Chinese New Year
Late January or early February
Chinese (or Lunar) New Year is Hong Kong’s biggest and most important festival. A colorful celebration when gifts are exchanged, everyone gathers at home for feasting, and the children receive lai see, or ‘lucky money’, in bright red envelopes for good luck. Everyone greets one another with “kung hei fat choy”, which roughly translates to “good wishes, good fortune”.
It is also the only time of year when most shops and businesses are closed over a three-day period (longer in some traditional industries). Food stores and markets will close, so stock up on groceries in advance.
Ching Ming Festival
An important holiday, particularly for the older and more traditional local Chinese. Thousands of Chinese visit cemeteries to clean the graves of their loved ones, leave food and wine for the spirits, and to burn paper offerings for the deceased.
Lord Buddha’s Birthday
The Birthday of Lord Buddha is celebrated throughout Hong Kong and activities and celebrations take place at many of Hong Kong’s temples. The celebrations are particularly big at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, the home to the biggest outdoor Buddha in the world.
Tuen Ng Festival
Popularly known as the Dragon Boat Festival, Tuen Ng is one of Hong Kong’s most popular festivals, drawing thousands of spectators and dragon boat racing teams from around the world. The holiday is said to be in honor of a national hero, who drowned himself over 2,000 years ago to protest against corruption in government. Legend has it that his friends threw rice dumplings into the water to prevent the fish from eating his body, and used paddles to create waves to scare them away. Dragon boat races are held during this festival and glutinous rice dumplings are eaten.
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
This holiday commemorates the day that Hong Kong sovereignty was transferred from the United Kingdom to China and the SAR was formed. The event is marked by a large scale fireworks display in Victoria Harbour and is also used as a day for protesters to form political rallies and marches aimed at improving civil rights.
Late September or Early October
Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Cake Festival, is Hong Kong’s second biggest festival next to Chinese New Year. It is traditionally a celebration of China’s rebellion against Mongolia during the 14th century, when people communicated secretly with each other using notes stuffed inside small cakes to plan their revolt. Nowadays, people celebrate by lighting lanterns and eating “moon cakes”, round cakes made of a paste of lotus and sesame paste, covered by pastry.
Chung Yeung Festival
The Chung Yeung Festival is an important celebration in Hong Kong where people give respect to their ancestors. Also referred to as Autumn Remembrance, Chinese families pay visits to the graves of their family members and perform cleansing rituals. Many families also mark the occasion by going on family hikes and picnics.
Public Holidays 2014
|The first day of January||1 January||Wednesday|
|Lunar New Year’s Day||31 January||Friday|
|The second day of Lunar New Year||1 February||Saturday|
|The fourth day of Lunar New Year||3 February||Monday|
|Ching Ming Festival||5 April||Saturday|
|Good Friday||18 April||Friday|
|The day following Good Friday||19 April||Saturday|
|Easter Monday||21 April||Monday|
|Labour Day||1 May||Thursday|
|The Birthday of the Buddha||6 May||Tuesday|
|Tuen Ng Festival||2 June||Monday|
|Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day||1 July||Tuesday|
|The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival||9 September||Tuesday|
|National Day||1 October||Wednesday|
|Chung Yeung Festival||2 October||Thursday|
|Christmas Day||25 December||Thursday|
|The first weekday after Christmas Day||26 December||Friday|
Public Holiday 2015
|The first day of January||1 January||Thursday|
|Lunar New Year’s Day||19 February||Thursday|
|The second day of Lunar New Year||20 February||Friday|
|The third day of Lunar New Year||21 February||Saturday|
|The day following Ching Ming Festival||6 April||Monday|
|Good Friday||3 April||Friday|
|The day following Good Friday||4 April||Saturday|
|The day following Easter Monday||7 April||Tuesday|
|Labour Day||1 May||Friday|
|The Birthday of the Buddha||25 May||Monday|
|Tuen Ng Festival||20 June||Saturday|
|Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day||1 July||Wednesday|
|The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival||28 September||Monday|
|National Day||1 October||Thursday|
|Chung Yeung Festival||21 October||Wednesday|
|Christmas Day||25 December||Friday|
|The first weekday after Christmas Day||26 December||Saturday|
As Ching Ming Festival in 2015 falls on a Sunday, the following day will be designated as a general holiday in substitution. However, as the day following Ching Ming Festival and Easter Monday fall on the same day, the next following day that is not itself a general holiday will be observed as an additional general holiday.