Ring in the Lunar New Year Like a HK Local
Hong Kong knows how to throw a party, and of course they've reserved the best shindig for the Lunar New Year, which occurs on February 16 this year. The Hong Kong Tourism Board makes a case for the way the playful nature of the dog means that this year's celebrations will also mean "an especially vibrant, exciting, and engaging" Chinese New Year celebration this year—but let's face it, HK is one of the best places to ring in the new year every year.
Don't even worry if you can't make it to the New Year celebrations this week. The party officially culminates with the Lantern Parade on the 15th day of the lunar calendar, on March 2. That's right: this party lasts two solid weeks. Some highlights to watch out for:
Chinese New Year Night Parade (Feb 16)
Local and international performers will come together for a rocking night of entertainment at Cathay Pacific’s 20th International Chinese New Year Night Parade. Themed “Best Fortune. World Party,” this world-class spectacle features nine colourful floats and lively performances along Tsim Sha Tsui’s main streets.
Chinese New Year Race Day (Feb 18)
For the very first race of the Year of the Dog, thousands of locals and tourists alike will flock to the Sha Tin racecourse for a program enlivened by live performances and activity booths.
Great European Carnival
Adding to the festivities is the Great European Carnival at the Central Harbourfront Event Space, which will be transformed into a fun-filled outdoor amusement park from December to February. Take a ride on the giant swing carousel, try your luck at a games booth, and enjoy a circus performance.
There are temporary Flower Markets in Victoria Park and Mongkok, open around a week ahead of New Year, which are packed to the brim with everything you need for an auspicious celebration. From traditional decorations, souvenirs, and delicious treats to vivid and exotic blooms. Look for kumquats to represent wealth, peach blossoms to symbolize romance and longevity, pomelos for household luck, and orchids for, uh, fertility. Join the locals to search for your lucky plants and fruits before the markets close in the early hours of the first day of Chinese New Year.
Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees
The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees, located in Lam Tsuen Village in Tai Po, are another popular destination for Hongkongers during the New Year. Families visit these trees believed to bring good fortune, and toss joss papers into their branches in the hope that their wishes would come true.
CNY Miniature Exhibition at Olympian City
The world’s largest miniature exhibition features nearly 20 local artists and over 52 miniature art pieces. These include amazingly detailed minitiatures of Lee Tung Avenue where bright red lanterns shine over European-style buildings, and Tai O Heritage Hotel, the earliest police station built the New Territories in 1902, among others.
Hong Kong Disneyland
The happiest place on earth debuts the first-ever Chinese New Year Night Market, where families can take an evening walk and discover magical fortune along Main Street, U.S.A. and the Plaza. Enjoy mobile stalls that offer various festive Disney-themed delicacies and specialities such as Mickey-shaped Maltose Toast, Mickey-shaped Red Bean Pudding, and Egg Puffs—the perfect elements for a magic-filled photo! Watch out for Mickey and his friends as they will appear to wish everyone Kung Hey Fat Choi, drumming up the festive spirit for families with atmosphere entertainment.
UPDATE: The famous fireworks display has been cancelled this year in what Chief Executive Carrie Lam calls an "expression of citywide mourning" for the recent bus crash in Tai Po.