Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng Festival)

Hong Kong, located in southern China, also celebrates Dragon Boat Festival, called Tuen Ng Festival by local people, with dragon boat races and zongzi. In addition, there are some special customs for Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, such as the Tai O Dragon Boat tour, swim in “Dragon Boat Water” and so on.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Date and Holiday

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The 2023 Dragon Boat Festival is on June 22. People in Hong Kong can get one day free from work.

The Tai O Dragon Boat Tour

The Tai O Dragon Boat Tour, which is unique to Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, is jointly organized by three local traditional fishery guilds to pray for peace. The tradition has lasted for more than 100 years.

On the morning of the fourth day of the fifth lunar month, people went to the temples in Tai O to invite the God. On the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, people will put the God on the dragon boat in the early morning, and cruise along the waterways. The residents on the shore will burn incense and worship, and at the last of the parade, locals will send the God back to the temple.

When and Where to See Dragon Boat Races in Hong Kong

The dragon boat race is the most entertaining and cohesive group event during Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. As the origin of the modern dragon boat race, Hong Kong holds dragon boat races every year not only during the festival, but also in other time.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Race Place Time
Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships Stanley Main Beach October 11, 2020
Aberdeen Dragon Boat Races Aberdeen Postponed, TBA
Saikung Dragon Boat Festival Saikung Town Waterfront Cancelled 
Sha Tin Dragon Boat Races Shing Mun River (starting close to Banyan Bridge and ending close to Sha Yin Bridge), Sha Tin in the New Territories
Tai Po Dragon Boat Races Promenade at Tai Po Waterfront Park in the New Territories
Discovery Bay Dragon Boat Races and Carnival 2020 Tai Pak Beach, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island
Cheung Chau Dragon Boat Festival Cheung Chau Typhoon Shelter
Mui Wo Dragon Boat Race Open 2020 Silvermine Bay Beach, Mui Wo, Lantau Island
Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade 2020 Tai O, Lantau Island
Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival Power Plant Beach, Lamma Island
2020 Sai Kung Dragon Boat Race Gala Races: Sai Kung Promenade (near Sai Kung Pier)
Carnival: Sai Kung Promenade Park
Tai Po District Dragon Boat Race 2020 Promenade at Tai Po Waterfront Park, Tai Po
Tuen Mun District Dragon Boat Race 2020 Castle Peak Bay, Area 44, Tuen Mun

 Read more about
Dragon Boat Races
What is a Dragon Boat? - All You Need to Know about Dragon Boating

Swim in “Dragon Boat Water”

Hong Kong people think the dragon boat is auspicious, so that the water that the dragon boat slides over is also full of good luck. People in Hong Kong will dip into the “dragon boat water” after the dragon boat race. They believe that the “dragon boat water” can remove evil spirits and bring good luck and safety for them.

Eat Festival Food: Zongzi

Zongzi in Hong Kong is roughly the same as some coastal areas in southern China. The fillings are often sticky rice soaked with alkaline water and salty bacon as well as red cardamom and mung bean.

 Read more about Zongzi

Other Activities of Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

There are many other folk customs in Tuen Ng Festival: hanging kudzu vine to pray for peace; dry ginger and collect it after a hundred days; drink noon tea to counteract evil force, remove bad luck, clear heat and remove toxicity away and prevent diseases; fetch water at 12:00 on the Dragon Boat Festival to take a bath which is believed can bring a healthy body and good luck.

 Further Reading:
 Hong Kong Travel Guide

- Last updated on Oct. 31, 2022 -
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