From The Straits Times    |

The Chinese New Year (CNY) period is a good time for a holiday and one of the best places to visit is Hong Kong. But won’t everything be closed in Hong Kong during this season, we hear you ask. In fact, the CNY period is when Hong Kong comes alive and is buzzing with events and activities.

A dog is full of energy and Hong Kong welcomes the Year of the Dog with energetic, vibrant and colourful celebrations. There’s a flurry of festivities and enticing events to enjoy here, from dazzling fireworks to flower markets, as well as parades and enormous outdoor carnivals.


1. Watch colourful floats sail by at the Chinese New Year Night Parade

The annual International Chinese New Year Night Parade brings together local and international performers for a rocking night of entertainment. Watch colourful floats sail past and enjoy lively performances with thousands of other spectators along Tsim Sha Tsui’s main streets. This is no ordinary parade as it has been named one of the world’s best events and will be held on Feb 16 this year.


2. Fireworks extravaganza

Don’t miss the Hong Kong Chinese New Year Fireworks Extravaganza on the second day of CNY. This spectacular display of pyrotechnics over Victoria Harbour lights up the entire night sky and all you have to do is find a strategic vantage point along or close to the harbour to enjoy it, such as the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront and Central Harbourfront.


3. Fun rides at outdoor carnival

There’s also the Great European Carnival at the Central Harbourfront Event Space, a fun-filled outdoor amusement park that’s held from December to February. Take a ride on a giant swing carousel, try your luck at a games booth or just sit back and enjoy a circus performance.


4. Go to the races|

If you want to have a festive gamble, make your way down to Sha Tin Racecourse for the Chinese New Year Raceday on Feb 18. Locals and tourists flock to the racecourse each year, also enjoying the live entertainment and activity booths.


5. Pay respects to the gods

Don’t forget the traditional side of CNY. The Che Kung Temple is a good place to start. It looks stunning this time of year, in a sea of colourful spinning ‘wheels of fortune’ decorations that dance along with the breeze. Also visit the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees; the original trees were believed to bring good fortune and it remains a popular CNY destination for locals.


6. What’s in bloom

And, of course, there’s the Flower Markets, brimming with colour and packed with everything you need for the festive season. The vibrant temporary flower markets in Victoria Park and Mongkok usually open around a week ahead of the festival and you’ll find anything from traditional decorations to souvenirs to delicious treats to vivid and exotic blooms.


7. Feast away


It isn’t actually Chinese New Year without any feasting, right? Get your foodie fix in Hong Kong by trying Poon Choi (one-pot casseroles) at select restaurants across the city. Cantonese cuisine also has a lot of auspicious-sounding ingredients that make perfect New Year dishes, such as tongyuen dumplings, which sound similar to the word ‘reunion’ in Cantonese, dried oysters (‘ho si’ in Cantonese) are phonetically reminiscent of ‘good business’, and glutinous rice cake or pudding (‘neen go’ in Cantonese) sounds like ‘tall year’, which can be roughly translated as ‘reaching higher skies each year’.

So what are you waiting for? Experience a different CNY this year by booking a trip to Hong Kong now. Find out more!

Brought to you by Hong Kong Tourism Board