Most Hongkongers don't get the luxury of several weeks of annual leave, but they are lucky with the public holidays. Hong Kong is one of the countries with most public holidays and in total, the special administration region has 17 days of public holidays. In comparison, Finland has 12 days and the UK only 8 days of public holidays. The country with most public holidays is Cambodia, they celebrate totally 28 days of public holidays. When organizing your international internship in Hong Kong it's useful to set the local holidays to your calendar and plan accordingly.
The 17 public holidays in Hong Kong consists of a mixture of Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc) Chinese celebrations (Lunar New Year, Lantern Festival, etc.) and Buddhist holidays (Buddha's Birthday). And you know how annoying it is when you lose the Public Holiday when it falls on a weekend? Well, in Hongkong, if the Public Holiday falls on Sunday it is observed on Monday instead. Long weekend, yay!
Another local curiosity is that only 12 of the 17 Public Holidays are Statutory Holidays, meaning that it is legal to require the employees to work on public holidays that are not statutory holidays. Usually, most companies give all public holidays as a day off, but something worth checking with the employer.
Even with the many public holidays in Hong Kong, the city never slows down and the holidays have little effect on the opening times of shops, malls or restaurants. Actually, it only means more people shopping and exploring the city, especially with all the visitors and tourists added to the streets. Only during Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year small shops are closed and malls and bigger shops close a bit earlier too.
Being an international intern in Hong Kong gives an interesting opportunity to get familiar with the local festivals and to understand the culture behind them. Most festivities are visible around the city and have special events for everyone to take part. Your local colleagues and friends should be happy to share with you how they celebrate and spend the special days off. Also, to avoid any confusion, ask for the practices your company has for public holidays. The long weekends create a tempting opportunity to travel and explore the other amazing cities and beach destinations close to Hong Kong. Just prepare to pay a bit more for your tickets as many others have the same plans.
Hong Kong Public Holidays for 2018
|Date||Weekday||Holiday Name||Notes / Other names|
|January 1, 2018||Monday||New Year's Day|
|February 16, 2018||Friday||Lunar New Year's Day||Chinese New Year's Day|
|February 17, 2018||Saturday||Second day of Lunar New Year||Second day of Chinese New Year|
|February 19, 2018||Monday||Fourth day of Chinese Lunar New Year||Fourth day of Chinese New Year|
|March 30, 2018||Friday||Good Friday|
|March 31, 2018||Saturday||The day following Good Friday|
|April 2, 2018||Monday||Easter Monday|
|April 5, 2018||Thursday||Ching Ming Festival||Tomb Sweeping Day|
|May 1, 2018||Tuesday||Labour Day|
|May 22, 2018||Tuesday||Buddha's Birthday||Celebrated on 8th day of the fourth month of Chinese Lunar calendar|
|June 18, 2018||Monday||Tuen Ng Festival||Dragon Boat Festival|
|July 1, 2018||Sunday||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day|
|July 2, 2018||Monday||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day observed||Observed on Monday|
|September 25, 2018||Tuesday||Day after Mid-Autumn Festival||Lantern Festival|
|October 1, 2018||Monday||National Day of the People's Republic of China|
|October 17, 2018||Wednesday||Chung Yeung Festival||Double Ninth Festival|
|December 25, 2018||Tuesday||Christmas Day|
|December 26, 2018||Wednesday||Boxing Day|