In Hong Kong, CNY is the most celebrated and festive holiday on the calendar, even if you are not into it, the good news is that you will get four days off in a row, giving you plenty of time for you to at least try to explore the various CNY celebrations taking place in the city! Since the date of CNY is determined by the lunar calendar, it is different each year and this year, it lies on February 16 which marks the beginning of the Year of the Dog.
There are certain standard events that happen every year such as the flower markets in Victoria Park and Fa Hui Park, and the night parade in Tsim Sha Tsui. However, aside from the traditional events, the following list will include other exciting and new attractions.
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AIA Great European Carnival (21 December 2017 to 25 February 2018)
Taking place at the Central Harbourfront with the amazing skyline as its backdrop, the AIA Great European Carnival runs from December to February covering the festive holiday periods such as Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. With over 34 rides and 10 new rides, there are various levels of excitement and live entertainment. The carnival provides a great pastime for families, couples and friends.
Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade (16 February)
Having been sponsored by Cathay Pacific for 22 years, the night parade themed ‘Best Fortune. World Party.’ will start at 8pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza in Tsim Sha Tsui and proceeds along Canton Road, Haiphong Road, Nathan Road and Salisbury Road, and ends outside Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers.
Before the parade begins, roving street performances and games will warm up the route from 6pm onwards, including unicyclists from Japan, diabolo performers from Taiwan, jugglers from the Czech Republic and pogo performers from the US.
Note that surrounding roads will be closed off and some bus routes suspended for about 2 hours before and after the parade, so remember to plan ahead if you wish to attend.
Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival (16 February – 4 March)
The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees have been a popular place to visit for both tourists and locals. During the festival, visitors can make wishes by throwing traditional joss paper and lighting lanterns, while savouring traditional and local at the food stalls. And if you missed the night parade on 16 February, the exquisite floats from the parade will be on display at the Lam Tsuen Wishing Square with some of the performing groups will also make an appearance.
>> Fell in love with Lam Tsuen after your visit to the Wishing Trees? Here’s what available in the area!
Flower Markets (10 -15 February)
Free to attend, there are 15 flower markets in Hong Kong with Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and Fa Hui Park in Mong Kok being the largest. Flower markets in Hong Kong work just like Christmas markets where you can do some last minute shopping for CNY decorations and flowers. Flowers play a major role during CNY for there is a Chinese saying that goes ‘Fortune comes with blooming flowers’ (花開富貴) and each type of plant symbolises different fortunes, for example, peach blossom symbolises relationship, narcissus for wealth and kumquat for fortune. Aside from decorations and flowers, visitors can also dig into traditional street foods like egg waffles, fish balls and dim sum.
List of Hong Kong Flower Markets
Hong Kong Island: Victoria Park (Causeway Bay)
Kowloon: Fa Hui Park (Mong Kok), Cheung Sha Wan Playground, Morse Park (Lok Fu), Kwun Tong Recreation Ground
New Territories East: Yuen Wo Playground (Shatin), Tin Hau Temple Feng Shui Square (Tai Po), Shek Wu Hui Playground (Sheung Shui), Po Hong Park (Tseung Kwan O), Man Yee Playground (Sai Kung)
New Territories West: Sha Tsui Road Playground (Tsuen Wan), Kwai Chung Sports Ground, Tin Hau Temple Plaza (Tuen Mun), Tung Tau Industrial Area Playground (Yuen Long)
Outlying Islands: Tat Tung Road Garden (Tung Chung)
Chinese New Year Race Day (18 February)
It is everybody’s wish to have a prosperous 2018 and for the Chinese, it is important to kick off the new year with some lucky money, so where else to go but the Chinese New Year Race Day at the Jockey Club? The Race Day will be hosted on the third day of CNY at the Sha Tin Racecourse, where there will be traditional lion dances, singing performances, greetings from the city’s favourite jockeys and good luck tips shared by renowned Feng Shui masters.