The Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair is a fantastic whole-day cultural event, chock-full of parades, dances, music, and more, all paying homage to Hung Shing, the God of the Sea.
Throughout the day there are dozens of performances, including kung fu, Chinese classical dance, Tibetan dance, and even some ballet, hip hop, and African drumming thrown in. But if your time is limited, you can decide to watch the biggest events.
The festival usually starts at the Hung Shing Temple in Mong Kok at 10 a.m. Though the temple itself is quite small, be prepared for a big day of entertainment.
The Grand Parade at 11:30 a.m. is one of the highlights, with the streets decked out in red lanterns and decorations, and a procession of floats, dancers in traditional costumes, and drummers.
At 3:30 p.m., be sure to watch the ‘18 Lions Dance on Quincuncial Piles’, where eighteen bedazzling lion dancers put on a fantastic show, jumping from pole to pole in a display of perfect balance and timing.
But the star of the show doesn’t come out until the very end of the night: the ‘500-Feet Luminous Night Dragon Dance Performance’. By 8:45 p.m., darkness has fallen, and the long, winding, iridescent body of the dragon weaves through the streets in an incredible spectacle of light.
One interesting facet of this event is that overseas tourists can take part in the traditional ‘Poon Chai Feast’, for free. Dozens of large, round tables are set up in the streets, and delicious Hong Kong cuisine is served at 6.30 p.m. Seats are limited, so if you want to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your spot.
How to get there
Fuk Tsuen Road, where most of the fair takes place, is about a 10-minute walk from Mong Kok MTR station. From Exit A2, turn right onto Portland Street, left onto Mong Kok Road, cross over Tong Mi Road, and walk up Fuk Tsuen Road.