Chinese New Year is the most significant celebration on Hong Kong’s calendar, so it’s no surprise there are plenty of things to do to mark the Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Dog, with Chinese New Year beginning on 16 February and ending on 18 February. Here’s some of the key events and activities which you can take part in.
The annual flower markets are part of Chinese New Year celebrations. Each year, 15 parks and playgrounds across Hong Kong are packed with stallholders selling orchids, cherry blossoms, daffodils and other festive blooms for decorating the home in one of the key new year customs. Key parks are Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and Fa Hui Park in Sham Shui Po. The markets are open from noon to midnight on 10-15 February; and midnight to 6am on 16 February.
International Chinese New Year Night Parade
The first day of Chinese New Year is one big street party – the famous night parade. The Hong Kong Chinese New Year Parade features around 30 colourful floats. There are also marching bands, troupes of acrobats, lively lions and dragon dancers, international troupes from all over the world, drummers, and lots of firecrackers. Spectator stands are available for a fee or watch from the street anywhere along the route as the parade winds its way down Canton Road, Haiphong Road, and then down on Nathan Road and back along the waterfront via Salisbury Road, ending in front of the Sheraton Hotel. From 8pm to 9.45pm on 16 February. Warm-up entertainment starts from 6pm.
Chinese New Year Firework Display
(Editor’s note – the 2018 fireworks display has been cancelled out of respect to the families of the affected by a deadly bus crash which killed 19 and injured 66 people in Tai Po.) Thousands will line both sides of iconic Victoria Harbour on the second day of Chinese New Year to witness Hong Kong ushering in the Year of the Dog with an astounding pyrotechnic display. Join them and start the new year with an awe-inspiring spectacle. Key vantage points are along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, Central and Western District Promenade and Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai. The fireworks start at 8pm on 17 February.
Chinese New Year Race Day
Head over to Sha Tin for an extra special race day as the whole of Hong Kong celebrates the Year of the Dog. The most popular race day of them all will provide a full programme of traditional and colourful festivities on-course, including a grand opening show, a lion dance, a variety of cultural and entertainment performances, and jockeys greeting fans with good luck messages. The action is at Sha Tin Racecourse from 12.30pm–6pm on 18 February.
The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors from all over the world to Lam Tsuen every year. Experience the traditions of throwing placards onto the wishing tree and lighting wishing lanterns. The floats from the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade will also be displayed from 17 February to 4 March. Daily from 9am–7pm at Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, Lam Tsuen, Tai Po.
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