April showers bring May flowers! And sure enough this sultry May, Hong Kong’s event calendar is abloom. From musical performances by international megastars to the much-missed spectacles of the Tin Hau and Cheung Chau Bun Festival, there’s an abundance of exciting events for all. Artsy Cheapos rejoice: the Affordable Art Fair is back in town, too!

Live music

Jay Chou

central-harbourfront-event-space-HKTB
Photo by Hong Kong Tourism Board

Multihyphenate Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou will be performing at the Central Harbourfront Event Space this May. Known as the “King of Mandopop”, the singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, actor, film director, television personality, and magician is one of the most sought after entertainers in the continent.

5–14 May, 2023
Entry HK$580.00
Event page

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Ruel 4th Wall World Tour in Hong Kong

club party
Photo by iStock.com/bernardbodo

20-year-old Sydney-bred singer-songwriter Ruel will be performing this May at the Music Zone @ KITEC. The up-and-coming British-Australian artist announced on Twitter that he will be handing out double-passes to each show on the tour. Fans are encouraged to tag a friend and their city name in the comments for a chance to win.

19 May, 2023
Entry HK$499.00
Event page

Babymetal World Tour in Hong Kong

Members of pioneering Japanese kawaii metal band Babymetal will be embarking on their first Asia and Australia headline tour this year! Known for their fresh fusion of heavy metal, dance and J-pop, the all-girl crew has previously supported major names like Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Catch the band in concert at AsiaWorld Expo at the end of May.

31 May, 2023
Entry from HK$880.00
Event page

Exhibitions and festivals

Freespace Dance 2023

Freespace Dance 2023
Photo: Daniel Dömölky / anothermountainman
/ Luc Depreitere / Daniel Tchetchik / Estelle
Hanania | Photo by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

Witness the wonder that is dance at Freespace Dance 2023, a new festival dedicated to choreography and movement. The inaugural edition will celebrate visionary women choreographers from around the world. Spread out over four weeks, the programme aims to highlight the work of diverse artists from across the globe. Yet another event to enrich Hong Kong’s buzzing calendar of arts events!

Hong Kong Memories: Miniatures and Photographs of Old Hong Kong Streetscapes

Photo by AN

What did Hong Kong look like in the past? See miniature replicas of buildings from the 1960s and A.I.-enabled colorised images from the 20th century. The latter are contributed by the Instagram-famous public education project, OldHKinColour.

Until 15 May, 2023
Entry from HK$0.00
Online reservation

Affordable Art Fair 2023

Photo by Affordable Art Fair

This May, the Affordable Art Fair (AAF) returns to Hong Kong, marking ten years since its inception. Priding itself on having the best hand-picked affordable art in Hong Kong, the AAF will showcase works from over 100 local and international galleries. Local galleries including (but not limited to) 13A New Street, Oi Ling Antiques, Young Soy, and Zone A will represent artists from Hong Kong. Whether you’re a first-time buyer on a Cheapo budget or a connoisseur looking to spice up your collection, the AAF promises to have something for everyone.

Across Time and Space: Re-visiting Twentieth Century Chinese Oil Paintings

Photo by AN

From intimate interior views to panoramic coastal landscapes, witness rarely displayed Chinese oil paintings at the University of Hong Kong Museum and Gallery. This exhibition features works by iconic masters and influential art educators, including Liu Haisu and Wu Guanzhong, as well as artists who were crucial to the development of the modern art scene in Hong Kong.

Until 25 June, 2023
Free entry
Event page

French May Arts Fest 2023

The French May Arts Festival celebrates 30 years in 2023. Under the name PULSARTE 2023, the monthlong fair will include performances and events by over 100 artists in a variety of media: dance, theatre, music, art and more. Meanwhile, the Virtually Versailles exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum will transport visitors to the sights, sounds and scents of Versailles through digital and virtual reality. In addition, French sparkling wines will get the spotlight as part of French Gourmay.

Eating and drinking

Ginsanity 2023

Ginsanity 2019 | Photo by Bradley Aaron

Sample gins from around the world at Ginsanity 2023. Hosted by the city’s premier destination for all things gin, the eponymous Ginsanity located in Sai Ying Pun, the fest will take over PMQ over the weekend. The event is free to enter, with drinks starting at a smooth HK$65.00. Expect to see tipples from distilleries both local and international.

12–13 May, 2023
Free entry
Official website

Culture

Tin Hau Festival 2023

With its roots firmly in Hong Kong’s fishing and maritime days, the Tin Hau Festival pays homage to Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Sea, and revered patron saint of fishermen.

There are dozens of Tin Hau Temples across Hong Kong of varying size, each putting on lively celebrations and festivities, usually including music, lion dances and martial arts displays. Another highlight are the massive colourful floral floats, called fa pau, which are carried through the streets.

Cheung Chau Bun Festival 2023

Arguably Hong Kong’s quirkiest cultural event, Cheung Chau’s iconic Bun Festival is set to return this May! Legend goes that Cheung Chau suffered a devastating plague about a century ago. The villagers prayed at Pak Tai Temple, the oldest and most important temple on the island, and carried statues of deities through the streets to ward off evil spirits. To celebrate the end of the plague, the Bun Festival was born.

At midnight on the third day, the famous ‘bun scrambling’ event takes place in front of the Pak Tai Temple. Watch well-trained competitors race to scramble up a 20 metre tower covered with buns, collecting as many of them as they can in three minutes. Don’t leave the island without a bun of your own, stamped with the Chinese character for ‘peace’ and filled with sesame, lotus, or red bean paste.

Buddha’s Birthday

The Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong
The Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong | Photo by iStock.com/SAKDAWUT14

The birthday of Lord Buddha is one of the largest Buddhist festivals in Hong Kong, as well as being a public holiday. Buddhist temples all across Hong Kong, including the iconic Tian Tian Buddha on Lantau Island, hang lanterns, burn incense, and give offerings in preparation for the big day.

Sports

World Muaythai Grand Prix

This year’s World Muaythai Grand Prix will welcome boxing champions from across the globe. Watch as competitors representing Hong Kong S.A.R., China, Slovakia, France, Thailand, Iran, South Africa, Morocco, Ghana, Russia, Italy, Libya, and Malaysia tough it out for the prestigious gold belt.

7 p.m., 9 May, 2023
Entry from HK$250.00
Event page

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Filed under: Things to Do