I love it when an event comes to town! As I’ve proven recently, there’s still plenty more areas of Hong Kong I haven’t explored in my time here so far, but when there’s some sort of event or festival happening, and it may be my only chance to see it, it makes living and traveling abroad even more interesting. For the last week, Victoria Park (near Causeway Bay) has played host to the Hong Kong Flower Festival. I heard about it by chance, when a co-worker mentioned it, then I noticed a few adverts in the MTR and such. It perhaps isn’t something I would instantly jump to – like last year, when the Udderbelly rolled into town and I HAD to go – but I figured it could be nice, so why not? Warning, this is a very photo-heavy post, because it was all so, so pretty!
|Ok, I would like to know what these are, because these were my favourites!
The festival lasted from the 10th-19th March, and I went on the very last day (as I had other plans for my birthday weekend, then was at work all week, including Saturday). It was raining, but I had no other choice if I wanted to go, since it was the last day! Sunday was probably a busier choice of day, as it’s when most people have the day off (including lots of the Filipino domestic helpers I saw there), and the entrance ticket is cheap, at just HKD14. I did get a bit wet, and I did have to duck around or (im)patiently wait for people to finish posing for their photos so I could get a clear shot of some of the displays, and by the end I was getting pretty fed up of everyone else in my way – though I no doubt blocked a few photos myself, especially when I started to lose patience and just marched through them all – but overall, I did enjoy my day!
The main display area had dozens of huge gardens and exhibitions, put together by various groups. There were floral associations and florists and the like from Hong Kong itself, and by organisations from various other countries too, including several from areas of Mainland China. Other HK organisations had displays too, including Ocean Park, who had a large exhibit themed around their 40th anniversary this year. Many of these displays were sculptures, like the flowers, butterflies, birds and elephants made from flowers, or were akin to art installations, with lights or frames or other items incorporated – the suspended bottles with roses in some of them, and the giant book of flowers stood out for me!
There was also a group of displays created to be small gardens, rather than art exhibitions, each entered by one of Hong Kong’s districts, with a sign to explain which district it was from, and the story or theme behind it. Some featured traditional Chinese structures as part of them, while others had more Western themes. The hobbit-like hole was one that stood out to me, and happened to be from Sham Shui Po, where I currently live! Another area nearby had a floral fairground, with a ferris wheel and carousel adorned in flowers, and there were various garden furniture pieces around too, like the large pagodas, tunnels, bridges and even a carriage. Several displays had water features too, including fountains, mist, and a pond with tall towers supporting colourful glass plates positioned in the water.
This was the bulk of the exhibition, but there was also an area nearby with food stalls and smaller activities and displays, which seemed to be aimed more at families and children. The last area I checked out was the indoor tent display, which featured lots of smaller flower arrangements, mostly in vases and baskets and such. These were slightly underwhelming after the huge displays outside, but still very pretty. There was no way I was photographing them all, as there were dozens of them, but I picked out a few of my favourites. I’m not a gardening or floral expert by any means – I can point out the flowers and sorts of arrangements I like, but I know the names of very few flowers – side note, apparently the rose was the theme flower for this year, but I didn’t feel like there were all that many? However, these displays were so stunning, and in particular, I loved all the little garden exhibitions from the HK districts, that I’m very glad I went. I’m happy with a lot of the photos I got too, and the whole festival made me want to have my own garden one day. I’ve never really thought about gardening much before, but I’d love to have an outdoor area of my own as beautiful as one of these – some day!