Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Overview

The Chinese New Year is celebrated glamorously in Hong Kong especially around the port area of Victoria Harbor. The first day of the Lunar New Year is marked by a special Night Parade followed by the magical Firework Show which takes place late in the evening on the second day. The third and the last day of this celebration ends on a high note with the Chinese New Year Day Race which is truly fascinating to watch with the participants all geared up and dressed up in beautiful dragon and lion costumes.

The Chinese New Year, modernly known as the Spring Festival marks the beginning of a fresh year according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Not only does it invite the Spring Festival holidays, but also stands as one of the most important national holidays in Hong Kong. Apart from the main events hosted each year, there are quite a number of rituals and customs to be followed during the New Year preparations and many special dishes to be tried out. Drink in the sight of the beautiful houses, each of them decorated in an elegant, yet unique way. So, go ahead and have a fun, prosperous new year!

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Chinese New Year Dates 2020

Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the Spring Festival Holiday. In 2019, it was held of 5th February.

In 2020, the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong will be celebrated from 25-27 February (the first, second and third day of the Chinese New Year)

Festival Venue

Every year, the Chinese New Year is celebrated in its full glory at Victoria Harbor which is the port of Hong Kong, located by the South China Sea.

Chinese New Year Night Parade

The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Chinese New Year Night Parade is held on the first night of the Lunar New Year. It is a wonderfully joyous celebration of floats, elaborate costumes, lion and dragon costume dances, acrobats and parade troops. The parade starts off from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, all the way through Canton Road, Nathan Road and Haiphong Road.

The fascinating Night Parade held annualy during the Lunar Chinese New Year
The fascinating Night Parade held annualy during the Lunar Chinese New Year 

The entire show takes place in two parts - the pre-parade and the actual grand parade. The pre-parade shows are performed about 2 hours prior to the grand parade just to get everyone in the party mood and starts at 6:00 PM every year. The real parade starts at 8:00 PM and is an absolute delight to the eyes. The colors, the jolly music, the traditional instruments and the atmosphere transforms miraculously and indeed makes a grand path for a new exciting year.

Magical Firework Shows

Fireworks have always been a very essential part of any major Chinese celebration and the Chinese Lunar New Year is undoubtedly the most important celebration of the South-East Asian region. The firework shows are held on the second day of the Lunar New Year with various star like crackers shooting across the sky. 

Victoria Harbor is the ideal go to location if one wants to get a nice, clear view of the numerous glittery firecrackers lit up the skies. The various contrasting colors makes the atmosphere fun and jolly and makes the place appear absolutely magical. The Firework Show goes lasts for about 25 minutes with a wide variety of colors exploding in the sky. In the Chinese tradition, firecrackers are a symbol of good fortune and are believed to have enough power to scare away the evil spirits so that the year ahead of us is full of good, pure forces.

Firework Show at the Victoria Harbour, Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
Firework Show at Victoria Harbour 

Places to view the Firework Show from: The mini cruise ships like Aqua Luna, Star Ferry and Watertours sail smoothly through the calm waters and provide the most pleasant view of the countless fireworks. The other option is to ride all the way up the tallest building in Hong Kong- the Sky100 Observation Deck. One can get a stunning 360 degree aerial view of the brilliantly colored sky.

The Firework Show starts at 8:00 PM.

Note: There is no entry fee, so it can get considerably cowded. Make sure that you go considerably earlier so that you get a nice viewing spot.

Chinese New Year Customs to Follow

Like the people belonging to any other nationality, the Chinese follow some customs and rituals before every New Year. Starting of with the tedious yet fun task of cleaning up the house, followed by an exciting New Year shopping spree

The next custom is probably the most enjoyable of all that is decorating the house with lots of Spring Festival couplets along with some stickers of the “Fu” character which are to be set up inside every room of the house. One must paste the Fu stickers in an upside down manner as this symbolizes the arrival of good fortune and happiness in ones lives.

Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year

The Lunar New Year gives everyone the perfect opportunity to put their artistic skills on display. Starting off by making some decorative Chinese knots with jade pendants and gold foiled pendants to create some beautiful wall ornaments or even gift them to someone. Children create intricate, funky paper patterns out of red velvet paper or hang up some Door Gods pictures on the doors of the house so that evil spirits can never dare to enter the lives of their families.

Traditional red velvet paper patterns and lanterns being sold during the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
Traditional red velvet paper patterns and lanterns being sold during the Chinese New Year

Food is always at the top of the rituals list, the main dishes being homemade dumplings and glutinous rice balls. Wearing new clothes, meeting the near and dear ones and exchanging money and gifts generously in red envelopes are all very important rituals to be followed every year.

Hong Kong Chinese New Year - A Brief History

The Lunar New Year is believed to have originated about 3,500 years ago during the reign of the Shang Dynasty when sacrificial ceremonies used to be held in honor of the ancestors and deities at the start of every new year. However, the date of the Chinese New Year was fixed by the Han Dynasty.   

Although the use of the lunar calendar has been restrained by the Chinese Government in any of the Chinese dominant countries, and even after the renaming of the Chinese New Year into the Spring Festival which is now a major national holiday, the Lunar New Year is still celebrated in its full glory just like it used to be when it had originated.

How To Reach Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

Victoria Harbor lies at the heart of Hong Kong making it an easily accessible place.

Taxi: One can take a taxi from any part of Hong Kong directly to the destination. It is probably the convenient means to reach the location. 

MRT: In case one wants to opt for a more economic means of travelling, taking an MRT is the best option. The MRT routes are well connected and one can conveniently alight at the station terminus beneath the International Finance Centre on the harbour’s waterfront.

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