Living heritage of Hong Kong
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IN FULL: The Hong Kong cultural heritage list

By it's nature, "intangible cultural heritage" can be a bit tricky to tally. But that's exactly what Hong Kong has done with a list of 480 items that best represent the city and its people.

By it's nature, "intangible cultural heritage" can be a bit tricky to tally. But that's exactly what Hong Kong has done over the past seven years, compiling a list of 480 items that best represent the city and its people. With the inclusion of such diverse entries as egg tarts, the annual Hind Diwali festival and Bangladesh's International Mother Language Day, the inventory celebrates an array of Hong Kong's communities Read more here.

Oral Traditions and Expressions

A man holds a sign professing his love for Cantonese at a rally in 2010. Photo: AFP
Besides Cantonese, there is a diversity of languages which point to the city's "rich and colourful" history in trade and migration, the Heritage Museum says. New Territories settlers with family histories spanning as far back as 900 years will also see legends and stories about their ancestors protected.

1 Hakka Dialect

2 Wai Tau Dialect

3 Cantonese

4 Four-character idiomatic expressions

5 Fishermen’s Dialect

6 Fujian Dialect

7 Fujian's Hokkien (Minnan) Dialect

 8 Fujian's Fuzhou Dialect

 Chiu Chow Dialect

10 Hoi Luk Fung / Hoklo Dialect


12 Cantonese Chanting

13 Oral Legends of the following lineages:

Sheung Shui Liu; Tuen Mun To; Chuk Yuen Lam; Ho Sheung Heung Hau; Tai Hang Man; Fanling Pang; Ha Tsuen Tang; San Tin Man; Kam Tin Tang; Lung Yeuk Tau Tang

Performing Arts

The lion dance. Photo: Xinhua
Dragon dances and Cantonese opera are among Hong Kong's most recognisable performance traditions, but the heritage list offers more obscure gems. These include fishermen's ballads and the interestingly named "Wedding Laments". 

 Lion Dance

Dragon Dance

Pixiu (an imaginary beast) Dance 

Unicorn Dance

Punti unicorn dance; Hakka unicorn dance; Hoi Luk Fung/ Hoklo unicorn dance

Engor (Dance of Heroes)

Cantonese Opera

Singing of Excerpts; Opera Music; Opera for Appeasing Gods; Opera Vocals; Episodic Acts of Cantonese Opera

Fujian Opera


Shadow Puppetry, Rod Puppetry; Glove Puppetry; String Puppetry;  Hand Puppets in Cantonese Opera

Eight Categories of Instrumental Music (a type of music in Guangdong)

Ritual Music

Taoist and Buddhist Ritual Music

Rite Music

50 Cantonese Music (flourished 1920s-50s)

Chiu Chow Music

Nanyin (Southern Tunes

Fujian Nanyin

Zhuzhici Poems/Village Names in a Song

Hakka Folk Song

Funeral Laments

Wedding Laments (a Hakka ritual)

Fishermen’s Laments

Wedding laments for both ordinary fishermen and Hoklo fishermen; Death Rites

62 Fishermen's Ballads

Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events

Dragon Boat racers. Photo: Reuters
Hong Kong has enough local festivals to fill your calendar, but notably present in the heritage list are those celebrated by minorities including Nepalese and Pakistanis. Martial arts also add a kick to the list, with traditions such as master Ip Man's famous wing chun.

* Unique versions of these festivals or traditions in certain villages or lineages were included in the list but are excised here for brevity.


Che Kung (General Che)

Tai Wong Yeh (Great Lord) Festival

Local iterations of the festival in Sam Mun Tsai and Yuen Chau Tsai in Tai Po, as well as Mui Wo

 Tin Kung Yuk Wong Tai Tai (Jade Emperor)

