Hong Kong maintains many of the customs of traditional Chinese festivals. Hongkong Post issues “Hong Kong Festivals” special stamps to present five traditional festivals and the way people celebrate them, highlighting the distinctive culture and social customs of our city.
Tin Hau Festival ($1.40) – Tin Hau Festival falls on the 23rd day of the third month in the lunar calendar. Tin Hau, Goddess of the Sea, is regarded by fishermen and seafarers as their protector. Every year, festive celebrations such as parades and lion dance performances are held in various districts in Hong Kong. The stamp shows a statue of Tin Hau and the fishing boats on parade to pay homage to Tin Hau.
Kwun Yum Festival ($2.40) – Kwun Yum Festival falls on the 19th day of the second month in the lunar calendar. On the festive day, worshippers bring with them longevity noodles, peach-shaped buns and vegetarian foods to temples to make offerings and attend chanting services. The stamp shows a majestic statue of Kwun Yum and a decorative plaque mounted on scaffolding for Kwun Yum Festival.
The Birthday of the Buddha ($3) – The 8th day of the fourth month in the lunar calendar is a day to commemorate the birth of Sakyamuni Buddha. On the festive day, worshippers attend Buddhist celebrations and Buddha bathing ceremonies held at temples. They sprinkle scented flowers and purified water on the statue of Buddha in the hope to cleanse their souls. The stamp shows a statue of Buddhaused in Buddha bathing ceremony and the Tian Tan Buddha located next to the Po Lin Monastery.
Tuen Ng Festival ($5) – Tuen Ng Festival falls on the 5th day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar to commemorate Qu Yuan, a virtuous official of the Chu State who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River as a final advice offered to the emperor. Every year, various coastal areas in Hong Kong follow the traditional custom of holding dragon boat races. Today, the traditional custom has turned into a major sporting event of international interest. The stamp shows the head of a dragon boat and an action shot of a dragon boat race.
Mid-Autumn Festival ($5 stamp sheetlet) – On the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, the moon is at its fullest and brightest. It is also the season of autumn harvest, and people made this day the Mid-Autumn Festival to celebrate good harvests and family reunions. On Mid-Autumn night, families enjoy mooncakes and fruits in the shower of moonlight or go to lantern carnivals for enjoyment. The stamp sheetlet features an ornate lantern for Mid-Autumn Festival on the right alongside a stamp on the left showing a traditional star fruit shaped lantern and a couple of mooncakes. Date of Issue: 22 May 2012 Denominations: $1.40, $2.40, $3, $5