Hong Kong Festivals Calendar
Hong Kong Festivals & Events
Hong Kong is a Chinese community and most of its festivals have to do with traditional Chinese festivals.
As the Chinese observe their own calendar, most of the dates of the festivals are listed in accordance with it, though the equivalent month in the international calendar is also stated.
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Chinese New Year
This is the time most looked forward to by the Chinese as this spring festival brings bright new hopes for the coming year. A time for food in abundance, and where young children and unmarried people receive red packets, containing a token sum of money, from their elders and other married relatives. Red is also an auspicious colour this time.
Public Holiday: 1st, 2nd and 3rd day
Spring Lantern Festival
On the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations, lanterns are adorned everywhere - in homes, business properties and public areas - and those still single have fun with the lanterns: to determine their respective lovers.
Ching Ming Festival
Ching Ming is a time for a show of filial piety - for one's dearly departed and many, many people make their way to their relatives' graves for a yearly offering of food. Of course, they will also clean and beautify the graves.
( Public Holiday )
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Celebrated on Cheung Chau Island, this festival is held in honour of the deity Pak Tai, who drove away evil spirits from the island. Towers of sweet buns are erected and they are a sight to behold.
Birthday of Tam Kung
Fishermen pray to Tum Kung for protection at sea. This celebration has been held since 1905 and are similar to the celebrations held in honour of the goddess Tin Hau.
Tam Kung Temple in Shau Kei Wan on Hong Kong Island is the place to be on May 5, 2006, to celebrate the birthday of Tam Kung, another important patron of seafarers believed to bestow safe voyages and happiness.
This boy-god is said to be able to calm storms by tossing a handful of peas into the air.
The Enlightenment Day of Lord Buddha is observed at temples and monasteries throughout Hong Kong.
Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival is one exciting time when the Chinese eats special dumplings, called 'chang'. It dates back over 2,000 years after Qu Yuan, the Chinese patriot, drowned himself to protest against corruption amongst officials. The villagers nearby beat drums from their boats to scare the fishes away, and threw dumplings into the sea so that the fish wouldn't eat Qu Yuan's body. The highlights of this festival are the boat races - attended by teams from all over the world - and the delicious meat-and-rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves. Read More...
Weaver Girl and The Cowherd
A Chinese folklore which tells of the romantic love story between the Weaver Girl and the Cowherd who only get to meet once a year. The celebration in Hong Kong emphasizes the religious rites and showcases needlework competitions.
Yue Lan (Hungry Ghost) Festival
The Chinese believe that the dead are released from the underworld once a year, during the seventh month, and prayers are held and offerings of food are made to the roaming spirits to appease them. And of course, the Chinese are more likely to curb their nightly outdoor activities during this month to avoid unwelcome meetings with the departed ones. The highlight of this festival is the unique but dying art of the Chinese opera. Fascinating watch.
Held on the night when the moon is brightest, the Chinese light up beautiful lanterns and savour sweet cakes known simply as "mooncakes" to remember the successful uprising of the Chinese people against the ruling Mongols. The call to arms was written on pieces of paper hidden in the mooncakes and passed to every household.
Public Holiday : 2nd October
Monkey God Festival
A lively celebration to honour the mischievous Monkey God, whose adventures in The Journey to the West, a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) novel, have never failed to thrill its readers through the times.
Birthday of Confucious
To commemorate one of China's most famous philosophers whose "Five Virtues" teaching are greatly adhered to by Chinese the world over.
Chung Yeung Festival
Also known as Autumn Remembrance, this is a day to remember and respect one's ancestors. It is similar to the Ching Ming Festival in spring and there is also a Han Dynasty legend connected to it. It is said that the king was advised to take his family to a high place on the ninth day of the ninth moon. When they came back, they discovered that they had escaped death as all the living things in the village had been slaughtered. And so began the Chung Yeung Festival.
Dong Zhi (Winter Solstice Festival)
This is the most important festival after the Chinese New Year. A time for family reunions and families make it a point to be together to enjoy little round balls made of glutinous rice, boiled in syrup.