About Hong Kong

There are 17 designated public holidays in Hong Kong each year. In addition to Christmas, Good Friday and Easter, Hong Kong celebrates Buddha's birthday and other traditional Chinese festivals.

Chinese New Year and National Day holiday are the only three-day festivals, however they are referred to as the; Golden Weeks because it is Chinese practice to work on the weekend prior to the holiday and add two days to the end of the three-day holiday.

Chinese New Year

The most important annual festival is Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival. It is held in January or February depending on the Lunar Calendar of that year. During the holiday most of the Chinese population spend time with their families, subsequently most businesses are closed for a week. As the majority of the Chinese population tend to travel during this period, it is wise to book holidays in advance. Schools will be closed during this time, however some International Schools might adopt the holiday of their home countries.

National Day

The second, Golden Week, is the National Day holiday, which is held from October 1 to October 7. It was established by the Government in 1949 to celebrate the founding of the People's Republic. Similar to the Chinese New Year holiday the majority of the Chinese population tends to travel during this period, so it is wise to book holidays in advance.

Festivals in China are elaborate and vibrant affairs. Take part in a decorated dragon boat racing during the Tuen Ng Festival, watch impressive firework displays at Chinese New Year, or sample various moon cakes during the Mid Autumn Festival - Chinese festivals are a time to be with families and friends.

For a brief overview of festival origins and the dates when they are celebrated, pick up a copy of the Hong Kong Tourist Association's free brochure, Events and Festivals.

Hong Kong Tourist Association
Tel: 2508 1234
www.hkta.org

Public Holiday

New Year 1 day/January

Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) 3 days/February

Good Friday 1 day/April

The day following Good Friday 1 day/April

Easter Monday 1 day/April

Ching Ming (Tomb-Sweeping) Festival 1 day/April

Labour Day 1 day/May

The Buddha's Birthday 1 day/May

Tuen Ng Festival (Dragon Boat) Festival 1 day/June

HKSAR Establishment Day 1 day/July

Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival 1 day/September

National Day 3 days/October

Chung Yeung Festival 1 day/October

Christmas Day 1 day/December

Boxing Day 1 day/December


Spring Festival is the most important of the Chinese Festivals, and is celebrated on the first day of the first moon of the traditional lunar calendar, usually late January or early February. Celebrating the new Chinese New Year also marks the start of the plowing and sowing season. This period is often spent with family the most important gathering includes a huge family feast on the eve of the New Year. It is also a period of great decoration, with homes, buildings and shops all well decorated with wishes of good luck. It happens to be the noisiest of all holidays, with firecrackers going off regularly every night for the week.

Lantern Festival is held on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar Year and celebrates the end of the Spring Festival and the first full moon of the New Year. Following a long tradition dating back to the Han Dynasty, people celebrate by carrying bright-coloured lanterns through the streets and eating glutinous rice balls. The most popular place to see the Lantern Festival in Shanghai is at Yuyuan.

Tomb-Sweeping Day (Ching Ming). Ching Ming in Chinese means; clean and bright.. In Western terms, this holiday is a Chinese Memorial Day. It is a time of sentimental remembrance of those who have passed on, by those who continue. Entire families take the day to clean and manicure their forebears resting place.

Chinese Festivals - Festivals and Events

Chinese Lunar New Year - Feb. Spectacular fireworks.
Birthday of Buddha - April / May. Buddhist Temples.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival - www.cheungchau.org
May - Dragon Boat Festival
June - Hungry Ghost
Aug / Sept - Chinese Opera.
Mid-Autumn Festival - October. Lantern Festival.

More details visit
www.discoverhongkong.com

Dragon Boat Festival (Duan Wu). Duan Wu (day of Right mid-day) is the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar year. The story behind this unique celebration dates back more than 2000 years ago centers on a patriotic court official named Qu Yuan. Qu tried to warn the emperor of an increasingly corrupt Government but failed. In a last desperate protest, he threw himself into the river and drowned. Later, Qu's sympathizers jumped into boats beat the water with their oars and made rice dumplings wrapped in reed leaves (Zong Zi) and scattered them into the River in the hope that fish would eat them instead of Qu's body. Today, People eat 'Zong Zi' and organize boat race to mark the occasion.

Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month usually around September each year. Celebrating the full moon people eat moon cakes! Moon cakes are usually a sweet pastry with a variety of fillings available, most commonly including egg yolk and red bean paste. It is also a time where boxed moon cakes are commonly given and received as gifts.

Feng Shui

Decisions on the design of buildings and even on where to place your bed in your apartment are made based on the ancient Chinese geomancers art of Feng Shui. The principles of Feng Shui, which literally means wind and water, are an intrinsic part of doing business in Hong Kong. A Feng Shui Master is consulted to determine the site of a building, the arrangement of furniture, the opening of an office, or the selection of a wedding date. The most auspicious dates and physical settings are those in harmony with the elemental forces of the earth.