When: It could be any one of several large processions held in Hong Kong over the years, but luckily there's a clue in the top-left corner of the photo:
I've straightened it up a bit, so hopefully you can read it's a poster for the 'Student Tour' movie, starring Jimmy Durante and showing at the Oriental Theatre. That film was released in October 1934 , dating this photo to sometime in the mid-1930s.
The Silver Jubilee of King George V was in 1935, so that's a strong possibility. Luckily we have a film clip of the procession (click here to view), and even more luckily the section of the procession shown in the photo also appear in the film, at the 1:21 mark.
The start of the film shows a banner embroidered "Silver Jubilee Procession, 6th May 1935". So there's our date.
What: This was just one part of Hong Kong's Jubilee celebrations, but for many it was the highlight. Here's how the next day's newspaper described it :
[...] it would be no exaggeration to say that all Hong Kong turned out to watch what must be the greatest spectacle of its kind ever staged in the Colony.
[...] There is so much to be written about the procession that one finds it rather difficult where to start but pride of place must definitely go to the monster dragons, for never in the history of Hong Kong has such long ones been constructed. There were three of them [and each one] had a "crew of about three hundred men who were all attired in their "gala clothes".
Who: The people in the procession must have been exhausted by the end of the day. Sure, the carrying work was rotated among teams, but look at the route they took :
Starting at Belcher's Street in Kennedy Town to Queen's Road West; along Queen's Road to the Wanchai Market; then to Wanchai Road, and passing the back of the (old) No. 2 Police Station. to Morrison Hill Road and the Tramway Station, Causeway Bay; then turning to the West to Yee Wo Street, and passing the Lee Garden, to Hennessy Road and Arsenal Street; then to Queen's Road to the old City Hall; then to Des Voeux Road; then passing the side of the Empress Hotel to the Praya at Wing Lok Wharf, and then along the Praya to Catchick Street, where the procession was dispersed.
That's tiring enough just to walk, let alone while carrying an unwieldy pole with a figure on top:
The audience is worth a mention too. Not only had "all Hong Kong turned out", but it also attracted visitors from much further away. Extra express trains had brought in over ten thousand visitors from Canton the day before the procession, and another six thousand the day before that .
Where: Above the movie poster is a street sign, showing we're on Queen's Road Central. And just to its right is the entrance to a street or lane, but unfortunately no name is visible, so I'm not sure which one it was..
From the route described above, we know the procession came from the Kennedy Town direction, so in this photo we're looking west. Finally there's a distinctive pattern on the building at the right of the photo:
Can anyone tell us whereabouts along Queen's Road Central this photo was taken?
- IMDB: Student Tour
- Page 7, Hong Kong Daily Press, 7th May 1935
- Page 1, China Mail, 6th May 1935