Asia Family Traveller

BIRTHDAY BOY

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Hong Kong celebrates Buddha’s Birthday on Wednesday, May 19 with a public holiday.

The Birthday of the Buddha is celebrated throughout Asia on various dates according to local calendars. In Hong Kong, it falls on the eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

This year will be the last year that the day is designated as a general holiday - which means employers are not required under law to give employees the day off. From next year, the day will be listed as a statutory holiday for all.

Buddha’s Birthday became a public holiday in Hong Kong in 1998 following the handover of the city from the United Kingdom to China in July 1997.

Buddhist temples all over the city hold special ceremonies, arguably the best place to pay your respects is at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau island, which is home to the world’s largest seated, outdoor bronze Buddha. The monastery can be reached by cable car or a steep hike.

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