Chinese Lunar New Year

The start of a new lunar year

Before the first day of the next lunar calendar, house should be cleaned, debts should be paid, and respects are paid to the "Kitchen God" and the shrines of ancestors. Families get together at the year-end day and enjoy a big festive dinner at home. Afterwards they visit huge flower fairs, go shopping or sightseeing.

Customarily on the 2nd evening of Lunar New Year, there are fireworks displays at the Victoria Harbour. On the 15th day, eating sweet dumplings is a tradition, and it also marks the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations.

During the period from 1st to 15th of lunar January, everyone wears new clothes and visits their relatives. “Kung hei fat choy” is used as common greeting and “lai see”, red envelopes containing a sum of money, are given to children or unmarried adults by married couples. They are also given to delivery people, newspaper boys, etc. as a form of tipping.

Ching Ming Festival

April 4th or 5th of western calendar

Chinese families go graves sweeping annually to show respect to their ancestors. They clear away weeds, touch up gravestone inscriptions and make offerings of wine and fruit. Incense and papers are burned for the dead.

Birthday Of Lord Buddha

April 8th of lunar calendar

The birthday of Lord Buddha is a celebration of great reverence in Hong Kong’s Buddhist temples. Worshippers show their devotion by bathing Buddha’s statue. Sumptuous Chinese vegetarian dishes can be enjoyed at Po Lin Monastery.

Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng)

May 5th of lunar calendar

The festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese national hero who drowned himself in Mi Lo River over 2000 years ago to protest against corruption in government. His friends then threw food into the water to divert the fish and used paddles to scare them away. Nowadays, this practice is transformed into the traditions of eating rice and meat dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves, and having dragon boat races at Tuen Ng Festival.

Mid-Autumn Festival

August 15th night of lunar calendar

It is an important holiday for gathering with families, enjoying the moonlight and eating moon cakes. All bakeries in Hong Kong produce a variety of moon cakes, besides the most traditional ones made of ground lotus with egg-yolk, various kinds such as custard, five pines, sesame, snowy, chocolate and ice-cream are the types you may like to try!

Chung Yeung Festival

September 9th day of lunar calendar

This festival is another major festival to respect and remember ancestors. On this holiday, as a tradition people go to mountaintops to ward off future disasters. Thousands of people visit, sweep and honour the cemeteries on this day.