Kwan Tai (God of War)*

Lantern Lighting Ritual*

89 Tai Ping Hung Chiu (ceremony for purification)*

94 Pa Tin Gei (ceremony for purification)*

97 To Tei (Earth God)*

107 Spring and Autumn Ancestral Worship of Lineage*

128 Man Cheong (God of Literature and Bureaucracy) Festival

129 Hung Shing (God of the Sea) Festival*

139 Kwun Yum (Goddess of Mercy) Festival*

143 Guang Ze Zun Wang (Revered King of Broad Blessings) Festival

144 Sam Shan Kwok Wong (Kings of Three Mountains) Festival

145 Pak Tai (Supreme Emperor of the North) Festival*

148 Offering Sacrifices to White Tiger during Insects Awakening Day

149 Chun Kwan Emperor Festival

150 Tin Hau (Empress of Heaven) Festival*

176 Tam Kung (Lord Tam) Festival*

179 LiLing Divine Festival

180 Kam Fa (Lady Golden Flower) Festival

181 Feast Day

182 Dragon Boat Festival*

187 Lung Mo (Dragon Mother) Festival*

190 Man Cheong (God of Literature) and Mo Tai (God of Martial Art) Festival

191 Chou (Zhou Youde) Wong (Wang Lairen) Yi Kung

192 Hau Wong (Marquis Prince) Festival*

195 Lo Pan (Master) Festival

196 The Seventh Sister’s Birthday Festival

197 Yu Lan Festival*

287 Tei Chong Wong (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) Festival*

291 Fire Dragon Dance*

294 Chai Tin Tai Shing (Monkey King) Festival

295 Wong Tai Sin Festival

296 Yuen Tin Sheung Tai (Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven) Festival

297 Tei Mo Yuen Kwan (Earth Mother Goddess) Festival

298 Wah Kwong (God of Fire and patron of Cantonese opera) Festival*

303 Autumn Sacrificial Rites

304 Ancestral Worship of the Kwok Clan in Kowloon City

305 General Cheung Fei Festival

306 Thanking Deities

307 Jiao / Da Chiu*

324 International Mother Language Day

325 Diwali (Festival of Lights), a Hindu tradition

326 Teej (Festival of Women), a Nepalese celebration

327 Poem Reciting Function, a Pakistani tradition

328 Holi (Hindu Festival of Colours)

329 Dussehra (Hindu Festival of Victory of Good over Evil)

330 Annakut (New Year's Day in Hindu)

331 Orthodox Unity School Taoist Tradition (New Territories)*

338 Orthodox Unity School Taoist Tradition (Urban)

339 Complete Perfection School Taoist Tradition

340 - 346 including Taoist wedding ceremony, rehabilitation ceremony for temples and others

347 Cantonese Rite of Liberating the Flaming-mouths (Feeding the Hungry Ghosts)

348 Traditional Funeral Rites

349 Traditional Wedding Ceremonies*

355 Enshrinement ceremony for the Chinese Unicorn (once every 10 years)

356 Vegetable Tea preparation during festivals

357 Sek Shan Tou (Eating on the Hillside)

358 Basin Meal

359 Sticking Hui Chun (Spring Scrolls)


360 Tai Shing Pek Kwar Moon Style (Monkey and Axe Hammer Style) - wushu

361 Tai Chi Chuan*

366 Northern Shaolin Tay Tong Pak Kar

367 Weng Chun Fist*

370 Pak Hok Pai (White Crane) Fist

371 Southern Shaolin Ng Cho Kun (Five Ancestors Fist) Tiebigong (Iron Arm Skill)

372 Hung Gar Kuen Style

373-377 Lam Family Hung Kyun; Kung Chi Fuk Fu Fist; Fu Hok Seung Ying Fist; Dan Tau Kwan; Tit Sin Fist

378 Fu Style Bagua Quan (Fu Style Eight Trigrams Fist)

379 Hua Yue Xin Yi Liu He Ba Fa Chuan (Six Harmonies Eight Methods Boxing)

380 Wing Chun Fist

381- 383 Pao Fa Lien Wing Chun; Snake Crane Wing Chun; Yip Man Wing Chun

384 Cangzhou Wushu*

387 Choi Lee Fat Fist*

390 Lung Ying Fist (Dragon Sign Fist)

391 Tanglangquan (Northern Praying Mantis)

392 - 395 Its variations

Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe

396 Culture of Traditional Chinese Medicine

397 - 399 Herbal Tea; Snake Wine; Bone Setting

400 Fishermen’s knowledge about the universe and the nature

401 Traditional Jade Stone Knowledge

402 Traditional Chinese Almanac

Traditional Craftsmanship

Mooncakes. Photo: Xinhua
From its time-honoured soy sauce making traditions to jewellery crafting building techniques, this section deals with the tangible heritage that's truly Hong Kong.


