Capturing the moments of celebration for anniversaries of Hong Kong's return to motherland

Hong Kong is celebrating the 25th anniversary of returning to motherland on July 1.

The night view of the Central CBD skyline of Hong Kong. All photos from CFP

The night view of the Central CBD skyline of Hong Kong. All photos from CFP

The year 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. A rainy night of waving five-star national flags and flashlights captured people’s joy and laughter on July 1, 1997, which is deep in the collective memory of a generation.

Twenty-five years later, after the rain washed away Western imperialism, Hong Kong has overcome its challenges and "risen from the ashes," Chinese president XI Jinping said on Thursday as he arrived in the city to celebrate the anniversary.

Jiemian News looked back on the past anniversaries, with photos reflecting the changes on the island.

June 30, 1997: A British warship at Victoria Harbor is ready to leave. Behind, on the façade of the skyscrapers, neon lights read “celebration of the reunion of Hong Kong and the motherland China.”
June 30, 1997: A group wedding ceremony on the day before the return of Hong Kong to China.
On July 1, 1997: Residents flock to the street to celebrate and watch the firework show, with the buildings lit up for the special day.
July 1, 2007: A woman holds a small Hong Kong flag, carrying her daughter in her arms at the parade celebrating the 10th anniversary of the city's return.
June 29, 2017: residents sit at a waterfront platform on the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui for a cool sea breeze. Behind them is Victoria Harbor and the skyscrapers of Central.
July 1, 2017: A firework show celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China lights up the night sky of Victoria Harbor.
July 1, 2020: Taxi drivers placed five-star national flags on their cars to celebrate the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return.
July 1, 2021: A squad of soldiers and flag-bearers walks into the Golden Bauhinia Square with Chinese-style foot drills as the SAR government holds a flag-raising ceremony.
June 23, 2022: A boat with a sail printed with “a new era: stability, prosperity, opportunity” sails into Victoria Harbor, while the buildings in Central CBD flash in neon to celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of the return.