Hong Kong: Lunar New Year
On the 31st of January 2014, the year of the snake will give way to the year of the horse in Chinese culture. The 31st will also mark the beginning of long days filled with Lunar New Year celebrations that you cannot miss.
Hong Kong is famous worldwide for offering its visitors an unique mix of Asian and European culture. This day-by-day guide will show you how to enjoy this Spring in Hong Kong to the limit!
Chinese New Year’s Eve – 30/01: The streets of Hong Kong welcome you. The front doors are covered in red banners, the streets are crowded and there are flower markets all around. Locals hit flower markets before greeting the year to find a bloom that will bring them luck and help them reach their goals and dreams. There are many locations to choose from, but all will be equally colorful, aromatic and crowded. On this day, the markets are open from noon up to 6AM of the 31st. You can meet the year there if you want, or head down to the Wong Tai Sin temple, said to be able to realize any wish upon request. All you have to do is light up the incense burner and put it in the holder – the earlier you come the better, as wishes are supposed to be given out in a first-come-first-serve basis.
Chinese New Year – 31/01: If your year hasn’t started in the Wong Tai Sin temple, the first thing to do is head there right away. The evening is reserved to one of the most popular events in Hong Kong, the International Chinese New Year Night Parade. The harbor becomes a big party dotted by local and international performers and brightly colored floats. You can book a place at the spectator stands, with tickets between HK$300 and HK$400 (between $40 and $51), or just watch the parade for free in the streets as it passes you.
Chinese New Year Day 2 – 01/02: The highlight of the second say of the Chinese New Year is Victoria Harbor, where the night skies will be set ablaze by a splendid display of fireworks.
Chinese New Year Day 3 – 02/02: Superstition says that on the third day of the Chinese New Year, one is likely to get into an argument. The solution? Avoid short fused people, and head straight to Che Kung temple for a divine help to keep things cool. In the evening, the hot spot is the racing track, where locals and foreigners alike gather to watch the horse races.
Chinese New Year Day 4 – 03/02: On the fourth, the normal opening hours finally resume and you can hit all the regular shops as you would in any other day. The night is special for football (or soccer, you choose) fans as the Lunar New Year Cup finals take place.
Chinese New Year Day 7 – 06/02: Here’s an interesting one – the seventh day of the Chinese year, ‘renri’, is the average person’s birthday. How to celebrate it? Treat yourself, and wish yourself and everyone you meet a happy birthday!
Chinese New Year Day 15 – 14/02: The last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations is marked by the Spring Lantern Festival. Lantern displays, traditional performances and lantern riddle contests go on and on, closing the celebrations in style.