Lunar New Year is the biggest celebration on Asia’s calendar and it’s one of the liveliest times you can be in Hong Kong. Watch in awe as the city transforms into a colourful walkway filled with red lanterns, gold ornaments, auspicious handwritten blessings and lucky blooms. If you’re in town during the 2019 Chinese New Year celebrations, take part in these events and see just how magical this time of the year is.
30 January-5 February: Chinese New Year Flower Markets
30 January marks the start of Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations and what better way to get in the celebratory spirit than strolling through the Victoria Park and Fai Hui Park Flower Markets? Similar to the Christmas markets in Europe, these markets are an annual tradition which sees locals coming out in droves to shop for lucky cherry blossoms, kumquat trees and orchids to place in their homes. Whilst there, sample old school Hong Kong treats and shop everything from CNY decorations to quirky (and politically hilarious!) souvenirs.
Local Tip: Don’t be scared to ask for a discount at the markets! The closer it gets to CNY, the more likely you’ll pick up a good bargain!
5 February: 2019 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Parade
Usher in the new year with a street party right in the heart of Kowloon! This parade is a showstopper every year featuring intricately decorated floats, live performers from around the globe and lion dancing. The Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza offers the best seat for the show and tickets will be available for purchase from 26 January 2019 onwards at the Hong Kong Tourism Visitor Centre. For a seriously invigorating experience where you can interact with performers, set up camp and watch it for free on Canton Road, Haiphong Road and Nathan Road.
Local Tip: If you’re watching it free in Tsim Sha Tsui, get there early because everyone is thinking the same thing! There will be street performers to entertain the crowds from 6pm onwards, so don’t worry about being bored waiting for the show to begin at 8pm.
5–19 February: Hong Kong Lam Tseun Well Wishing Festival
Got all your fingers and toes crossed in hopes you’ll win the lotto this year? Not sure if this will help but it’s super fun! During the CNY period, locals will write their wishes on joss paper and throw them onto the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees. Legend has it that the higher your wish lands, the more likely that it will come true!
Local Tip: Missed the CNY parade? No problemo! Some of the night’s local and international performers will also be there to put on a show just for the village.
6 February: Chinese New Year Fireworks Display
There’s fireworks and then there’s the fireworks in Hong Kong. With the gorgeous Victoria Harbour and the iconic Central skyline as its backdrop, watch a sensational 23 minute fireworks display celebrating the Year of the Pig. The best (and most crowded!) place to watch the fireworks is on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade as it offers panoramic access to the show. But anywhere along the harbour on the Kowloon and Hong Kong Island side will give you a fantastic glimpse of the display!
Local Tip: Anyone up for a sunset hike? If you are, pack a light meal and walk up the Kowloon Peak for a spectacular view of the fireworks. Just remember to Uber it back down because it can get quite dark when night falls!
7 February: Chinese New Year Race Day
On the third day of the New Year, locals like to give their luck a push in the right direction by taking a punt at the Sha Tin Racecourse. Watch the first race of the CNY and enjoy other highlights like celebrity performances, lion dancing, Feng Shui master tips and other cultural shows.
Local Tip: Remember to turn the windmills and circle the cherry blossoms in the ‘Windmills and Blossom Avenue’ to boost your luck and prosperity in 2019!