China became the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in September 1949 and National Day has been celebrated by China on 1 October each year since then and, more recently, in Hong Kong.
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Hong Kong has a very long and proud history that goes back up to 35,000 years. From 1841 to 1997, Hong Kong belonged to the British Empire but an agreement was finally agreed to and signed, and Britain handed Hong Kong back to China.
National Day is now a day celebrated across the PRC including mainland China (three days), Macau (two days) and Hong Kong (one day).
Hong Kong holds flag-raising ceremonies to remember the National Day significance. Thousands also line the streets for parades in the city and districts with armed forces, school orchestras and bands, and displays. Some areas also see sea parades and aerobatics shows.
Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour goes crazy with food, festivities and fireworks. Many restaurants that overlook the harbour hold their own special, and very expensive, parties and offer National Day menus that equal the astounding birds-eye view the guests have of the 9pm pyro display.
The shores of Victoria Harbour are very crowded with groups and families who have come to wait for and watch the fireworks, many of whom have staked out their position since early in the day. They come with their picnic rugs, food hampers, music and drinks. Others watch from riverboats that they either own or have hired.
Beyond the city and district celebrations, there’s another event and it catches the eye of international punters – the National Day Cup held at Sha Tin Racecourse. This race manages to turn over an amount exceeding HK$1billion and is attended by 30–40 thousand visitors. This is still an event of national pride. The Cup is opened by a member of parliament, and the National Anthem is played by the Hong Kong police band.
No matter where people go on National Day, huge crowds and great events make the day fun, memorable and entertaining.