Festivals, Traditions, Festive Seasons and Holidays

Hong Kong enjoys the best of East and West in regard to festivals and holidays. The Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year), usually in late January or early February, is the most important festival in the year.

Festivals

Other traditional festivals that are still celebrated with colourful and vibrant activities include:

  • Spring Lantern (Chinese Valentine’s Day) - that is the 15th day of the first lunar month which is celebrated with family gatherings and eating of glutinous rice balls together and with beautiful lanterns display in major parks

  • Birthday of Tin Hau (the Queen of Heaven and the Goddess of the Sea) (the 23rd day of the 3rd lunar month, usually in April or May) - on top of celebrations in different Tin Hau Temples in Hong Kong, there are parades of dragon and lion dances and exchanges of fa pau (paper floral tributes)

  • Birthday of Tam Kung (a patron of boat people) (4th lunar month) – it is celebrated by fishermen and the coastal community. There are colourful parades of dragon and lion dances by the Tam Kung Temple in Shau Kei Wan on Hong Kong Island

  • Tuen Ng Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) (on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, usually in June) - the waters around Hong Kong come alive with the sounds of beating drums of dragon boat racing competitions

  • Cheung Chau Jiao Festival (Bun Festival) (usually in May) – the festival is held on Cheung Chau Island (an hour’s ferry ride from Central). It features a “floating colours” parade in which child performers dressed in costumes of mythical or modern characters suspended by rods and wires, seemingly floating in the air. The Bun Scrambling Competition is the festival’s highlight

  • Hungry Ghost Festival (the 7th lunar month) – for the Chiu Chow community, it is Yu Lan Festival. Paper offerings and incense are burnt on the road side for the ghosts and ancestors to use in the netherworld. Temporary bamboo stages are set up in different districts for Chinese opera performances

  • Mid-Autumn Festival (the 15th day of the 8th lunar month) – it is celebrated with family gatherings during the full moon, eating mooncakes and displaying lanterns. The fire dragon dance in Tai Hang in Causeway Bay is a spectacular event in which a dragon inserted with joss sticks is paraded around the area.

Traditions

Another interesting tradition is “petty person beating” which takes place under Canal Road Flyover in Causeway Bay on the Hong Kong Island where old ladies sitting in front of small altars with burning incense sticks, chanting and beating paper voodoo dolls with a shoe. It mainly takes place at the beginning of March during the day of Awakening of Insects, the third solar term. But nowadays, you can find the ritual practised throughout the year.

Festive Seasons

Around late-November, many buildings put up festive lights in preparation for Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year.

General Holidays in 2021 and 2022:

2021

2022#

Every Sunday

Every Sunday

The first day of January

1 January

1 January

Lunar New Year’s Day, the second day of Lunar New Year and the third day of Lunar New Year

12 -15* February

1 - 3 February

Ching Ming Festival

5 April*

5 April

Good Friday

2 April

15 April

The day following Good Friday

3 April

16 April

Easter Monday

6 April*

18 April

Labour Day

1 May

2 May*

The Birthday of the Buddha

19 May

9 May*

Tuen Ng Festival

14 June

3 June

HKSAR Establishment Day

1 July

1 July

The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

22 September

12 September*

National Day

1 October

1 October

Chung Yeung Festival

14 October

4 October

Christmas Day

25 December

26 December*

The first weekday after Christmas Day

27 December

27 December*

# tentative
* a general holiday in substitution
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