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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 > Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival / Tuen Ng

Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.  There are different findings about the origin of Tuen Ng.  The mostly widely accepted one is about the patriotic scholar-statesman Chu Yuan who  drowned himself to protest against the emperor.  Chu Yuan worked very hard to offer good counsel to the emperor but the emperor won't listen. 

Details for 2013 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival races

People respect Chu Yuan. When they heard that he was drowned, they jumped on boats to search for him.  This is a part of what the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates every year.  Failing to find Chu Yuan, people hit drums and making loud noised hoping to scare the fish and won't touch Chu Yuan's body.  People lived along the river also put cooked rice in the river as a sacrifice.  But then they found that the fish got the rice so people wrapped the cooked rice in bamboo leaves.  This evolves to present day's rice dumplings. 

Rice dumpling - rice dumplings are around for a long time.  It was popular during summer in Eastern Han dynasty.  During West Tsin dynasty, people started to have rice dumplings on Dragon Boat Festival.  There are basically savory or sweet rice dumplings.  Each family made lots of dumplings so that there are plenty for themselves, for relatives, friends and teachers.  The savory ones are made of glutinous rice, fresh meat, salted meat or ham.  Sweet ones are made of glutinous rice, bean paste, dates' paste and honey.  he modern version you found in Hong Kong is slight different now.  The savory ones may have peanuts or green bean or meet and ham and they all have a salty egg yolk in it.  The sweet ones have red bean paste or lotus seed paste inside.

Superstition - Besides the death of Chu Yuan, the fifth lunar month is considered an unlucky month.  People believed that natural disasters and illness are common in the fifth month.  Superstition is unavoidable.  Most families hang calamus and Artemisia above their doors, kitchen and bed to help to get rid of the misfortune.  These are the leaves different gods and legendary heroes used to get rid of evil spirits.  Portraits of gods could be purchased to put on the front door to protect the whole family too.

It is believed that Dragon Boat Festival Day is a great day for collecting herbs as medicine.  They believe the herbs work better if you pick it and prepare it on this day.  Various kinds of herbs are also boiled in the water and people bathe in it to help staying healthy.

Dragon boat race and other findings - However, some people found that Tuen Ng actually started before the death of Chu Yuan.  It was a dragon related festival to start with and the dragon boat race did not take place on Tuen Ng day until Ming dynasty.  Dragon is the god that rules the water world.  Dragon Boats feature the head and tail of dragon.  After the dragon boats sailed in the water, the water is blessed and people nowadays still swim in this 'dragon boat water' hoping to stay healthy for the rest of the year.  Dragon boat races are so widely accepted that it became an international competition. 

three small dragon boats  
Dragon boats  
people gettng ready for the dragon boat race  
Getting ready for the race!    

Dragon boat race on dragon boat festival 2003

Big crowd gathered to watch dragon boat race
Pack full of audience.


Dragon Boat e-Cards:

Well here in Hong Kong we don't send greeting cards for festivals like this but if you do want to send a themed note to a Chinese friend in another country then you can actually get Dragon Boat Festival E-Cards now!  That's amazing I think.


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