What’s on? Things to do this May in Hong Kong

By Neil Dolby
May 02, 2024

May boasts a slew of great events to keep everyone entertained, from the delightful Bun Festival to wonderful Shakespeare productions to amazing art fairs and so much more culture besides.

Voyage with Van Gogh

This fantastic and slightly surreal artistic creation occurs every hour right next to the Clock Tower on the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront. As the clock strikes the hour mark, a mesmerising and captivating visual display unfolds to an unforgettable soundtrack composed and produced by local musicians supported by the First Initiative Foundation. As a visual medium, this could not be more memorably located. The Voyage with Van Gogh experience pays homage to the art of the master as well as this iconic location, with the art installation created by Spanish artist Vritis of Visura Studio in cooperation with the Van Gogh Heritage Foundation.

When: Until 31 May

Where: Clock Tower, Tsim Sha Tsui

How much: Free

For more information: fif.org.hk

Bun Festival

Immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere of the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. This is one of Hong Kong’s most anticipated festivals. The event is thought to emanate from a plague that swept through the island of Cheung Chau two centuries ago when deities were paraded through the streets to ward off the evil spirits cursing the local community. Young children in traditional costumes atop poles are paraded through the village in their place. The climbing carnival (5 May) or thrilling bun-scrambling contests held during the festivities ensure a day trip to remember.

When: 5, 7 & 14-16 May

Where: Cheung Chau

How much: Free

For more information: lcsd.gov.hk/en/bun

Roméo et Juliette

The magnificence of Shakespeare’s tale of two young lovers caught in a doomed romance is brought to life in Charles Gounod’s successful opera. Produced by Opera Hong Kong’s Warren Mok, it is performed over five glorious acts in French with Chinese and English subtitles. Opera singers Chloe Chaume and Aurélie Jarjaye in the role of Juliet, and Thomas Bettinger and Kevin Amiel as Romeo, are ably supported by the Opera Hong Kong Orchestra and Chorus. The play is conducted by Roberto Gianola.

When: 5, 7 & 14-16 May

Where: Cultural Centre Grand Theatre, Tsim Sha Tsui

How much: From $220

For more information: operahongkong.org

Möbius in May

Witness the heights of athletic and artistic prowess with this dazzling acrobatics display inspired by the amazing timing and choreography of a flock of starlings in full flight. Here, in an extract from French circus collective Compagnie XY’s production of Möbius, performers explore the language of acrobatics through the practice of lifts and mimic bird patterns whereby each can operate freely without disrupting the movement of another.

When: 11-13 & 15-19 May

Where: Tai Kwun Parade Ground, Central

How much: Free

For more information: frenchmay.com

Buddha’s Birthday

Take the opportunity to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday by visiting one of the many temples that honour the tradition of the Buddha bathing ceremony. This celebration derives from the time when nine dragons – as told in legend – sprayed infant Hindu prince Siddhartha Gautama (born 563 BCE) with water; he went on to found Buddhism in India. In homage to the significance of this act, these events are replayed by Buddhist devotes who bathe statues of Buddha at various ceremonies in Hong Kong.

When: 15 May

Where: Po Lo Monastery, Lantau

How much: Free

For more information: plm.org.hk

Affordable Art Fair

Explore the magnificent galleries joining this year’s fiesta of affordable art with works all priced below HK$100,000. For the 11th happening of this event, organisers promise a plethora of excellent contemporary art and brand-new installations to lift the creative flair on offer. Galleries from mainland China, Singapore, Australia and beyond will feature, and special themes include the influence of feng shui in the home and the top five Hong Kong artists.

When: 16-19 May

Where: Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai

How much: From $340

For more information: affordableartfair.com

Mega Ice Hockey 5s

Billed as Asia’s largest ice hockey competition, the 2024 Mega Ice Hockey 5s glides into another episode of thrills and spills, and rough-and-tumble competitive action. With more than 80 teams from across the world, the desire to achieve top spot is bound to raise the stakes in a sport known for its no-holds-barred spirit. The main event for adult skaters takes place from 29 April following the completion of the youth division. Spectators are certain to shout themselves hoarse as athletes are chasing the puck.

When: Until 4 May

Where: Mega Ice, L10 Mega Box, Kowloon Bay

How much: Free

For more information: megaice.com

Across Victoria Harbour Gallery

From sampans and ferries to lighters and barges, the rich history of boats that have plied the waters of Victoria Harbour over the years forms the basis of this amazing exhibition. Early years under British rule (1842 to the 1930s) are explored in section one. The rise of cross-harbour transportation, freight transport, and changes in harbour voyages are the themes of other sections on display.

When: Until 15 May

Where: Hong Kong Maritime Museum, Central

How much: $30

For more information: hkmaritimemuseum.org

Tram Tales

Hong Kong’s iconic trams have played a significant part in the vibrancy and successful emergence of our world city. A themed exhibition celebrates the 120th anniversary of this significant mode of transportation, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Heritage Courtyard and Interpretation Centre has worked with the Hong Kong Trams Culture Preservation Society to honour the milestone.

When: Until 24 May

Where: University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong, Mount Davis

How much: Free

For more information: heritage.uchicago.hk