Public holidays in Hong Kong

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Public holidays in Hong Kong are holidays designated by the Government of Hong Kong. They allow workers rest from work, usually in conjunction with special occasions.

Holidays in 2014[edit]

Date English name
January 1 New Year's Day
February 10–12 Chinese New Year
March 29 Good Friday
March 30 Holy Saturday
April 1 Easter Monday
April 4 Ching Ming Festival
May 1 Labour Day
May 6 Buddha's Birthday
June 2 Dragon Boat Festival
July 1 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
September 8 Day following the Mid-Autumn Festival
October 1 National Day
October 2 Chung Yeung Festival
December 25 Christmas Day

Public holidays[edit]

The 17 public holidays (Chinese: 公眾假期), also called Bank Holidays (Chinese: 銀行假期), are set by the General Holidays Ordinance.

Public holidays in Hong Kong
Date Name in English Name in Chinese Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day 元旦新年
1st day of 1st month (Chinese calendar) Chinese New Year 農曆年初一 Usually occurs in late January or early February; the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays
2nd day of the 1st month (Chinese calendar) Second day of Chinese New Year (Chinese New Year) 農曆年初二
3rd day of the 1st month (Chinese calendar) Third day of Chinese New Year (Chinese New Year) 農曆年初三
April 5 (April 4 in leap years) Ching Ming Festival 清明節 Occurs about 15 days after the Vernal Equinox; day for paying respect to one's ancestors
2 days before Easter (see Computus) Good Friday 耶穌受難節
Day before Easter Day following Good Friday (Holy Saturday) 耶穌受難節翌日
Day after Easter Easter Monday 復活節星期一
May 1 Labour Day 勞動節
8th day of the 4th month (Chinese calendar) Buddha's Birthday 佛誕 Usually occurs in May; new holiday established in 1998 (general not statutory)
5th day of the 5th month (Chinese calendar) Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng Festival) 端午節 Usually occurs in June; day for patriotic remembrance, eating rice dumplings and dragon boat races
July 1 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 香港特別行政區成立紀念日
16th day of the 8th month (Chinese calendar) Day following the Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節翌日 Usually occurs in September; important autumn celebration of harvest and togetherness, with the lighting of lanterns, eating of mooncakes and observation of the moon
October 1 National Day 中華人民共和國國慶日
9th day of the 9th month (Chinese calendar) Chung Yeung Festival 重陽節 Usually occurs in October; day for honouring the elderly and the deceased, and for mountain climbing
December 25 Christmas Day 聖誕節
December 26 Day following Christmas (Boxing Day) 聖誕節翌日

Under the administration of the United Kingdom prior to 1997, the Queen's Birthday was a public holiday observed in the second Monday of June. It was replaced by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day after the transfer of sovereignty to the People's Republic of China. Similarly, Commonwealth Day was a school holiday prior to the transfer of sovereignty, as is the birthday anniversary of Dr. Sun Yat Sen. The anniversary of the liberation of Hong Kong (Chinese: 重光紀念日) was observed on the last Monday in August, and the preceding day was also observed as anniversary of the victory in the Second Sino-Japanese War. After the transfer of sovereignty, the two public holidays were replaced with Labour Day and the National Day of the People's Republic of China.

According to Hong Kong laws, when a designated public holiday falls on a Sunday or on the same day of another holiday, the immediate following weekday would be a public holiday. However, there are exceptions; for example, as Lunar New Year 2007 falls on a Sunday (February 18), the government have designated the Saturday directly before (February 17) as a public holiday.[1] However, this does not apply to Saturdays, and when a non-statutory public holiday falls on a Saturday, the public holiday is lost to people that do not work on Saturdays.

Statutory holidays[edit]

According to the Employee Ordinance of the Labour Legislation, 12 of the 17 public holidays are compulsory for employers to give to the employees. These 12 holidays are known as statutory holidays (Chinese: 法定假期), labour holidays (Chinese: 勞工假期), or factory holidays (Chinese: 工廠假期).

Statutory holidays in Hong Kong
Date Name in English Name in Chinese Remarks
Every Sunday Sunday 星期日
January 1 New Year's Day 一月一日 (元旦新年)
First day of the first moon (Chinese lunar calendar) Chinese New Year 農曆年初一 Usually occurs in late January or early February; the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays
Second day of the first moon (Chinese lunar calendar) Second day of Chinese Lunar New Year 農曆年初二
Third day of the first moon (Chinese lunar calendar) Third day of Chinese Lunar New Year 農曆年初三
April 5 (April 4 in leap years) Ching Ming Festival 清明節 Occurs about 15 days after the Vernal Equinox; day for paying respect to one's ancestors
May 1 Labour Day 勞動節
Fifth day of the fifth moon (Chinese lunar calendar) Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng Festival) 端午節 Usually occurs in June; day for patriotic remembrance, eating rice dumplings and dragon boat races
July 1 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 香港特別行政區成立紀念日
Sixteenth day of the eighth moon (Chinese lunar calendar) Day following the Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival) 中秋節翌日 Usually occurs in September; important autumn celebration of harvest and togetherness, with the lighting of lanterns, eating of mooncakes and observation of the moon
October 1 National Day 中華人民共和國國慶日
Ninth day of the ninth moon (Chinese lunar calendar) Chung Yeung Festival 重陽節 Usually occurs in October; day for honouring the elderly and the deceased, and for mountain climbing
around December 21 or 22 OR December 25 Winter Solstice OR Christmas Day 冬至或聖誕節 either day can be chosen by employers.

If an employer states in the employment contract that its employees are only allowed to take statutory holidays, it is legal to require the employees to work on public holidays that are not statutory holidays (i.e. Good Friday, the day following Good Friday, Easter Monday, Buddha's Birthday and the day following Christmas) without salary or leave compensations.

Traditionally, statutory holidays are an entitlement associated with blue-collar jobs in fields such as manufacturing, construction, textiles and clothing, repairing, mass media, security, cleaning, transportation, logistics, distribution, retailing, catering, laborer, hotel and customer service. But in recent years, certain white-collar jobs and government contract staff are also entitled to statutory holidays only.

Off-in-Lieu for Statutory Holidays[edit]

In general, if a statutory holiday falls on the employee's rest day, the employer is committed to giving a day off-in-lieu at a following day which isn't the employee's rest day.[2] For example, under the 5-day work week system, if a statutory holiday falls on a Saturday, the employee can be entitled to a day off-in-lieu. This is not true for non-statutory public holidays which are lost to people that do not work on Saturday.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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