Hong Kong Travel Guide
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EVENTS

Hong Kong's combined use of the Western calendar and the Chinese lunar calendar can make trying to determine the exact date of festivals a bit tricky. Chinese New Year takes place in mid- to late-February, and many people get four days off for the event. Expect a massive fireworks display over Victoria Harbour. The Tin Hau Festival is a Taoist festival falling around late April. Junks are decorated and sail in long rows to Tin Hau temples to pray for clear skies and good fishing. The Dragon Boat Festival is held in June, with dragon boat races taking place in Hong Kong and Outlying Islands. Lantern Festival takes place in September or October. Lanterns are lit in homes, restaurants and temples. The Festival of Asian Arts is a major international event and usually occurs in October or November.

Public Holidays
Mar/Apr - Easter
Jan/Feb - Chinese New Year
1 Jan - New Year's Day
1 Oct - National Day
early Apr - Ching Ming
Jun - Dragon Boat Festival
1 May - Labour Day
1 Jul - Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day
late Apr - Buddha's birthday
late Oct - Cheung Yueng
early Oct - Mid-Autumn Festival
25 Dec - Christmas Day
26 Dec - Boxing Day

Festivals and special events are important to the traditional culture of the people of Hong Kong. Some of the main festivals are as follows:

LATE JANUARY - FEBRUARY: CHINESE NEW YEAR
This family festival involves the same ideas of change and renewal as its equivalents around the world. "Kung hay fat choi" means Happy New Year.

FEBRUARY: YUEN SIU (THE LANTERN FESTIVAL)
This festival marks the last official day of the New Year Festival and also has some of the characteristics of the West's Valentine's Day.

APRIL: CHING MING FESTIVAL
At this festival the families go together to visit the graves of their ancestors.

APRIL AND MAY: TIN HAU AND TAM KUNG
Tin Hau and Tam Kung are fishermen's festivals.

JUNE: TUEN NG (THE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL)
At this festival races take place in the harbour and at most of the islands.

AUGUST: THE MAIDENS' FESTIVAL/SEVEN SISTERS' FESTIVAL
This is a special event for young girls and lovers.

LATE AUGUST: FESTIVAL OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS
At this festival, regarded as an unlucky day, families take paper offerings such as homes, cars, money, food, clothes, etc. and burn them as gifts for the ghosts.

AUTUMN: MOON CAKE
This festival is similar to a Harvest Festival and remembers a revolt against the Mongols when secret messages were passed on hidden in cakes.

OCTOBER: CHEUNG YEUNG FESTIVAL
This festival is based on the story of an old man who was warned to take his family to the mountains for 24 hours. On their return, they found that everyone in their village was dead. On this day people make visits to high places.


When to Go

Weatherwise, October, November and most of December are the best months to visit Hong Kong; the skies are clear and the sun shines. The June to August heat/rain combo might push your endurance but there's a lot of sunshine and, after all, it's summer. Hotels tends to offer substantial discounts outside the high seasons of March-April and October-November. Travel can be difficult during Chinese New Year in late January/early February.



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