The French May Festival is returning to Hong Kong since May 1st, and celebrates its 29th birthday. 1993 saw the first collaboration between the Consulate General of France and the Alliance Française de Hong Kong.
The French festival is one of the largest and most celebrated cultural events in Asia, which boasts over 150 programmes of diverse visual arts performances, opera, classical and contemporary music, dance, theatre, and cinematical experiences, and of course, gastronomy, through the special event, French GourMay.
A deep dive into art and culture
French May is city-wide, and the vibrant performances take place in a plethora of venues. The stage locations are as diverse as the performances, which can be either free or paid. The journey allows an exploration of the various distinctive districts of Hong Kong and unusual venues, open-air public spaces or historic cultural centres, are utilised to showcase events with a touch of French “savoir-faire”.
The regionally iconic festival has historically attracted over one million visitors each year and is a must-attend event for art amateurs, music connoisseurs, and movie lovers. It is an intrinsic part of Hong Kong’s rich and diverse culture, and attendees can enjoy unique performances like the musical “Il Jouait Du Piano Debout”, a tribute to the notorious French composer Michel Berger, at the Hong Kong City Hall, or visiting the exhibition on contemporary Chinese surrealism to discover merging women artists, in Aberdeen. Free street-art exhibitions, opera and theatre, movies, and classical music performances will also happen during the French May.
The festival allows budding creatives to explore their talents. There is a wide range of enlightening classes, artist talks, guided tours, exciting workshops, and fascinating masterclasses that embrace all of the communities across the city, including those that are underprivileged and very young.
In May, let’s eat French delights
French cuisine is one of the very few UNESCO-listed culinary cultures in the world and the festival celebrates its unique food, wine, and Champagne treasures throughout the festival, through the event named French GourMay. The food offerings will afford visitors a gourmet adventure across the crusty baguette, cheese landscapes and allow them to explore the vibrant and tasty history of French cuisine.
To taste French gastronomy is to savour “l’art-de-vivre à la Française”, this citywide will allow foodies to explore the diversity of the various regions of a country that is dotted with ancient vineyards, fields of lavender, sunflowers, and olive groves, with more than 100 partners, from restaurants, groceries, importers and workshops. The whole programme can be browsed at https://www.frenchgourmay.com/french-gourmay.
Alexandre Giorgini, Consul General of France, wonders if there is any sense of life without art and culture. French May has the safety and health of their artists and visitors at the core of their concerns. They understand the complexities that the pandemic brings but have also seen new artists offering exciting new performances and initiatives. Due to the pandemic and the uncertainty that it brings, French May has a transparent booking service and an empathetic commitment of care.
He says, “let’s all be surrealists and imagine a new world full of art and fantasy!”.
For more information, visit https://www.frenchmay.com.