Hong Kong: National Day Fireworks Over Victoria Harbour Cancelled

Festivals and Holidays

The Hong Kong government cancels the National Day Fireworks Display, which was scheduled to take place over Victoria Harbour on 1 October amid growing political and social tensions in the city.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department announced on 29 September 2014 that the National Fireworks Display scheduled for the evening of 1 October 2014 at 8 pm has been cancelled amid growing political and social tensions in the city.

Chinese National Day commemorates the establishment of the Peoples’ Republic of China on 1 October 1949. This year marks the 65th anniversary of this historic event.

Occupy Central

As many as 100,000 Occupy Central protesters are occupying key streets in Admiralty and Central on Hong Kong Island and Mongkok on the Kowloon Peninsula.

Protestors are seeking universal suffrage in the election of the former British colony’s Chief Executive in 2017, which is the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty.

They are also calling on the current Chief Executive, C. Y. Leung, to step down.

“The department anticipated main access roads leading to hot spots for viewing the fireworks display may continue to be seriously affected by protests, and it made the decision in consideration of public transport arrangements and public safety,” the department says in a statement published on news.gov.hk, the official website of Hong Kong’s Information Services Department.

National Day Activities

Other activities scheduled for National Day include an 8 am flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wanchai on Hong Kong Island and a National Day Extravaganza at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay from 2 pm to 6 pm.

A National Day cultural show is scheduled for 2 October.

These activities are likely to go ahead as scheduled as they are situated at a reasonable distance from the protest sites.

Travel Advisory

Large crowds are expected at border cross points during the holiday period, and travellers should take this into consideration if planning trips into or out of Hong Kong.

An estimated 6.84 million travellers are expected to pass through Hong Kong’s air, land, and sea immigration points between 30 September and 7 October 2014.

Inbound travel is expected with be heaviest on 2 October, when about 366,000 travellers are expected to arrive in Hong Kong.

Outbound travel is expected to be heaviest on 4 October, when about 367,000 are expected to leave Hong Kong.

Grave Sweeping Festival

In addition to Chinese National Day, another important Chinese holiday will take place during this period: the Chung Yeung Festival, a.k.a. the Grave Sweeping Festival, which one of the most important holidays in Chinese Culture.

The Chung Yeung Festival falls on the 9th day of the 9th month on the Lunar Calendar. It will take place on 2 October this year.

During the Chung Yeung Festival, families visit the graves of ancestors to engage in ancestor worship, picnicking and burning paper offerings.

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