Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day is a holiday that’s celebrated in Hong Kong annually on the 1st of July. It’s a day that commemorates the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the UK to the People’s Republic of China and the establishment of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.
Although this holiday is often marked by evening firework displays, it’s also a day on which people hold protest marches and political rallies demanding universal suffrage. This is a holiday that’s been observed since 1997 when British Colonial rule in Hong Kong ended on July 1st.
The History Of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Hong Kong is a city that’s been occupied by people since the Stone Age, but it largely remained isolated from the events that took place in China for much of its history. In 1513, the city would be visited by Portuguese Mariner Jorge Alvares who landed on the Island of Lintin. The Portuguese eventually ended up a trading station in Macau which they used to trade with China.
During the First Opium War of 1841, Great Britain would end up occupying Hong Kong and when they won the war, Hong Kong was ceded to Britain by the Qing Dynasty of China. On July 1, 1898, Britain leased New Kowloon and Lantau Island for 99-years—a period of time that ended on June 30, 1997. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong would once again become a special administrative region of China. This holiday, also known as HKSAR, has been observed ever since.
Observing Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
There is a dichotomy between civil rights protests and heartfelt celebrations on this holiday. On one hand, people are protesting and staging political speeches to advocate for their human rights, and on the other hand, people are enjoying festivities and firework celebrations. It’s also a day on which there are military parades and a dissection of the colonial history of Hong Kong.