Holidays bring a lot of excitement and enjoyment for people all around the world including those residing in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has a diverse culture and the festivals there speak of traditions in loud volumes. The festivals are based on the lunisolar calendar and the dates keep changing every year though one favorable aspect for the population of Hong Kong is that if a public holiday falls on a weekend then the following day is declared a holiday too.
The list of Hong Kong’s bank holidays 2017 is a group effort by the members of 123NewYear to bring to its respected readers a compiled list of holidays over the year with their respective dates and a brief idea about its traditions and roots of origin as well as an overview of how people in Hong Kong celebrate these holidays.
Here’s a list of Hong Kong’s bank holidays in 2017:
|Holidays in Hong Kong||Date||Description|
|New Year’s Day||2nd Jan 2017||The holiday is extended till Monday as the New Year falls on a Sunday (1st of Jan 2017). Just like the rest of the world, Hong Kong welcomes the first day of the Gregorian Calendar with much pomp and splendor. One spectacular sight during the final moments of the present year is the countdown firework display that takes place over Victoria Harbor. All nightclubs and discos host grand parties to receive the incoming year in style. Another act of celebration is the light display and sound shows that are held over the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.|
|Chinese New Year||28th January 2017||“Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is the biggest holiday in China and falls on the 1st day of the 1st Lunar month every year. The holiday is continued till the 31st of January 2017 and is also known as the Spring Festival. The Chinese New Year celebrations in Hong Kong have earned a place in the list of ‘World’s 10 best festival extravaganzas’ by Forbes. On the 1st day there is a big international parade on the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui. There are dozens of bands and groups performing in the parade as people hop to the beating music. The second day is scheduled with a giant display of fireworks with synchronized lights and laser light show over the Victoria Harbor. And on the final day, the greatest of horse races ‘The Chinese New Year Cup’ is held in the Sha Tin racecourse where the Jockey Club which is a nonprofit charity group performs a full traditional event. Even during this festival, the malls stay open for longer hours to manage the shopping rush.|
|Ching Ming Festival||4th April 2017||“This festival also known as the Quing Ming Festival falls in the third lunar month and is a day when the people of Hong Kong pay tribute to their ancestors. On this day, public transport companies arrange trips from the city to the hillside cemeteries. The translation of Ching Ming is clean and bright so people on this day often clean and sweep their ancestors tombs and even burn paper offerings of commodities that they believe will be needed in the afterlife on that spot.|
|Good Friday||14th April 2017||” Good Friday is celebrated on the day right after Maundy Thursday and is the start of the Easter weekend. It commemorates the death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ by the Christians. This day is a public holiday in Hong Kong and people enjoy it just as any other holiday.|
|Easter Monday||17th April 2017||” Easter in Hong Kong as a trickledown tradition from the British Legacy is a long weekend of holiday time from Good Friday to Easter Monday which is the final day. Majority people will be relaxing and spending quiet time with their friends and family on this day before heading off to work the next day. Special services will be held in churches. People may also host or attend Easter egg (chocolate eggs decorated with colorful Easter scenes) hunts or picnics or afternoon teas or brunches etc.|
|Labor Day||1st May 2017||“Also known as May Day, this is a public holiday in many countries of the world including Hong Kong. This day remembers the struggles, efforts and triumph of the union workers who had fought so hard for the eight-hour-work-a-day law for all the workers during which several people had lost their lives too. On this day in Hong Kong, workers and union members and activists march to government offices and organizations from Victoria Park.|
|Buddha’s Birthday||3rd May 2017||“The birthday of Buddha or Siddhartha Gautama who was the founder of Buddhism is one of the most cultural and spiritual festivals celebrated in Hong Kong. The legend goes that at birth, baby Buddha had been bathed with water sprayed by nine dragons. So till today, on his birthday, devotees of Buddha gather at Buddhist temples to bathe his statues in order to purify one’s soul through this ceremony. Also, before and after the birthday of Buddha, people eat green bitter cookies which signify the hardships one has to take in order to acquire rewards and happiness in life. A very elaborate ceremony is held at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island which is the home of the Big Buddha.|
