Hong Kong is a multicultural hub where people from around the globe meet and work together. The Hong Kong population has been steadily on the rise, recently going over 7 million people that call the special Chinese Administrative region home — also thanks to the high number of expats who decide to move here.
Tourism has also been increasing, with an impressive 60 million visitors reaching the area each year. That’s also thanks to changes in the visa and immigration policies that now allow eligible citizens from nearly 170 countries to visit Hong Kong visa for short term stays.
Whether you are a foreigner living in Hong Kong or just planning your trip here, you may be wondering about Hong Kong public holidays and festivities. Being part of China, the Hong Kong calendar is slightly different from what Westerners are used to.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
- The calendar in Hong Kong
- The structure of a workweek
- Important dates in Hong Kong for 2020, including public holidays and popular celebrations.
This way, you’ll be prepared for the peak holiday season and will know what to expect from your time in Hong Kong.
What Calendar Does Hong Kong Use?
Because of its history and current status of cultural melting pot, Hong Kong follows a slightly different calendar from that of Mainland China.
Being a Chinese region (The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or HKSAR, to be precise) one would expect Hong Kong to having adopted the lunar calendar. However, because of its past as a British colony and current special status, Hong Kong’s calendar consists of a blend of Eastern and Western influences.
The Lunar and the Solar Calendars
A lunar calendar is a type of calendar based on the monthly cycles of the moon. There are various versions of lunar calendars (including those that blend lunar and solar elements) and each slightly differs from the others.
Purely lunar calendars are shorter than the solar ones since a lunation lasts for approximately 29 days and a half. This is the case, for example, for the Islamic calendar.
Solar calendars are based on the solar cycle. The most popular solar calendar is the Gregorian calendar, which was adopted by most countries around the world as their legal calendar.
As it’s often the case, Hong Kong adopts the Gregorian calendar but many national and popular holidays come from the different tradition of the Chinese calendar — like the famous Chinese New Year.
Is Sunday a Public Holiday in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong’s workweek is the same as most countries around the world. That means that in general, most workers rest on Sundays when the majority of offices are closed.
However, Hong Kong businesses are traditionally open on Saturday mornings and many industries still expect their workers to come into work every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. The government is actively making moves to change this and bring Hong Kong to a 6-day workweek.
How Many Public Holidays Are There in Hong Kong?
There are a total of 17 days of public holiday in Hong Kong. Bank and government employees, educators and workers of some other sectors usually enjoy all 17 days off.
However, employers are required by law to give their employees only 12 days of statutory vacation. Usually, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, workers can replace it by taking off any other day of that week.
Hong Kong Public Holidays in 2020
Find below the complete list of public holidays planned by the Hong Kong authorities for 2020.
|Festivity||Date||Day of the Week|
|Gregorian New Year’s Day||January 1st||Wednesday|
|Lunar New Year’s Day||January 25th||Saturday|
|The third day of Lunar New Year||January 27th||Monday|
|The fourth day of Lunar New Year||January 28th||Tuesday|
|Ching Ming Festival||April 4th||Saturday|
|Good Friday||April 10th||Friday|
|The day following Good Friday||April 11th||Saturday|
|Easter Monday||April 13th||Monday|
|Birthday of the Buddha||April 30th||Thursday|
|Labour Day||May 1st||Friday|
|Tuen Ng Festival||June 25th||Thursday|
|Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day||July 1st||Wednesday|
|National Day||October 1st||Thursday|
|The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival||October 2nd||Friday|
|The day following Chung Yeung Festival||October 26th||Monday|
|Christmas Day||December 25th||Friday|
|The first weekday after Christmas Day||December 26th||Saturday|