'Tis the season! As we welcome the holidays with open arms, here's a round-up of events and photo-friendly spots to check out this December
1. Dazzling celebration
Feast your eyes (and your Instagram feed) on a dazzling display of light installations at the first International Light Art Display. As part of the Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival, organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the event comprises 18 light-art installations created by local and international artists (the Hong Kong section is curated by Hong Kong architect-designer Stanley Siu). All have Hong Kong's dramatic skyline as their backdrop. Among the creative displays are giant illuminated 'talking heads', a tunnel made up of pawn shop-style neon signs (by Siu's Daydreamers Design) and a 25m-tall LED-lit fabric and metal Christmas tree.
Until Feb 24
2. The Christmas element
Elements mall has teamed with French crystal manufacturer Saint-Louis for its Christmas decorations. Themed A Crystal Tale, the display is inspired by the enchanting Vosges Forest in eastern France. The star of the show is a 6m-tall Christmas tree comprising 24 crystal chandeliers and more than 20,000 crystal pieces, each handcrafted in France. Saint-Louis is also showcasing five historical treasures hailing from the Saint-Louis Museum, including a 160-year-old Louis II of Bavaria vase crafted in 1845 to commemorate the birth of Ludwig II, the 'Fairy Tale King'.
Until Jan 1
1/F, Metal Zone, Elements
3. A season of giving
Since 2002, Harbour City has partnered with the Hong Kong Blood Cancer Blood Foundation for its Christmas festivities. By making a donation at the mall, you can visit the world's largest video kaleidoscope display. The 16m-tunnel is lined with triangular mirrors and LED screen walls, producing a technicolour burst of dizzying Christmas-themed patterns. Harbour City has also invited renowned UK wooden-block designer duo Miller Goodman to create a playful re-telling of the classic Christmas tale The Nutcracker at the mall's atrium, with interactive games and workshops to make it a fun, family affair.
Until Jan 1
12pm-9pm, Level 3, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City
$50 donation, harbourcity.com.hk
4. AaaM-azing grace
Local architecture studio AaaM has created a splash of holiday magic with two large-scale interactive lighting installations. One covers an area of 710sqm (7,600sqf) in the K11 Mall Piazza, and features more than 150 multi-coloured suspended rings of light arranged at various heights below the glass canopy. Sensors are installed so that visitors can control the lights' brightness and colour and take part in creating light patterns through movement and sound.
Elsewhere, the team has created a winter wonderland in the courtyard of PMQ. The interactive installation allows visitors to play with free-floating shiny, helium-filled giant balloons, all housed in a space decorated with strips of fabric in varying hues of purple, green and blue that dance in the wind, creating a surreal spectacle.
Until Jan 6
Piazza, K11, No. 18, Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Until Jan 2,
35 Aberdeen Street, Central
5. From London to Lee Tung
Arguably one of the most photogenic spots in town, regardless of the season, Wan Chai's Lee Tung Avenue has teamed up with the people behind London's renowned Regent Street to bring the spirit of Christmas to Hong Kong. Following the lighting-up ceremony in November, five suspended 'spirits' have graced the street, while a host of thematic programmes run through the month of December, including art exhibitions, a food carriage, parades and a regular scattering of fluffy white snow.
Until Dec 31
Lee Tung Avenue, Wan Chai
6. Winter jingles
The historical Haw Par Mansion was built during the early '30s by Burmese-Chinese merchant Aw Boon Haw, the 'King of Tiger Balm'. The blend of Chinese and Western architectural styles makes it stand out in the residential area of Tai Hang. Over the years, the mansion and its grounds have escaped the bulldozer and the complex was awarded a Grade I historic building status in 2009. In 2017, constructions began to convert the mansion into a private music school, named Haw Par Music Farm. The foundation behind it has prepared some family-friendly events for the festive season, with delightful music experiences in the setting of the mansion. Online registration is required for the programme, which includes workshops focusing on different instruments, conducted by renowned musicians.
Haw Par Mansion, No.15A, Tai Hang Road, Causeway Bay