The programmes of Hong Kong Festival were diverse and can be defined as a combination of Chinese and foreign, elite and popular, traditional and contemporary, elements.
Each Hong Kong Festival featured processions of floats; some of the floats were based on traditional Chinese folk stories such as “The Journey to the West” and “Heros of Liang Shan”; in addition, there were dragon dances, lion dances, lantern processions, flower drums dancing, etc. These essentially Chinese displays were watched by several hundreds of thousands of people, obviously an attempt to satisfy the masses interested in Chinese traditional culture. At the same time, in the City Hall Concert Hall people watched performances such as Cantonese opera, Chiuchow opera, Peking opera as well as Chinese musical recitals and Mandarin songs. In the City Hall too were exhibitions of Chinese painting and calligraphy.
There was no lack of Western cultural activities either; they included instrumental recitals and classical concerts and folk dance. Western cultural activities too can be divided into classical and popular. At the City Hall were the more traditional, such as philharmonic and vocal recitals, drama and ballet, while in the outdoor venues, it was popular culture that was offered, including popular music concerts, rock bands, beauty pageants and fashion shows. Perhaps what most people remember best of the “in” activities was the dance marathon contest, with the bands playing on stage and young people dancing away right below the stage. This took place twice at the Edinburgh Place in 1969 and 1971.
There were also programmes that blended Chinese and foreign elements. At an outdoor gala in 1969, Chinese kungfu, judo and Karate demonstrations took place one after another in the same ring. In 1971, another gala was held on a round stage in Statue Square. To start the ball rolling was Master Kwan Tak Hing performing the lion dance, followed by an exhibition of one hundred years of Chinese garments and Western garments; Xinjiang dances were followed by ballet, Mandarin songs were followed by Western pop songs. It was a true display of Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan character.
- Festival of Hong Kong Events on December 10 – Entertainment Galore for Young and Old
- Festival Press Release: Festival of Hong Kong Poetry Competition
- Festival Press Release: Festival of Hong Kong Talent Shows
- Festival Press Release: Fashion Fiesta, Festival of Hong Kong 1969
- Festival Press Release: Kowloon Peak Rally
- Festival Press Release: Harmony Between Chinese and Western Culture
- Festival Press Release: Fun and entertainment events for December 9
- Festival Press Release: Kwangtung, Macao and Hong Kong Currency Exhibition
- Festival Press Release: Tsang Fook’s Pop Show
- Festival Press Release: Festival of Hong Kong Gala Concerts
- Festival Press Release: Variety Show and Press Conference, Festival of Hong Kong 1971
- Festival Press Release: A Police Constable compete in the Miss Hong Kong Festival