403 Fermented Black Soybean 

404 Bean Curd

405 Seafood Sauce 

406 Preserved Fruit 

407 Fei Gei Lam (Aeroplane Olive)

408 Soy Sauce by local factories

409 Sesame Oil 

410 Fish Maw 

411 Shrimp Paste Blocks and Shrimp Paste

412 Pickled Vegetable 

413 Soy Sauce (Fujian Sauce Factories)

414 Preserved Meat 

415 Brewing Glutinous Rice Wine 

416 Dried Oyster and Oyster Sauce

417 Fermented Soybean Sauce 

418 Salted Fish 

419 Moon Cake 

420 Melon Seed  (the snack)

421 Betrothal Cakes

422 Chiu Chow Sugar Loaf 

423 Chiu Chow Style Sweets and Cakes 

424 Chiu Chow Five Assorted Betrothal Cakes

425 Glutinous Rice Dumpling 

426- 427 With lye or with pork

428 Sau Fan

429 Shek Lau Tsai 

430 Cha Kwo (Steamed Sticky Rice Dumpling) 

431 Ching Ming Tsai (Paederia scandens Sticky Rice Dumpling) 

432 Sweet Potato Cake 

433 Hakka Cuisine

434 Cantonese Cuisine

435 Chinese Dim Sum 

436 Chiu Chow Marinated Food 

438 Noodles 

439 Egg Tart

Pineapple Bun

441 Wonton

442 Hong Kong Style Milk Tea

443 Yuan Yang Mixed Milk Tea and Coffee

444 Ding Ding Candy

445 Blown Sugar (small balloon can be made from syrup)

446 Paper Crafting

447- 455 Ghost Master; Sky Lantern; Flower-canon; Flower-lantern; Paper Offerings; etc

456 Drawn Work Figurine

457 Wreath Crafting

458 Flower Board Crafting

459 Wood Carving

460 - 461 ordinary and religious carvings

462 Charcoal Drawing

463 Mirror Painting of Deity Image

464 Gravestone Carving

465 Gold Leaf Decoration

466 Ivory Carving

467 Shiwan Pottery

468 Painting Mounting

469 Paper-cutting Technique

470 Lacquerware 

471 Guangcai (The Canton Famille Rose Porcelain)

472 Seal Carving

473 Gravure-type Printing

474 Movable-type Printing

475 Dough Figurine Crafting

476 White Herring Bone Ornaments

477 Mahjong Tile Making

478 Brocade Box Making

479 Birdcage Production

480 Guqin (seven-stringed plucked instrument)

481 Umbrella Making

482 Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Making

484 Face Threading Technique

485 Leather Shoe Making

486 Quilt Making

497 Sewing techniques

501 Lantern Band Embroidery

502 Cantonese Opera Headdress Crafting

503 Cantonese Opera Costume Embroidery

504 Jade Carving

505 Jewellery

506 Galvanised Iron Products

507 Chopping Board

508 Steamer

509 Cake Mould

510 Wooden Furniture Crafting

511 Coffin Crafting

512 Ying Stone (ornamental limestone from Yingde) Rockery Miniature Landscape Crafting

513 Gardening

514 Stilt House Construction

515 Traditional Architecture Preservation

516 Bamboo Shed Theatre Building

517 Wooden Boat Building

518 Fishing Method

519 Fishing Net Plaiting Technique

520 Aquaculture of Seawater fish

521 Gei Wai (Inter-tidal shrimp ponds) Operation

522 Aquaculture of Fresh-water Fish

523 Oyster Farming

524 Rice Cultivation

525 Vegetable Cultivation

526 Salt Making

527 Honey making

528 Pig Raising

529 Chicken Raising

530 Guangdong Hand Puppets Making