Government of Hong Kong (GovHK) will release official public holiday dates for the following year at every year-end. Under the Hong Kong laws, if a designated public holiday happens to fall on Sunday, or on the same day of another holiday, the following weekday would be a public holiday. Under the Employee Ordinance of Labour Legislation, employers are compulsory to give to their employees 12 statutory holidays of the Hong Kong public holidays regardless of the employee length of service. Employers are not allowed to pay the employee in any form in lieu of the statutory holiday.
The first day of a calendar year (January 1) is New Year celebration and it is an exciting affair in Hong Kong. The general population gets a day off on this special day. There are a plethora of ways to celebrate the New Year in Hong Kong. You may opt for an alluring cruise ride or watch the light and sound show called Symphony of Lights. You can also marvel at Hong Kong’s skyline sparkling with colourful fireworks. Besides that, participating in the New Year’s Parade in Hong Kong is one of the best ways to celebrate this special day. You can also visit Tsim Sha Tsui and attend a live concert and so on.
Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year. It is one of the most glorious holidays and is officially celebrated for 3 days in Hong Kong. It is the time when people in Hong Kong love to exchange gifts with their loved ones and kids get lucky monkeys, hand over to them in red envelopes. Also, people love taking part in intriguing dragon and lion dances in Hong Kong. In second day of the Lunar New Year, a member of the government of Hong Kong will visit the Che Kung Temple located at Sha Tin to get the prediction of the city’s luck for the entire year through an ancient form of Chinese poetry.
Good Friday is one of the two Christian holidays celebrated in Hong Kong which is also a part of the Easter holidays. It is a commemoration of the lord’s Passion, crucifixion, and death, as mentioned in the Holy Bible. It is a day that comes after Maundy Thursday. This day is also a bank holiday in Hong Kong. The general population of the city gets a day off while a majority of the businesses and all schools are also on holiday break. There are several beautiful churches located on the Island of Hong Kong and St. John’s Cathedral is a place everyone wants to be in for observing the day.
Easter Monday is part of the Easter holidays and it is falls after Easter Sunday celebrated with a lot of zeal and great enthusiasm by the Christian residents. Christians in the city indulge in various popular Western customs such as chocolate eggs brunches, Easter egg hunts, and many other festivities. Several places in the city hosts events such as Easter eggs hunts, and other fun Easter-themed entertainment for the kids. Also, Hong Kong’s big malls have beautiful decorations for Easter and are also likely to have Easter promotions. Millions of people in China have joined the bandwagon of Easter eggs hints for the sake of fun or novelty.
Qingming or Ching Ming Festival in Hong Kong is a special day for the Chinese people to remember their ancestors. The festival officially begins 104 days after winter solstice. It is that day of the year when people of Hong Kong are sweeping their ancestors’ graves in the city. They also do touch up to the headstone inscriptions, light incense, and offer food to their deceased ancestors. Several families even burn firecrackers, burn ghost money or fake paper money, and light incense and some families even go to the extent of sharing their meals to eat with their ancestors at the grave.
Hong Kong observes the birthday of Buddha as a national holiday. It refers to the Buddha Bathing Festival or Lord Buddha’s Birthday. On this auspicious occasion, numerous monasteries and Buddhist temples are buzzing with different types of activities. These holy places are also lit with lanterns that symbolize the enlightenment of Lord Buddha. The altars of these temples and monasteries are full of incense sticks and the offerings. Buddha’s images are bathed thoroughly to denote spiritual purity. In Hong Kong, several people also visit and pay their respect at Sha Tin’s Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.
Labour Day also referred as May Day and International Workers’ Day. It is celebrated around the world including Hong Kong. On this special occasions, all the shops are closed except for railway stations and airports. The workers can rest from their hard work and some will explore shopping destinations such as Causeway and SoHo and indulge in some shopping. Besides that, the Hong Kongers have a chance to take a leisurely stroll around the city’s Stanley market and enjoy the sun. Some workers will participate in protest marches on the roads in large numbers so that they can pressurize their employers to accept their proposals and demands.
Tuen Ng Festival is a traditional festival of China. Some people also call it as Duanwu Festival or Dragon Boat Festival. It is celebrated every year in the Mainland and in Hong Kong. This festival has derived its name from an event called the Bun Scrambling Competition where replicas of buns are stuck to a mammoth bamboo tower. Participants will climb this tower to gather lucky buns, the more the better. On this day, some Hong Kongers will stay back at home and rest, savouring rice dumplings while some may go out to watch boat races. Some teams from abroad will come to Hong Kong during this occasion to participate in the boat racing events.
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Establishment Day is a holiday that celebrates the United Kingdom’s transfer of sovereignty over the city to China. It also commemorates the occasion of Hong Kong being set up as a Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong celebrates this occasion every year on July 1 since 1997. Many Hong Kongers make it a point to come to Victoria harbour area early so that they can choose a good viewpoint to watch the firework display. Some also celebrate the occasion by enjoying different kinds of festivities such as fashion shows, carnivals, a variety of performances, and lion dances.
1st October is the National Day in Hong Kong. It is celebrated as a public holiday in Mainland China as well as in Macau and Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, the day is celebrated with the year’s most dazzling fireworks display, a patriotic ceremony where the National flag of the country is hoisted, and horse racing in the afternoon. The city of Hong Kong organizes several flag-raising functions so that people remember the significance of this important day. There are many aerobatics shows and sea parades and thousands of Hong Kongers are flocking the streets to watch the parades.
Mid-Autumn Festival is observes every year on the full moon of the 8th month’s 15th day of the Chinese calendar. This festival was an occasion of togetherness and people will pray to the moon god. It is a time when people in the city love watching the famous lion dance and mooncakes are an important part of this festival. Besides that, it is celebrate with traditional stage shows, game stalls, lantern riddle quizzes, and palm readings. During this period, you will find lanterns across the neighbourhoods and all over the city ranging from ancient and traditional style, paper, and modern ones. Kids in the city are elated with the fun lanterns given to them.
Chung Yeung Festival (also known as Autumn Remembrance, Festival of High Places, and Double-Ninth) in Hong Kong is a special day when people visit their ancestor memorials just like the Ching Ming Festival. Whole family gathers at the memorial of their ancestors and indulges in activities like grave-sweeping as a mark of respect to the departed souls. People also enjoy the festivities on this day by visiting nunneries, monasteries, and local temples in Hong Kong. Besides that, Hong Kongers are also seen eating ‘ko’, a special kind of cake with the hope that they will be elevated to high positions by doing so.
Hong Kong Christians regard Christmas quite seriously. They observe the festive occasion by involving in special performances, carol singing, and grand religious events. Santa in Hong Kong is popularly referred to as Father Christmas or Santa Claus. Chinese Christians in Hong Kong celebrate the festival with church services, which are conducted in Chinese. There are many things to do and see on Christmas day such as visit the Winterfest which organized by Hong Kong Tourism Board, watch fine ballet and opera shows, watch magnificent light art display on the city’s central harbourfront and so on. Ocean Park and Disneyland is the preferred destination for many locals during the Christmas season.