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On the Agenda: What to Do This December

From ballet performances and fairytale gardens to motor expos and book fairs—mark your calendars with our round-up of December’s must-see cultural delights.

By Natasha Tang and Cherry Lai
November 26, 2021

Photo: Business of Design Week

(November 29–December 4) 

What do Thomas Heatherwick, Alan Chan, André Fu, Marisa Yiu, and Chi Wing Lo have in common? Apart from being leading lights in the design and architecture space, they’ve all spoken at Business of Design Week, Asia’s premier annual event on innovation, design, and cultural exchange since 2002. This year’s theme is Global Design Reset, which will see sessions and speakers exploring provocative topics such as New Urbanism, Future Wellbeing, and Designing for an Intelligent Future. Similar to last year’s event, it’s a hybrid programme in a simulcast format across ViuTV, online, and social media.
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Photo: MotorXpo

(December 1-5)

Make your way through an impressive collection of hypercars at this year’s IMXHK at Asia World Expo. There will be over 60 international brands represented and the VIP area will even have an NFT corner, with the works of artists like Hong Kong's own Tommy Fung under surrealhk, Nick Teeple, Victor Wong, and internationally published photographer, Ali G.
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Photo: Hong Kong Ballet

(December 11–26) 

Set to cast a magical spell on the city’s Christmas festivities is the Hong Kong Ballet’s annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Taking things even further this year, artistic director Septime Webre has conceived a brand new vision for the iconic ballet. He’s set it in early 20th-century Hong Kong and introduces a rollicking melange of familiar historic characters and local traditions into Clara’s fantastical adventure, such as dancing dim sum clowns and the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. Featuring gorgeously luxurious sets and detailed costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, this stunning world-premiere performance promises a Christmas to remember.
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Photo: Tai Kwun

(December 16-19)

Mark your calendar for BOOKED:, the fourth edition of Hong Kong’s Art Book Fair. Taking place in Tai Kwun, the book fair will feature over 80 publishers, artists, booksellers and organisations to bring the beauty of art and literature together. Guests can also expect book launches, talks, performances and workshops including a display by Jun Yang, who will use his artist publications and storytelling to reflect on the human being’s ability to change and evolve.
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Photo: Hong Kong Philharmonic

(December 23–24)  

Pop a bottle of champagne and ring in Christmas this year with the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s joyous end-of-year programme, which sees Apollo Wong conducting (and singing alongside) the HK Phil Chorus and The Hong Kong Children’s Choir over two evenings. Be transported by jubilant melodies and festive tunes from works including Handel’s Messiah, Bizet’s Carmen, Suppé’s Light Cavalry, and Anderson’s A Christmas Festival. A few days later, on December 30, return for a sparkling New Year’s Eve celebration as principal guest conductor Yu Long and the orchestra toast to fresh beginnings with a string of Viennese waltzes, delightful polkas, love songs, and more.
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Photo: Four Seasons

(Autumn 2021)

Since the holiday season is all about indulging, we need a way to balance things out. The answer? The Four Seasons’ Empower From Within programme, which focuses on healing modalities, spa rituals, mindfulness practices, and nutrition. The in-house healers have compiled programmes such as The Deep Sleep Programme that will help improve sleep quality, the Restore and Realign Programme that will help those feeling a lack of energy, and the Journey of Motherhood Programme for all new or expecting mothers—all through spa treatments, meditation, yoga and powerful antioxidants.
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Photo: Dream Cruises


(Until January 1st, 2022)

What better way to get in the spirit of Christmas than transporting yourself to the land of Christmas markets, day-long feasts and more with Genting Dream Cruise’s ‘A Nordic Christmas Adventure’, where you can explore the festive traditions of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The whole family will be able to walk through the Nordic Market and meet Santa Claus, witness the lighting of the advent calendar which will set off the Santa Express train through Gingerbread Town to bring you all the sumptuous baked goods and festive souvenirs. You'll also get to learn how to make Christmas ornaments, knit cozy sweaters and more.
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Photo: Beauty Botanica


Take a fairytale-like walk through the Nutcracker Garden at Beauty Botanica, surrounded by the Nutcracker soldiers and a dazzling display of flowers. The store is a heavenly marketplace of beauty and wellness products that would make excellent Christmas gifts, with many gift sets customisable. Furthermore, Beauty Botanica will be presenting the exclusive launch of Jimmy Choo’s beauty series. Yes indeed the famous brand has now gone beyond shoes and accessories to unveil a limited-edition capsule cosmetic line ‘Seduction Collection’ featuring irresistible fragrances and lipsticks.
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