Hong Kong Festivals and Events in Hong Kong  
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Hong Kong Festivals and Events in Hong Kong

Festivals add events more color and exuberance to Hong Kong's lively streets. Quite simply, being in Hong Kong during a major Chinese festival is the experience of a lifetime. Festivals occur throughout the year, so you may be lucky enough to see one during your visit. In addition, there are many special events throughout the year. Here are some of the highlights.

Birthday of Tin Hau (April 16)
On the birthday of Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Sea, fishermen decorate their boats and gather at her temples to pray for good catches during the coming year. Beyond the traditional rites at the temple, parades with colorful floats and lion dances take place. There is an organized tour to see the celebrations and visit a century old Tin Hau Temple.

Cheung Chau Bun Festival (April/May)
Celebrated on the 8th day of the fourth lunar month every year, the Bun Festival is one of Hong Kong's most colorful festivals and an important event for all Cheung Chau Island resident. It is Pak Tai, a Taoist deity known as King of the Underworld, to whom boat people, fishermen and island residents pray for protection against evil spirits.

Giant Bun Towers, each measures 16 meters tall, covered with layers of pink-and-white lotus paste buns, will be greeted outside the Pak Tai Temple in honor of the deity. A parade of dragon dances, lion dances, unicorn dances and acrobats will wind through the grand stand and the narrow streets on the island.

The stars of the parade are youngsters who dress in costumes with heavy make-up and are tied to an intricate system of rods and wires and float above the heads of the crowd. To experience the island life and the Bun Festival celebrations, a special tour is designed to enable visitors to visit the two most popular outlying islands of Lamma Island and Cheung Chau Island.

Dragon Boat Festival (June 25)
One of Hong Kong's most exciting festivals, the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the death of a Chinese hero Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in protest against a corrupt government in the 3rd century B.C. Legend says that in their attempt to rescue him, townspeople beat drums and threw dumplings into the sea to keep the fish away from Qu Yuan's body.

Today, to symbolize the rescue attempts, people eat dumplings, swim in the river and teams race elaborately decorated dragon boats to the beat of pounding drums and the roar of the crowds. Check out the venues of the dragon boat races held along the coastal areas of Hong Kong.

Hungry Ghost Festival (September 2)
It is said that ghosts roam the world every year for a lunar month. Local festivals feature elaborate parades with food offerings and small roadside fires, where believers burn paper money to appease the restless spirits.

Mid-Autumn Festival (October 1)
The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the harvest moon and is a special time for children and families, who take colorful lanterns to parks, beaches and hilltops to gaze at the moon. The Fire Dragon dance is an important celebration.

Chinese New Year (February 12)
The celebrations of the Chinese New Year offer a fascinating look into traditional Chinese culture. From a spectacular parade to traditional flower markets, the Chinese New Year celebration is one you'll never forget.

Spring Lantern Festival (February 26)
Held on the 15th day of the lunar new year, this festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. colorful lanterns in traditional designs decorate market stalls, homes, restaurants and temples.

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