2015 Bank Holidays in Hong Kong is an attempt to highlight the public holidays of the country that are designated by the Government for the year 2015 in keeping with the festivals, history, culture and traditions of the land.
An interesting feature of the 2015 Bank Holidays in Hong Kong is the fact that Qing Ming Festival and Easter Monday in collaboration would fetch the country five consecutive holidays. This is because of the fact that Qing Ming Festival in 2015 is a Sunday, and the following day is Easter Monday which is again a holiday, and as such an additional general holiday would be added making the following Tuesday a non working day too.
Here is a list 2015 Bank Holidays in Hong Kong with a brief idea about the background and commemoration of each:
New Years Day – Hong Kong too joins in the celebrations with the rest of the world to usher in the New Year with élan. People throng the waterfront region of the Hong Kong islands mostly to celebrate the setting in of a brand new year, the Victoria Harbor being one of the most favorite spots to mark a spectacular countdown. Party atmosphere reigns supreme. There is also an eight minute display of light and sound show up in the sky above the iconic Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Chinese New Year – Chinese New Year celebrations in Hong Kong are as unique as they are adored. This is the biggest festival of the year with celebrations spanning for around fifteen days. This is celebrated amidst traditional observances and in close company of family and friends. Neighborhoods are decorated with lanterns and lights. People flock to the temple to pray and eat symbolic food which they believe would bring them good luck and prosperity. From fireworks to festive flower markets, from Night Parades to betting on Horse Races, people leave no leaf unturned to enjoy the season to the hilt.
Good Friday –This is a day when the Christians mourn the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Qing Ming Festival – When literally translated, this day means clean and bright. This is the day the people in Hong Kong pay tribute to their ancestors by sweeping and cleaning their graves. It is also the custom to burn paper replicas of objects they may need in their afterlife as offering.
Easter Monday – This day commemorates the day after Easter which is the day when the Christendom celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Labor Day – This is the day when Hong Kong, like many other countries across the globe, acknowledges the contribution of the working class people and their struggle to establish their rights.
The Buddha’s Birthday – The Birthday of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Hong Kong. It is a unique festival with deep spiritual connotations. According to the local belief, Lord Buddha was bathed by nine dragons by spraying water on him when he was born. To mark that people visit temples and spray water over statues of Buddha with bowls full of water. This is believed to cleanse ones soul. Grand ceremonies are organized in the temples and in the monasteries, one of the notable ones being at the Po Lin Monastery located on the Lantau Island. It is also a custom to eat green bitter cookies before bathing the Buddha to establish the fact that one ha to go through hardships to enjoy any pleasure.
Dragon Boat Festival – This festival which is also known by the name of Tuen Ng Festival has its origin about 2000 years ago. This day commemorates the story from the pages of folklore with state that the Chinese National Hero Qu Yuan, who was also a poet of repute, sacrificed his life in the Mi Lo River as a protest against corruption in the then rulers. It is also believed that people rushed in boats in an attempt to save him, and also beat drums and threw rice dumplings in the river to scare away fish in case they tried to get to this corpse. Even today people eat glutinous rice dumplings that are known as zongzi, either swim in a nearby water body or at least dip their hands, and beat drums. In many places boat racing competitions are organized.
Special Administration Region (SAR) Day – This is the day that commemorates the foundation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region which happened in the year 1997 as Hong Kong got transferred from the rules of United Kingdom to the reigns of China. This is a day when many political parades and rallies are organized. Also on this day an official extravaganza of fireworks mesmerizes people.
Late mid autumn festival – This is the day when the people of Hong Kong commemorate two things – Reunion with family and bounty of harvest. In Chinese culture, the shape round is considered very auspicious as it is believed to represent union and material satisfaction. Some people consider this to be the most significant festival of the year. Traditions include worshipping the Moon with offerings of flavored wine and spherical fruits like grapes, pomegranates etc, and of course the Moon Cake. Moon cake are spherical cakes made and consumed specially for the occasion and are believed to bring in good luck. Hong Kong has always created a fusion of tradition and modernity in all its celebrations. Fire Dragon dancing can be seen on this day. Beautiful lantern displays can be seen in many neighborhoods. A carnival is held at the Victoria Park with loads of amusements.
National Day – This is the day that marks the foundation of the People's Republic of China that happened in the year 1949 and is celebrated in Mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong as well. The celebrations in Hong Kong however started much later since 1997 after the territories got transferred from Britain to China. Apart from the hoisting of the national flag there are many parades that are organized too. But the most spectacular vision is offered by the fireworks that light up the sky.
Chung Yeung Festival – The Chung Yeung Festival is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month according to the Chinese Lunar calendar. This doubling up of the factor nine is considered to be inauspicious as per Chinese beliefs. As such, many rituals are followed that are believed to help people conquer the hurdles and bring in good luck. In Hong Kong, people gather at cemeteries on this day to pay respect to their ancestors. Since this festival occurs in the spring season, people also take the opportunity to picnic outdoors. It is a common tradition to eat special cakes known as “ko” on this day with the belief that it would help them achieve higher positions in life. Based on legends and folklores it is also the custom to hike to the city’s highest point on this day to avoid bad luck.
Christmas Day – Like most parts of the world Hong Kong too celebrates the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ on this day, who the Christians believe to be the son of God. On this day, Churches hold special prayer services. It is a day of fun and feasting with family and friends. Preparations for this day begin much earlier as people adorn homes, public places and businesses with holiday themed décor and lighting. Shopping also forms a major part of Christmas celebrations. A unique feature of Christmas holidays in Hong Kong is the Winter Fest that has been in vogue for about two thousand years now. It is spectacle to watch with lighting, carol singers, food, shops with attractive discounts and more.
Boxing Day (Observed) – Since the Boxing Day this year is a non working day in Hong Kong as it is; the next working day has been designated as a holiday to observe the Boxing Day. The custom for this day is more prevalent in countries that have strong British influence. This is the day when as per the British traditions employers used to give the employees a day off and also distributed gifts, foods and clothing to them. Today this day is an opportunity to prolong the Christmas vacation which gives people to spend more time in the company of family and friends.
List of 2015 Bank Holidays in Hong Kong
|Thursday||January 01||New Years Day|
|Thursday||February 19||Chinese New Year|
|Friday||February 20||Chinese New Year|
|Friday||April 03||Good Friday|
|Saturday||April 04||Qing Ming Festival|
|Monday||April 06||Easter Monday|
|Friday||May 01||Labor Day|
|Monday||May 25||The Buddha’s Birthday|
|Saturday||June 20||Dragon Boat Festival|
|Wednesday||July 01||Special Administration Region (SAR) Day|
|Monday||September 28||Late mid Autumn festival|
|Thursday||October 01||National Day|
|Wednesday||October 21||Chung Yeung Festival|
|Friday||December 25||Christmas Day|
|Monday||December 28||Boxing Day (Observed)|