Hello Kitty turns 40: How fans across the world celebrate

Gina Becerra, 32, a legal process-serving specialist, in full cosplay get-up and wearing her Hello Kitty charm bracelet as she waits to get her free Hello Kitty tattoo: “As a little girl I used to save my pennies just to go by an eraser or a stick
Gina Becerra, 32, a legal process-serving specialist, in full cosplay get-up and wearing her Hello Kitty charm bracelet as she waits to get her free Hello Kitty tattoo: “As a little girl I used to save my pennies just to go by an eraser or a stick of gum. -- PHOTO: ALISON DE SOUZA
Artressa Ng, 26, a nurse, posing with a shopping basket of Hello Kitty goodies that she estimated would set her back more than US$200, and wearing a Hello Kitty-themed shirt and necklace: “I have big plush dolls and furniture like drawers, a TV sta
Artressa Ng, 26, a nurse, posing with a shopping basket of Hello Kitty goodies that she estimated would set her back more than US$200, and wearing a Hello Kitty-themed shirt and necklace: “I have big plush dolls and furniture like drawers, a TV stand and a dresser. -- PHOTO: ALISON DE SOUZA
Shoppers: Convention-goers buying merchandise (the wall behind the display says Hello Kitty Friendship Station). -- PHOTO: ALISON DE SOUZA
Shoppers: Convention-goers buying merchandise (the wall behind the display says Hello Kitty Friendship Station). -- PHOTO: ALISON DE SOUZA
Jason Chua, a facility engineer, with his Hello Kitty collection. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
Jason Chua, a facility engineer, with his Hello Kitty collection. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
This picture taken on Oct 17, 2014, shows Hello Kitty goods being displayed at a Sanrio shop in Tokyo. Hello Kitty turns 40 on Nov 1 and fans of the cat (or girl), Japanese company Sanrio's beloved feline character, have been purringly happy. --
This picture taken on Oct 17, 2014, shows Hello Kitty goods being displayed at a Sanrio shop in Tokyo. Hello Kitty turns 40 on Nov 1 and fans of the cat (or girl), Japanese company Sanrio's beloved feline character, have been purringly happy. -- PHOTO: AFP

Hello Kitty turns 40 on Nov 1 and fans of the cat (or girl), Japanese company Sanrio's beloved feline character, have been purringly happy.

One of the reasons for their delight is the flurry of activities lined up throughout the year to mark the birthday,including a museum exhibition, the first official Hello Kitty Convention in the world, and other world premier events.

The Straits Times looks at how fans across the world have been and will be celebrating this special occasion:

Hello Kitty Run, Nov 1

Singapore

 Hello Kitty fans in Singapore will be participating in a huge birthday bash for the character, which involves a 5km Hello Kitty Run at Sentosa's Siloso Beach, as well as a beach party featuring Hello Kitty-themed fringe activities.

Some 15,000 people have signed up for the run, which will see participants running through various fun zones.

Activities at the beach will include sandcastle-building, beach volleyball, a live fashion show and performances by pop-jazz singing duo ShiLi & Adi.

Hello Kitty Convention, Oct 30 to Nov 2

Los Angeles, CA

Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles has seen hordes of Hello Kitty fans descending upon Sanrio's first Hello Kitty convention.

This #hellokittycon is expected to draw 25,000 fans over the four days.

The long sold-out event takes place at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is next to the Japanese American National Museum. The museum is also holding an exhibition that explores the feline's colourful history and influence on art and culture, in celebration of its 40th birthday.

Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm, opened since July

Hong Kong

The world's first Hello Kitty-themed farm opened in Hong Kong in July, as part of her birthday celebrations. Fans and visitors alike can purchase herbs and other souvenirs from the farm, which aims to educate visitors about green living. Apart from taking pictures with the Hello Kitty standees at the farm, visitors can also feed the goats there.

Those with sharp eyes will be able to spot melons around the farm with Hello Kitty stencils stuck onto them, so that its face is left behind when the stickers are removed.

The grand finale of Hong Kong's Hello Kitty 40th anniversary celebrations comes in the form of a Hello Kitty Go Around event in Kowloon Bay, which runs from Oct 30 to Nov 16.

This carnival-themed event features a ferris wheel, game stalls, and a life-sized carousel. Fans can also take selfies at designated areas.

New Hello Kitty-themed parade, since 2014

Japan

To celebrate Hello Kitty's 40th birthday, a new parade at Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo, Japan, was launched. The theme of the parade is Arigato Hug You, and showcases both acrobatic performances and singing performers dressed in Hello Kitty outfits.

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town celebrations, Oct 30 to Nov 2

Malaysia

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town in Nusajaya, Malaysia, will be celebrating the feline's birthday across four days.

One of the celebration's highlights is the Town's attempt to create a record of the most number of Hello Kitty fans and the most number of selfies taken in the Town on Nov 1.

Still can't get enough of the famous cat? Follow these popular hastags: #hellokitty40 and #hellokitty40th on Instagram / Twitter

Sources: Sanrio.com, latimes.com, scmp.com, followkitty.com, puroland.jp, Sanrio Hello Kitty Town Facebook page

brynasim@sph.com.sg