Chinese Culture Festival 2024

A summer to remember

From June to September 2024, the inaugural Chinese Culture Festival (CCF) will exhibit the country’s rich artistic tradition and the rewards
of cultural exchange


Following months of intense preparations, June 2024 marks the start of the inaugural Chinese Culture Festival (CCF), a new initiative to celebrate Chinese culture via the performing arts. The Festival will bring together artists from across Mainland and Hong Kong, promoting cultural exchange, shared values and artistic innovation. After the 2024 edition, the CCF will become a mainstay of the Chinese cultural calendar, with numerous events across the performing arts sector each June to September. 

Organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the CCF marks one of the major events of the newly established Chinese Culture Promotion Office (CCPO), an office tasked with organising activities to promote Chinese culture. One of the Office’s first tasks was to work on the CCF’s logo, a project it undertook with great enthusiasm. The final result draws on Hong Kong’s reputation as a site of cultural exchange, with a traditional Chinese window lattice representing its role as a “cultural window” and a jade stone representing the gems of Chinese culture that will feature in the Festival’s lineup. 

To celebrate its first edition, the 2024 programme includes numerous highlights from across the Chinese performing arts sector, ranging from high-profile national organisations to local artistic projects. The opening night succeeded in being a particular highlight of the Festival, with Beijing Dance Drama and Opera performing Five Stars Rising in the East. The large-scale dance drama featured spectacular movements, beautiful music, traditional costumes and innovative stage design to showcase a story of unity and coexistence. 

The 2024 programme also includes a fine selection of programmes from the “Chinese Opera Festival” and local works recognised by the China National Arts Fund. Alongside this, patrons will also be able to experience traditional music and dance performances, thematic talks, meet-the-artist sessions, films, lectures and masterclasses. Each element of the Festival contributes to the overarching aim of the CCF: to promote exchanges across China’s different regions and cultural sectors, encourage their integration and showcase the artistic excellence of Chinese arts and culture. 

Each year the CCF will also designate a “City in Focus” which will feature heavily across the programme, showcasing its unique cultural charm. In 2024, Shanghai will act as the focal city, though it awaits to be seen which city will be highlighted in the coming years.

Chinese Opera Festival

Reflecting its profile and reach, the 2024 CCF’s core programme also includes the long-running Chinese Opera Festival (COF). Now in its 12th edition, the COF is an incredibly popular display of some of the finest Chinese opera. This year, its central theme is the intersection of strength and tenderness, a unique combination embodied in Chinese opera and culture. 

Cyrano de Bergerac – A Cantonese Opera Interpretation, marked the COF’s opening night, a new work written by Cantonese Opera star Law Ka-ying. The work tells the story of a classic love triangle, drawing on both French literature and traditional Cantonese musicality, set in a period of political turmoil in the Ming dynasty. The intersection of these two artistic traditions represents an innovative take on the traditional Cantonese Opera and reflects the Festival’s wider theme of “When East meets West”.

The COF will also include performances by the Zhejiang Wu Opera Research Centre, an audience favourite following their last visit. The company will perform Sun Wu Kong Thrice Beat
the Bony Demon
, based on a story from Journey to the West.
With acrobatic stunts and “face changing”, the opera is sure to delight audiences and offer insights into the province’s unique artistic traditions. 

Hong Kong new works recognised by the China National Arts Fund 

In line with its vision to promote cultural exchange and
provide audiences with a taste of past and present, the
CCF also includes numerous Hong Kong arts projects recognised by the China National Arts Fund. Since receiving recognition last year, the Hong Kong City Chinese Orchestra has gained much attention and widespread praise from the Hong Kong music scene in its previous concert last September. As
a result, an upgraded version of that concert will be included
in the CCF, illuminating the cultural richness of Hong Kong
once again. 

Other recipients of the China National Arts Fund will also be featured in the CCF programmes, including the Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble, which will demonstrate the synergy of traditional and contemporary music in Hong Kong through its performance of Voices of Hong KongEverlasting Cantonese Music, and Hong Kong Xiqu Troupe’s A New Cantonese Opera Ma Xianglan. This opera is based on the legendary Ma Xianglan, one of the eight renowned divas of the Qinhuai Region. Drawn into a life of hardship at an early age, Ma Xianglan’s exceptional talents soon elevated her to become a famous courtesan along the Qinhuai River. In the opera, her life story unfolds to reveal the integrity and dignity of women, portraying her as a respectable and charming lady, embodying the qualities of women in a new era. 

A vibrant mix of programmes 

Beyond traditional and contemporary performances, the CCF has an expansive programme of activities, keen to showcase the sector’s diversity. One highlight was the Glowing Beauties – A Photo Exhibition on Ethnic Costumes which utilised the photographic medium to exhibit ethnic costumes. The exhibition brought together numerous photos from across China’s 56 ethnic groups, featuring their distinctive cultural practices, costumes and traditional ways of life, showcasing the values of ethnic harmony and unity. The Festival will also feature numerous lectures, exhibitions and film screenings illuminating traditional Chinese culture and performing arts. 

Alongside stage performances, exhibitions and lectures,
the CCF is keen to ensure its message is communicated to a diverse audience and therefore the grand opening week featured the “Encountering Chinese Culture” Carnival. Free for all to join, the carnival brought the festive atmosphere to the community with a fun-filled fairground, “Library-on-Wheels” cum story-telling activities, stage performances, cultural booths, a foyer concert and an exhibition for all to enjoy. With an extensive and inclusive inaugural programme across June to September, the CCF is sure to leave audiences with a keen understanding of China’s rich and diverse artistic tradition and an excitement at the innovative development that comes with open, cultural exchange. 

The Chinese Culture Festival takes place from June to September. For more information, visit