Hong Kong is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It is welcoming the Year of the Pig with Chinese New Year festivals. These are among Hong Kong’s largest and most colorful festivals. So visitors and locals will be caught up in the energy and atmosphere of Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations in Hong Kong.
Squeeze into temples to pray for good fortune, browse festive markets selling auspicious foods and blooms, take in the red lanterns that adorn the city or sit back and enjoy one of Hong Kong’s most anticipated annual events, the International Chinese New Year Night Parade. Below are some of the CNY festivities.
Discover local flower markets
Join locals for a sensory overload as they shop for seasonal flowers at one of the colorful flower markets. Plants and blooms symbolize different well wishes during the CNY period, including: cherry blossoms which are believed to improve personal, particularly romantic, relationships; and water bamboo plants which are said to bring wealth.
What: Flower markets
Where: Fa Hui Park, Mong Kok and Victoria Park, Causeway Bay
When: Fa Hui Park market is open from 7 AM on February 4 until 7 AM on February 5. Victoria Park market is open from 8 AM on February 4 to 8 AM on February 5.
Celebrate the new year in the Great Outdoors
In Chinese culture physical uphill climbing signifies progress in life. So hiking is a popular activity around CNY. For some great outdoors action head to Lantau Island via the cable car from Tung Chung. Then wander around the world’s tallest outdoor sitting Buddha statue, before stopping at Ngong Ping Village to visit the “Good Luck Garden”.
Where: Lantau Island – Ngong Ping Village, Po Lin Monastery, Big Buddha
When: The cable car operates on weekdays from 10 AM to 6 PM and weekends and public holidays from 9 AM to 6:30 PM.
Join the biggest Chinese New Year party in Hong Kong
Head to Tsim Sha Tsui early on 5 February to secure a spot to watch the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, a signature event dating back to 1996. Roving performers will emerge along the parade route, before dazzling floats, ebullient dancers, acrobats and other performers from around the world follow and fill the area with color and excitement.
What: Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade
Where: Tsim Sha Tsui, running through Canton Road, Haiphong Road and Nathan Road
When: February 5 from 8 PM to 9:45 PM
Make a wish
Venture to the New Territories to experience the local Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival in Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, which takes place from 5 to 19 February. Visitors can try their hand at placard throwing by purchasing a placard tied to an orange. They then write their wishes for the new year on it, before throwing it at the imitation wishing tree. The higher the placard hangs, the greater chance that the wishes will be granted. The floats from the International Chinese New Year Night Parade will also be on display until February 19.
What: Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival 2019
Where: Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, Lam Tsuen, Tai Po
When: February from 5 to 19 8:45 AM to 6:30 PM
Fireworks at Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
Fireworks, or literally “smoke flower” in Cantonese, is an integral part of festive celebrations in Hong Kong. For many years, an extravagant fireworks display is staged above the iconic Victoria Harbour on the second day of Chinese New Year. View the 30-minute spectacle for free along the harbor front in Tsim Sha Tsui, or the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai; or for dinner and a show, book one of the restaurants overlooking the harbor.
What: Lunar New Year Fireworks Display
Where: Victoria Harbour
When: February 6 from 8 PM to 8:30 PM
Spin the windmill for good fortune
Paying respect to the deities is a customary practice among the locals, especially the older generation. For a glimpse into this tradition, visitors can visit Che Kung Temple in Tai Wai, which attracts crowds of avid worshipers around CNY every year. Try “Kau Chim”, or fortune stick drawing, to see what fortune awaits in the Year of the Pig. Remember to spin the temple’s famous copper windmill clockwise to summon good luck.
What: Che Kung Temple
Where: Tai Wai
When: February 7 from 8 AM to 6 PM
New Year Race Day to the finish
The Chinese New Year Race Day at the Sha Tin Racecourse will be the first race for the Year of the Pig calendar and provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to experience Hong Kong’s iconic horse racing culture and put their new year good fortune to the test. Join locals for a day of entertainment, hospitality and lots of horse racing!
What: Chinese New Year Race Day
Where: Sha Tin Racecourse
When: February 7 from 11 AM to 6 PM