Jun 23, 2012

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 2012

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 2012

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day, also referred to as SAR Establishment Day, Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day or Region Establishment Day, has been celebrated on July 1st every year since 1997. This year’s holiday lands on July 1st, 2012, and will be observed on July 2nd, 2012..

This official government holiday celebrates the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China. The holiday replaced the Queen’s Birthday, which was a public holiday celebrated on the second Monday of June in honor of the Queen of England.

When Is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day Celebrated?

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Image

via: istolethetv

The official government handoff ceremony began on the evening of June 30th, 1997, and was completed on July 1st, 1997. Thus, Region Establishment Day is celebrated on July 1st of every year. This year’s holiday lands on a Sunday, and per Hong Kong laws, the following Monday will be an official government “observance” day, creating a 3-day-weekend for many Hong Kong citizens. While government offices and banks will be closed on Sunday the 1st and Monday the 2nd, shoppers can expect most stores and retail outlets to remain open on both days.

Where Is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day Celebrated?

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day Image

via: DrGUID

The holiday is celebrated in Hong Kong with fireworks displays, light shows, and parades but it’s also a time for political rallies. A fireworks display will be set up on Victoria Harbour to celebrate the occasion on July 1st.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 2012 Picture

via: tboothhk

Since its inception, the holiday has featured political rallies protesting against the Chinese government, demanding protection of freedom of speech and universal suffrage. The fanfare and the political tension bring locals and tourists into Hong Kong’s city center in droves. Expect more fireworks in 2012!

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