|Dragon Boat Festival||“30th May 2017||“Also known as the Tuen Ng Festival, it started about 2000 years ago and revolves around a folk lore about Qu Yuan who was a famous chinese poet and minister during the Zhou Dynasty. This festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar and commemorates the death of Qu Yuan. It is said that when Ying was captured, Qu Yuan couldn’t accept it and committed suicide by drowning in the Miluo River. The local people who used to admire him had gone out to save him or at least his body in boats that had fronts shaped like dragons to scare away the fish. Since then it has become a tradition to host dragon boat races in Hong Kong on this day and hence the name. These races which have now evolved into major international events are held in about 10 sites of Hong Kong. The local ones are Stanley dragon Boat Championships held at the town of Stanley and others held at locations like Aberdeen, Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Cheung Chau, Discovery Bay and Tai O. The greatest of all the races is the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Race held along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade near the Avenue Of Stars at Victoria Harbor. People also eat glutinous rice dumplings called zongzi on this day.|
|Special Administration Region (SAR) Day||1st July 2017||“This holiday commemorates the shift of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the Republic of China and the establishment of SAR. It is being celebrated in Hong Kong every year since 1997. On this day, there is a pageantry including Hong Kong’s guards of honor, Police and military bands and helicopters making rounds overhead while the flag of Hong Kong is raised at Golden Bauhinia Square which was the original place of the handover back in 1997. There are also carnivals including cultural performances, lion and dragon dances, marching bands etc. at Chater Road Central. Along with these, a march is also led by the Civil Human Rights Front and a fireworks display at the evening in Victoria Harbor.|
|National Day||1st October 2017||The holiday is extended till the 2nd of October as 1st of the month is a Sunday. It is a public holiday to mark the anniversary of the date when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was ceremoniously founded back in 1949 at Tiananmen Square. There are a variety of government organized events on this day including fireworks and concerts along with public display of portraits of respected political leaders. One of the notable events of this day is the fireworks display of over 20 minutes long at the Victoria Harbor accompanied by synchronized music. Others include the flag raising ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square and the National Day Horse Race at the Sha Tin race course.|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||4th October 2017||The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month of the traditional Chinese calendar and is being celebrated since the Tang Dynasty (618-907 BC). The round shape symbolizes unity according to the Chinese culture, roundness relating to the shape of the moon and thus this festival always falls on a full moon night. This festival is also celebrated to pray for a good harvest and as well as enjoy a reunion with distant relatives. In the earlier years, families would reunite to make offerings of osmanthus flavored wine and spherical fruits like grapes and pomegranates. During this festival, it is a tradition to eat moon cakes. Programs like fire dragon dances, lantern exhibitions and carnivals are also organized.|
|Chung Yeung Festival||28th October 2017||This festival occurs on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month and hence is also known as the Double ninth Festival. Similar to the Ching Ming Festival, this festival also engages in the practice of ancestor worship. People go to the cemeteries and graveyards to burn incense sticks and make offerings like a roast suckling pig and fruits to their ancestors. On this day, people in Hong Kong also go outdoors to enjoy the weather and engage in picnics with their loved ones. Also, they eat special cakes called ‘Ko’ or ‘Chongyang’ meaning high or top which is believed to get them promotions or higher positions in life.|
|Christmas Day||25th December 2017||Just like the rest of the world, Hong Kong celebrates the birth date of Jesus Christ with a lot of extravagance. People during this time come together to spend time with friends and family, buy gifts for their loved ones and prepare and eat sumptuous Christmas food. On Christmas evening, you can see Christmas lights on 40 buildings along the Victoria Harbor which is a choreographed light show. There are also special services in Chinese at the churches for the Chinese Christians. Every year during this season there is a ‘winter fest’ which is a huge winter party with lots of shops, food stalls, music, theme parks and much more.|