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Hong Kong Holidays/ Festivals 2018
2015 Calendar below for reference
The first day of January 1 Jan
Chinese New Year of the Goat 19 Feb
The second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year

Che Kung's Birthday

20 Feb
The third day of the Lunar New Year 21 Feb
Spring Lantern Festival / Yuen Siu 5 Mar
Chinese Groundhog Day 6 Mar
Ching Ming Festival 5 Apr
The day following Ching Ming Festival 6 Apr
Good Friday 3 Apr
The day following Good Friday 4 Apr
Easter Monday 6 Apr
Labour Day 1 May
Birthday of Tin Hau 11 May
Buddha’s Birthday and Cheung Chau Bun Festival

also Tam Kung's Birthday

25 May
Tuen Ng /  Dragon Boat Festival 20 Jun
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 1 July
Kwan Tai / Kwan Gon's Birthday 8 Aug
Seventh Goddess' Day / Tsat-je 20 Aug
Chinese Ghosts Festival / Yue Lan 27 Aug
Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival / Moon Festival 27 Sep
Day after Mid-Autumn Festival

Monkey King Festival

28 Sep
Confucius' Birthday/Teacher's Day 9 Oct
Chinese National Day 1 Oct
Chung Yeung Festival  
Winter Solstice 22 Dec
Christmas Day 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec


Hong Kong Festivals 2016
Hong Kong Festivals 2017




Home > Festivals > Ching Ming > History

Ching Ming Festival History

Ching Ming is one of the 24 segments of Chinese Calendar.  'Ching' means clear and 'Ming' means bright.  Spring starts and nature looks bright and clear.

My mother told me that Ching Ming is also called Cold Food Day but we never eat cold food on that day.  I haven't paid much attention to it until when I was writing about Ching Ming I read about it.  (Please see my findings about Cold Food Day here) There was no fire during the Cold Food period.  When Cold Food Day finished, palace distributed fire to senior government officials.  Citizens were then allowed to start fire too.  This is called 'New Fire'.

A book '東京夢華錄' from Sung Dynasty tells us that Ching Ming happened 3 days after Cold Food Day.  People went grave sweeping for the next 3 days though most people went on the first day - Ching Ming.  But then Cold Food Day was shortened from one month to 3 days, one day and then banned completely.  In the end Cold Food Day overlaps with Ching Ming. 

Why do people go grave sweeping on Cold Food Day?  It is because in Tang Dynasty, the emperor ordered everybody went grave sweeping on Cold Food Day.  Northern people are more serious about worshipping their ancestors while the southern people just take this chance to go to the countryside.

On Ching Ming, people went to the countryside to fly kites.  It is because after Ching Ming, the wind direction is not so steady and predictable and so it's not suitable to fly kites after Ching Ming.  Therefore, in the old days, children cut the thread of the kites when they had their last fly and let the kites go. 

In Ming Dynasty, men and soldiers will have a archery competition.  Objects were hung on the branch of willows and the participants had to shoot the object.  Ladies, on the other hand, will play swings.  This is popular both in palace and general public.  There are even records of people in palace calling Ching Ming 'Swing Festival'.

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