This list is an attempt to help highlight the various public holidays in Hong Kong that have been chosen by the Government for this particular year in the keeping with all of the traditions, culture, history and festivals of the country.
One of the most interesting things about the bank holidays in Hong Kong is that between the Qing Ming Festival and the Easter Monday there is a time span of 5 holidays in a row. This is because the Qing Ming Festival falls on a Sunday and then Easter Monday is also a holiday and Tuesday is a general holiday that will be a day off of work.
Here is a comprehensive list of the Hong Kong bank holidays for 2016, along with a brief description about the commemoration and background of each holiday.
- New Years Day – Hong Kong also celebrates the New Year along with the rest of the world to welcome the incoming year with pomp. People head to the waterfront area on the islands in order to celebrate the new year coming in. One of the most popular spots for the countdown is Victoria Harbor and the party spirit takes over. There is also a light display that lasts for 8 minutes along with some sound shows as well ove the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
- Chinese New Year – This is one of the most beloved and unique holidays in the country and it is also the largest festival since the celebrations span for nearly 15 days. This is celebrated with some traditional observances along with spend plenty of time with close friends and family. The neighborhoods are completely decorated with lights and lanterns and people head to the temples to pray. They also eat symbolic dishes that they think will bring them prosperity and good luck through the next year. There are festival flower markets and fireworks to enjoy along with night parades, horse races and much more. There isn’t anything that isn’t enjoyed during this time.
- Good Friday – On this day the Christian followers mourn that Jesus Christ was crucified.
- Qing Ming Festival – This holiday translate into clean and bright and this is the day that the people of Hong Kong pay their respects and tributes to their ancestors through cleaning and sweeping their graves. Also, they make paper replicas of any items that they believe they will need in the afterlife and burn them as an offering.
- Easter Monday – This is the day right after Easter and the Christian followers celebrate the resurrection of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
- Labor Day – On this day Hong Kong, along with numerous other countries across the world acknowledge the working class and their contributions and the struggle they faced in order to earn their rights.
- The Buddha’s Birthday – This is the day that is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Buddha, who founded Buddhism and it is an enthusiastically celebrated holiday. There are unique festivals that have deep spiritual meanings and according to the beliefs of the locals, Lord Buddha had been bathed by the spraying water of 9 dragons when he was born. In order to mark this, the people visit various temples and spray the statues of Buddha with bowls that are full of water. This is also thought to cleanse the soul and grand ceremonies are held at the monasteries and temples, including at the Po Lin Monastery that is found on Lantau Island. Also, on this day they also consume green bitter cookies before they head to bathe Buddha in order to establish that one must experience hardships before enjoying their pleasure.
- Dragon Boat Festival – This festival started nearly 2000 years ago and it is also called the Tuen Ng Festival. This day celebrates a folklore story about Qu Yuan, who is a Chinese national hero and a reputed poet. He had protested against the corruption of the rulers at the time by drowning himself in the Mi Lo River. Everyone believes that people had rushed over in their boats to attempt to rescue him and had beaten drums and thrown rice dumplings into the river to scare away any nearby fish that would attempt to get to his corpse. Today the people consume zongzi, which are glutinous rice dumplings and either go swimming in some water nearby or at least put their hands in the water and also beat on some drums. Also, some places organize boat racing competitions.
- Special Administration Region (SAR) Day – On this day they celebrate the foundation of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region, which occurred in 1997 when Hong Kong was transferred from being ruled by the United Kingdom to China. Also, on this day numerous political rallies and parades are organized and huge fireworks shows are put on to amaze the people.
- Late mid autumn festival – This festival celebrates the bounty of the harvest and reuniting with family. The round shape is considered to be extremely auspicious in the Chinese Culture and it is thought to represent material satisfaction and union. Some believe this is the most important festival that is held during the year and various traditions are upheld, including worshiping the moon with various offerings of spherical fruits and flavored wines. They also offer up the moon cake, which are spherical and made and eaten just for this occasion and are thought to bring the person eating it good luck. Hong Kong as been able to combine the modern elements along with tradition in the festival and you can also enjoy Fire Dragon Dancing on this day along with beautiful displays of lanterns. Also, in Victoria Park there is a carnival that is held that has plenty of rides and games to enjoy.
- National Day – On this day they celebrate the creation of the People’s Republic of China that occurred in 1949 and it is also celebrated in Macau and Mainland China. The celebrations in Hong Hong have only been going on since 1997 when they had been transferred from British rule to Chinese rule. However, they make sure to hoist the flag and there are plenty of parades to enjoy around the country, but the most amazing thing to enjoy on this day is the huge fireworks display that lights up the night sky.
- Chung Yeung Festival – This festival is always celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This double 9 factor is thought to be inauspicious according to the beliefs of the Chinese and because of that there are plenty of different rituals that are performed to help conquer any hurdles and to bring good luck. On this day in Hong Kong, the people visit cemeteries and pay their respects to their departed ancestors and also because it is during Spring, they typically organize and attend picnics to enjoy the weather. Also, special cakes that are called ko are eaten on this day and they are believed to help the person eating it achieve a higher position in life. Also, on this day because of the folklores and legends most people will visit the highest point of the city in order to avoid any bad luck.
- Christmas Day – Hong Kong, like everywhere else in the world, celebrates Christmas as the birthday of Jesus Christ, who is thought to be God’s son by the Christian followers. On this day the churches have special prayer services and it is a day full of feasting and fun with friends and family. The preparations for this particular holiday start early since people decorate their homes, businesses and other public places with Christmas themed decorations and lighting. Also, they go shopping as a huge part of the celebrations and they have the Winter Fest, which has been celebrated for some 2000 years. They have plenty of lighting, carolers, shops that offer good discounts, food and much more.
- Boxing Day – This day is the day after Christmas and it is a much more popular holiday in the countries that have a large British influence. This is also the traditional day when the British employers would give their employees an off day as well as give them gifts, clothing and food. However, today this day is an excuse to extend the Christmas holiday, which allows people to have more time to spend with their friends and family.
List of 2016 Bank Holidays in Hong Kong
|Day of the Week||Date||Holiday|
|Friday||January 01||New Years Day|
|Monday||February 08||Chinese New Year|
|Tuesday||February 09||Chinese New Year|
|Wednesday||February 10||Chinese New Year|
|Friday||March 25||Good Friday|
|Monday||March 28||Easter Monday|
|Monday||April 04||Qing Ming Festival|
|Sunday||May 01||Labor Day|
|Saturday||May 14||The Buddha’s Birthday|
|Thursday||June 09||Dragon Boat Festival|
|Friday||July 01||Special Administration Region (SAR) Day|
|Thursday||September 15||Late mid Autumn festival|
|Saturday||October 01||National Day|
|Monday||October 10||Chung Yeung Festival|
|Sunday||December 25||Christmas Day|
|Monday||December 26||Boxing Day|