A beloved tradition
A loud ‘bang’ echoes from the Causeway Bay waterfront at precisely 12pm every day. It’s the Noonday Gun, a three-pound artillery gun mounted overlooking the harbour, which has been fired at this time every day since the 1860s. This tradition dates back to colonial days when Jardine Matheson owned a number of large warehouses in the area that is now Causeway Bay. Back then, the company had a policy of firing a one-gun salute from this location every time the head of Jardine sailed into Hong Kong. The story goes that a Royal Naval Officer, who was new to Hong Kong, took offence at the practise because gun salutes were meant only for military commanders, not for civilians, no matter how important. As punishment, the Officer required that Jardine fire the gun every day at noon to help the public keep track of the time, and the tradition has continued more than 150 years to the present day.