Hong Kong Birthday of Buddha Holiday
Hong Kong observes the birthday of Buddha as a national holiday. This public holiday refers to the Buddha Bathing Festival or Lord Buddha’s Birthday in Hong Kong. In the Chinese lunar calendar, the occasion is a celebration on the 8th day of the 4th month of the year. On the other hand, in the Gregorian calendar, the day falls during the month of April. Hong Kong observes Lord Buddha’s Birthday as a public holiday. Since Great Britain handed over the rule of this city to the People’s Republic of China in 1997. The city has many people who follow Buddhism as a religion. Therefore, the day is a celebration with great enthusiasm and joy.
Following are the days and dates of this holy occasion when Hong Kong will have a public holiday:
|30 April 2020||Thursday||Birthday of Buddha|
|19 May 2021||Wednesday||Birthday of Buddha|
|8 May 2022||Sunday*||Birthday of Buddha|
|9 May 2022||Monday||Birthday of Buddha|
|26 May 2023||Friday||Birthday of Buddha|
|15 May 2024||Wednesday||Birthday of Buddha|
|5 May 2025||Monday||Birthday of Buddha|
Note: Any holidays that fall on a Sunday will be replaced the following Monday.
How Do They Celebrate The Birthday of Buddha?
On this auspicious occasion, every year, the 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. The devotees made it. Thousands of worshippers in the city visit these holy places to pay their homage. It is also for them to participate in the celebrations in Hong Kong. Water has an extremely important role to play in the festivities that take place to mark the birthday of Buddha because Buddha’s images are bathed thoroughly to denote spiritual purity.
What to Do During the Birthday of Buddha in Hong Kong?
As Hong Kong celebrates this holy day as a public holiday, check out the best things to do in the city on this occasion:
Thousands of Devotees Visit Temples and Monasteries
On this holy day, devotees of Lord Buddha are visiting the Buddhist temples or monasteries in Hong Kong. Many of the Hong Kongers are extremely fond of visiting the famous Po Lin Monastery situated on Lantau Island. Located at a distance of about 90 minutes from the city of Hong Kong, the monastery is reachable through various transport mediums such as ferries, cable cars, serviced buses, as well as, cars. In Hong Kong, several people also visit and pay their respect at Sha Tin’s Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.
However, this is not a full-fledged monastery because you will not find any resident monks living here. Another important tourist attraction, especially on this public holiday in Hong Kong is the Po Lin Monastery, which has the tallest bronze, seated, outdoor Buddha statue. All these are reasons for making it one of the most preferred destinations for the lord’s followers. Tian Tan Buddha or Big Buddha as the statue of the lord is fondly referred to as is visited by many on Lord Buddha’s Birthday. While they expect crowds here on this day, it is part of the charm.
Devotees Bathe Buddha’s Statues
Another important ceremony is to bath Lord Buddha’s small statues. The ceremonies happen to pay respect to the belief that when Lord Buddha was a baby, nine dragons in total sprayed water on his body.
Celebration of Cheung Chau Bun Festival of Floating Colors
The people of Hong Kong also celebrate some other events and festivals on this public holiday. For example, the city celebrates the Cheung Chau Bun Festival of Floating Colors with great fanfare on this day. The festival originated from an age-old ritual observed to safeguard the fishermen from pirates. The celebration of this festival continues for a week and includes a parade of musicians and floats on the Cheung Chau Island on Lord Buddha’s Birthday.
While the People’s Republic of China is formally a secular communist republic, the country also has the maximum number of Mahayana Buddhists. According to an estimate, there are more than 244 million followers of the religion in China. It is an official holiday not only in Hong Kong but also in Taiwan. In Hong Kong, the birthday of Buddha is a public holiday. However, the good news for locals as well as visitors is that shops, public transport, restaurants, and tourist attractions are open on this day and are fully operational. The city witnesses a large crowd in all the major places on this occasion. So you should make plans well in advance.