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.
The scope and extent of the celebrations have varied over the years including parades,
flag-raising ceremonies, cultural performances, sports matches, and as in the case of special anniversaries 10th or 20th for example, a fantastic fireworks display.
2023 celebrates the 26th Anniversary and many events and activities organised by state offices as well as many community groups to conmemorate the return of Hong Kong to the motherland will take place throughout the territory.
District Carnivals and Festivals to Commemorate the 26th Anniversary of the HK SAR
Events and celebrations are organised by the various District councils and scattered throughout the months. Events range from sketching and painting activities, football matches, dancing competitions, cultural nights, dragon and lion parades, marching bands, concerts and art exhibitions, tai chi and martial arts, carnivals and fairs.
Besides the main celebrations on July 1st, hundreds of events to be held throughout the year are planned for the 2023 festivities and some are already underway.
Hong Kong is gearing up for the occasion as they get ready to beautfy all public spaces. Lavish decorations will adorn the city, from walkways and promenades, parks and many points of interest, there will be flower galore, light ups and lantern displays. These are some of the projects that have been revealed so far:
- Decorations in the Central to Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System and Central elevated walkway - June to August 2023
- Central and Western District Light Festival 2023 at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park - June to August 2023
- Festive lighting in Yau Tsim Mong District - June 26 to October 31, 2023
- Decorated Sampans and Lanterns Switch-On Ceremony at Aberdeen Promenade - June 30, 2023
- Kwai Tsing Festive Lighting - June 16 - July 31, 2023
In the art and cultural scene, the celebrations include a series of exhibitions, concerts and cultural shows. These are some of the highlights:
- FREE admission to M+ on July 1st, as well as seven thematic exhibitions of the Hong Kong Palace Museum (Gallery 1 to 7) in the West Kowloon Cultural District
- Ceremony cum Art Show in Sham Shui Po - July 1st, 2023
- Children Chinese Opera Performance at Shek Wai Kok Community Hall - July 1st, 2023
- Cultural Performances at Tsuen Wan Town Hall - July 1st, 2023
- Cultural Performances at Tung Chung Community Hall - July 1st, 2023
- Kwai Tsing District Cantonese Opera Show - July 1st, 2023
- Symphony Concert of Kowloon West - July 2, 2023
- Wong Tai Sin District Arts Performances at Wong Tai Sin Community Centre - July 1st, 2023
- Wan Chai Evening Gala at Queen Elizabeth Stadium - July 21, 2023
- "Ignite the Power of Hong Kong youth, through the Fusion of East and West" Latin Dance Night at Xiqu Centre - July 22, 2023
- Variety Show in Celebration of the 26th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall - July 24, 2023
Top highlight sports events include:
- All LCSD sport and leisure facilities that normally charge an entrance fee will be open for free use on July 1st.
- Dragon Boat Races: Aberdeen, Saikung, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun - June 22, 2023
- Soaring Dragon, Leaping Lion and Unicorn Martial Arts Show at Wai Tsuen Sports Centre - July 1st, 2023
- Youth Soccer Invitational Tournament - The Return Cup at Sha Tsui Road Playground - July 1st, 2023
There will be plenty of activities throughout the year for kids including all sorts of drawing, calligraphy, poetry, dancing competitions and the like as well as the many carnivals and fun days staged by all the local districts. Some highlights this year:
- FREE admission to a range of fee-charging leisure and cultural facilities of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and to the Hong Kong Wetland Park
- Sweet Treat Delight outside the Hong Kong Observation Wheel on the Central Harbourfront - June 29 - July 1st, 2023
- Carnival for All at Sheung Wan Cultural Square, Morrison Street and Wing Lok Street - July 1st, 2023
- 3D drone show, variety show and carnival at Tai Po Waterfront Park - July 1st, 2023
- Sounds of Gongs and Drums - Cultural Performance at Kwun Tong Promenade - July 1st, 2023
- The First Multiethnic Carnival at Wong Tai Sin Square - July 1st, 2023
- Chinese and Western Drumming Performance at Kai Yip Estate - July 1st - 2, 2023
- Family Festival at Lok Wah Estate - July 1st, 2023
- Fun Day for Youths in Kwun Tong - July 1st, 2023
- Kwun Tong Community Fair - July 1st, 2023
- Sha Tin Festival at Yuen Chau Kok Community Hall - July 1st, 2023
- Yuen Long District Carnival - July 1st, 2023
- Farm Ket Carnival at Long Ngai Path Yuen Long - June 30 - July 2, 2023
- Tsuen Wan Carnival at Sha Tsui Road Playground - July 15, 2023
Events are being listed as they are announced on the official website at http://www.hksar26.gov.hk/en/.
Flag Raising Ceremony and Flypast
This is pageantry at its best featuring Hong Kong's Guards of Honor, Police and Military marching bands, and a Grand Flypast
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?: July 1st, 2023 at 8:00 a.m.
Where?: Golden Bauhinia Square
The Transport Department anticipates that traffic in the vicinity will become significantly congested. There will be road closures as well as suspension of the bus stops on Expo Drive East near Convention Avenue.
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