances in malls, the excitement is palpable. 

In the enchanting melody of Cantonese, he is affectionately referred to as “Sing Daan Lou Yan” (Christmas Old Man), though most people opt for the English terms.

So, if you’re wandering through the holiday-adorned streets of Hong Kong and you happen to spot Father Christmas, be sure to capture the joyous moment with a snapshot!

Enjoying the Symphony of Lights

When Christmas rolls around, families and friends in Hong Kong unite for a cherished tradition – the Symphony of Lights. Over the holiday period, this renowned spectacle is enhanced by the addition of the high-tech marvel, the Pulse 3D Light Show.

Located near the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui (right by the iconic clock tower at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre) the Pulse 3D Light Show transforms the surroundings into a dazzling canvas. 

This audiovisual extravaganza, featuring lasers that craft moving images, has become an integral part of the holiday festivities.

Coming Together for Christmas Church Services

In Hong Kong, the celebration of Christmas among Chinese Christians takes shape through heartfelt church services conducted in their native language, Chinese.

The Anglican Cathedral is inclusive, attracting both locals and Europeans who call Hong Kong home.

To accommodate the diverse congregation, services in Chinese and English are thoughtfully scheduled at different times throughout the day. This ensures that the joy of the Christmas celebration extends its warm embrace to all who gather in the sacred halls of the church. 

Enjoying Christmas Day at Theme Parks

In Hong Kong, where even a visit to a theme park is an ordinary leisure activity, it has taken on the charm of a tradition for many families on Christmas day. 

Both Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland transform their halls into festive wonderlands – adorned with twinkling lights, artificial snow, and trees, eagerly awaiting a special visit from Santa himself.

While Ocean Park holds a special place in the hearts of Hong Kong locals, Disneyland emerges as the ultimate holiday destination. The Main Street of the park sparkles with Christmas lights, creating a magical atmosphere. 

To add to the enchantment, Mickey and his friends join in festive parades, turning the theme park into a joyful spectacle during the holiday season.

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