NB Most businesses observe General Holidays, which are in excess of the Statutory holidays observed by some workers, e.g. Domestic Helpers.
- Chinese New Year
This is the most important holiday in the Chinese lunar calendar. The date varies from late January to early February.
Each Chinese year is represented by a different animal on a twelve year cycle.
Red and gold decorations are put up and Orange trees are sold in the markets. Hong Kong holds a public parade and a dramatic firework display over the harbour.
Many workers receive a thirteenth month's salary bonus payment and workers, unmarried women and children ask for 'Lai See', a form of annual tip/gift given in red envelopes.
You will be asked by being wished 'Kung Hei Fat Choy'. The cash is always given in crisp new notes, not loose change! Schools are closed and many workers take extended leave, so it is effectively the equivalent of another Christmas break for many companies.
Yuen Sui (Spring Lantern) Festival
The Spring Lantern festival marks the end of Chinese New Year and you will see lanterns on display.
Ching Ming Festival
This April festival is a celebration of revered, deceased ancestors. Graves are cleaned and repaired. Graveside food and gifts are offered and fires are lit.
Tin Hau's Birthday
The birthday of the sea goddess is particularly significant in Hong Kong due to it's seafaring past.
Lord Buddha's Birthday
Buddhist temples honour the birthday of Lord Buddha.
In May the island of Cheung Chau hosts processions where children dressed as adults are elevated and paraded through the packed streets. Huge towers covered in lucky buns are erected and climbers compete to collect the highest buns!
Tuen Ng Festival
The June Dragon Boat festival sees boat races across the territory. Boats with dragon's heads and about twenty oarsmen and a drummer making the pace race against each other at Stanley, Discovery Bay and Shatin
Yue Lan Festival
The August 'Hungry Ghost' festival sees offerings made to appease spirits who were not looked after by their families at the time of their death.
An August holiday marking Hong Kong's liberation from the Japanese.
Seven Sisters Festival
An August festival when unmarried girls pray for a good husband.
The September "Moon Cake" festival celebrates the end of the farming year, and a famous revolutionary uprising against the Mongols during the 14th century.
Chung Yeung Festival
This October festival will again see relatives visiting graves and heading off to high ground. This reflects the legend of a man who saved himself and his family by going to high ground on the advice of a soothsayer.
The family returned home the next day to find that everything had been destroyed and that their neighbours were dead.