Hong Kong Tuen Ng Festival Holiday

Tuen Ng Festival is a traditional festival of China, which is celebrated each year in the Mainland, as well as, in Hong Kong. The day is a celebration with different types of festivities. It includes savouring delicious rice dumplings and boat racing events in Hong Kong. The name of this traditional festival is basically a Cantonese word. Many people also call it as the Duanwu Festival or Dragon Boat Festival. Rowers and revellers come together in Hong Kong’s waterways in the morning. It is to enjoy the events and fun on this day. Apart from rowing rituals, the day also features people in fancy dress and families coming together. This festival has derived its name from an event called the Bun Scrambling Competition. Replicas of buns are stuck to a mammoth bamboo tower. Participants climb this tower to gather lucky buns- the more the better.

DateDayPublic Holiday
25 June 2020ThursdayTuen Ng Festival
14 June 2021MondayTuen Ng Festival
3 June 2022FridayTuen Ng Festival
22 June 2023ThursdayTuen Ng Festival
10 June 2024MondayTuen Ng Festival
31 May 2025SaturdayTuen Ng Festival


Hong Kong Public Holidays
Chung Yeung Festival in Hong KongNational Day in Hong Kong
 

 

How Do They Celebrate This Event?

This Chinese festival is a celebration annually and falls on the lunar calendar’s 5th month’s 5th day every year. Several people in Hong Kong celebrate this public holiday by sampling rice dumplings. They also pay their homage to Qu Yuan, an ancient poet who lived during the Warring States period of China. The residents of the island are busy with a sacrificial ceremony that also refer to as the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. There is a tragic story behind the origin of the festival, which is a plague that ruined the island during the rule of the Qing Dynasty. The islanders had then constructed an altar in proximity to the Pak Tai Temple. The deity was employed according to popular belief to remove the evil spirits, which had destroyed the island.

 

What to Do During Tuen Ng in Hong Kong?

While the Tuen Ng Festival is one of the major family festivals in China according to the lunar calendar, the fact is that it is the least popular one. Here are some of the things people do during this public holiday in Hong Kong:

Eating Rice Dumplings

While some Hong Kongers may not go out to watch boat races on this day as they would rather stay back at home and rest, savouring rice dumplings is something every Hong Konger would like to do each year to celebrate the day. You can even find people gathering outside some of the best-known bakers and restaurants in the city a few days prior to the festival to buy rice dumplings. In Hong Kong, Kee Wah is a popular brand that sells rice dumplings. Thus, wonderful delicacies are an integral part of the festival. You will also find zongzi at numerous food stalls around the city. People love to wash down the dumplings with wine or beer. There are many food markets while live entertainment and music make the atmosphere fun and exciting.

Watch the Boat Races

As the festival has a popular name which is the Dragon Boat Festival, it is a common sight to find many people flocking near the city’s waterways to watch the boat races and cheer for their favourite team. After eating the dumplings on the day of the festival, many Hong Kongers attend one the dragon boat races in the afternoon.

Take a Dip in the Water of Dragon Boat

Once the boat races conclude, people take a dip in the dragon boat water as they say it is good luck. Typically, it also denotes any kind of swimming in the sea. This fun activity is quite popular near the beaches of the island.

Tuen Ng is truly an astounding time as the numerous waterways around the city become vibrant with hundreds of dragon boats competing with one another.  Some teams from abroad come to Hong Kong during the occasion and participate in these boat racing events. These dragon boats in Hong Kong are constructed to resemble mammoth war canoes.

The boats can vary in size while the strength of the crew may range from 20 to 80 participants. These days, many of the crew members of these dragon boats also include women. It is a public holiday in the city that also celebrates and pays respect to the Goddess of Heaven. The goddess says to take care of the safety of the racers of the dragon boats. This Chinese festival is an ancient one and is over two thousand years old. The festival was observed as a holiday in China in the year 2005. Dumplings form an essential part of this Chinese festival.

Hong Kong Tuen Ng Festival Holiday