Hong Kong July 1st Celebrations: the 19th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong SAR

Flag Raising Ceremonies, Carnivals and Festivals

Some 2016 celebrations are being cancelled or scaled down in memory and out of respect for the two firefighters that lost their lives on last week's tragic Ngau Tau Kok blaze.

Samuel Hui Chi-kit
Thomas Cheung
and the entire Hong Kong Fire Services Department
We salute you for your bravery and unwavering dedication.
May God Bless You

July 1st in Hong Kong is a public holiday that commemorates the Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to Mainland China in 1997.

Hong Kong July 1st Flag Raising Ceremony Bauhinia Square

The scope and extent of the celebrations have varied over the years including parades, flag-raising ceremonies, cultural performances, and as in the case to commemorate the 15th Anniversary, a spectacular fireworks extravaganza.

This year, rather than one big event, the celebrations will be taking place throughout the territory's 18 districts as they did in the previous year.

Events to celebrate the return of Hong Kong to the motherland will be spreadout throughout the summer with many highlight events taking place on July 1st.

The theme for the 19th Anniversary of Establishment of the HK SAR is "Enjoy, Celebrate, Move Forward" and actitivities are organised by state officials as well as many community groups.

If previous years are any indication, there will likely be dozens of events, ranging from sketching and painting activities, football matches, dancing competitions, cultural nights, dragon and lion parades, marching bands, tai chi and martial arts, carnivals and fairs.

For visitors wishing to partake in the festivities, these are some of the main events commemorating the 19th Anniversary in 2016:

  • The Flag Raising Ceremony
  • Various Carnivals and Celebrations at the different districts

Flag Raising Ceremony

Flag Raising Ceremony at Bauhinia Square

This is pageantry at its best featuring Hong Kong's Guards of Honor, Police and Military marching bands, helicopters flying overhead as both the Chinese and Hong Kong flags are raised to full mast at Golden Bauhinia Square, the site of the original handover ceremony in 1997.

The event is quite short and as expected, fully-attended by government officials and dignitaries.

When?: Friday, July 1st, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.

Where?: Golden Bauhinia Square

How much?: Free

Carnivals, Fairs, Celebrations

Hong Kong July 1st Carnival

There will be many cultural and stage performances, including marching bands, flag raising ceremonies, lion dances, music and cultural shows, game booths, activity zones for kids, etc.

Here are some of the easiest to get to:

Kick off of Hong Kong Island activities "Enjoy, Celebrate, Move Forward" Carnival

When?: July 1st, 2016 - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Where?: Pedestrian precints at Chater Road Central

How much?: Free

Mongkok Festive Carnival

When?: July 1st, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Where?: Macpherson Playground, Mongkok

How much?: Free

More Carnivals, Fairs, Lion Dances, Street Fun

The above celebrations in Central and Mongkok are probably some of the easiest to access for visitors, but like mentioned before, there will be many such carnivals and events throghout Hong Kong on both sides of the harbour and in the New Territories, with lots of fun for families on July 1st and in the weeks thereafter:

  • Parent-Child Fun Day in Tsuen Wan at Discovery Park July 1st 2016 from 12:00 to 6:00 pm

  • Tai Po Lion Dancesat Tai Po Commuity Centre July 1st 2016 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

  • Wong Tai Sin Traditional Performances - Dancing, Singing and Martial Arts - Wong Tai Sin Community Centre on July 1st, 2016 from 2:30 to 6:00 pm

  • "Silk Road" the Classic Dance-Drama at the Hong Kong Coliseum from July 1 - 3, 2016 at 8:00 pm

  • 2016 International Ballroom Dance Competition at the Arena of Hong Kong Park Sports Centre on July 3, 2016 from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm

  • Fun Family Day at the area near the Tin Hau Temple in Stanley, Stanley Community Hall and Stanley Plaza July 1st 2016 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

  • Cantonese Opera at The Grand Theatre at the HK Cultural Centre, several performances on July 3, 2016

For a comprehensive list of events throughout the different districts check out the official site at www.hksar19.gov.hk

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