Who else is thrilled that 2020 is officially over? It was a hell of a year, but with the arrival of 2021 – and the long-awaited vaccine roll-out imminent – we can all be optimistic for a better, brighter, and healthier 2021. And while travel might still be a struggle – thanks COVID – we could all use something to look forward to. Luckily, a brand new year brings a whole host of new public holidays. And, even if we can’t travel (here’s hoping it’s a possibility after the summer), there’s plenty to see, do, and explore in Hong Kong – and yes, that includes staycations! So without any further ado, here’s everything you need to know about public holidays in 2021.
What is it? The long-awaited first day of 2021. The pandemic might not be over, but at least we can feel a little optimistic about the year ahead.
How to use it? Pair with your Christmas dates from 2020, take a few extra days off, and enjoy a few blissful days of serenity.
What is it? The Chinese lunar new year. Usually, the city would be filled with firecrackers, fireworks, lion dancing and so much more…given the pandemic, we’re just holding out hope for those little red packets.
How to use it? Don’t bother taking time off for this one – just enjoy four days of relaxation.
What is it? Despite its name, this is a rather somber occasion. On this day – often referred to as tome-sweeping day – people head to graveyards to clean the graves of their ancestors. And then, of course, indulge in far too much food.
How to use it? Since it falls on a Monday, just use this as a long weekend of binging on junk food and Netflix.
What is it? This major holiday on the Christian calendar combines Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday. Some may attend Church and break their 40-day famine of whatever they gave up for Lent – others will just kick back and well…eat some more.
How to use it: Feeling a little burnt out? Us too TBH. Take three days of annual leave from April 7-9, and you’ll get a full week to indulge in some much-needed R’n’R.
What is it? Officially, labor day recognizes those who lobbied for workers’ rights. That’s right – people campaigned to get you the eight-hour days you work now. Specifically, the holiday marks the 1886 strike in Chicago where a bomb exploded and killed several workers. We wonder if the movement should be resurrected to petition for permanent flexible remote work options in the post-pandemic era…
How to use it? Sorry – this one falls on a Saturday so no one will really be getting an extra day off here.
What is it? As it says on the box, this public holiday is official acknowledgment of a religious Buddhist celebration – the day of the Buddha’s birth.
How to use it? Since this falls on a Wednesday, either take Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday off, and you’ll get a full five days to do whatever you please.
What is it? The dragon boat festival. Basically, a day off to watch teams take to the water in thin, long boats and try to outdo the competition.
How to use it? This falls on a Monday in 2021. Just enjoy a long weekend in the summer sun.
What is it? Celebrated since 1997, this marks the end of Britain’s sovereignty of Hong Kong.
How to use it? Since this is a Thursday, take the Friday off and enjoy a four-day weekend – hopefully the beaches will be open by then.
What is it? A traditional celebration of the harvest. With 3,000 years of history. Basically, think of this as the Hong Kong answer to Thanksgiving.
How to use it? Since this falls on a Wednesday, you could take two days off either side and get five days away from work – or you can just take a one-day breather.
What is it? This one should be pretty obvious – a celebration of the country.
How to use it? This is a Friday – just enjoy a three-day weekend. This late in the year – if the vaccines go as planned – you may even be able to jet across to Singapore, Thailand, or Japan… (we’re all keeping our fingers crossed).
What is it? A day of remembrance where those who observe it visit the graves of their forefathers.
How to use it? Take the following Friday off and treat yourself to a long weekend. Maybe you’ll be checking in for a staycation in Hong Kong, or perhaps you’ll be flying somewhere…it’s anyone’s guess at this point.
What is it? It can feel like Christmas has become a commercial holiday with presents, decorations, and plenty of celebrations. But, traditionally, Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus Christ.
How to use it? If you can take the 28th-31st off, you can cruise into 2022 with a cool nine-day break.
Looking for more in-depth stories about Hong Kong? Check out our city living section.