A Guide to Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is an absolute sight to see. If you’re going to be in the city for any holiday, make sure it’s this one. Being my second year in the mix, I was still blown away by the whimsical lights and grandeur approach of the holiday. Traditions are one of the biggest aspects of the Lunar New Year. Streets lined with tangerine trees and red paper cut outs to represent prosperity and good fortune, red envelopes filled with lucky money, and colorful costumes on display.
This year I took full advantage of the long holiday and immersed myself in the events and culture of the city, ringing in the year of the monkey to the fullest extent. Coming from a country where most traditions involve eating, it was quite the experience to be a part of such an ancient celebration.
If lion dancing and eating dumplings for good luck sounds like a good time to you, then consider making Chinese New Year in Hong Kong at the top of your bucket list. Here is my guide to an epic CNY in Asia’s world city.
1. Fireworks over Victoria Harbor
With the twinkling skyline in the distance, a fireworks show over the harbor is certainly something you don’t want to miss. I’ve seen a few fireworks in my day and this show is hands down the best I have witnessed. The best places to catch the action is Central Pier or from Victoria Park along the water in Wan Chai.
2. CNY Parade in TST
If you’re expecting to see some typical small town parade with a few floats and a marching band, this is not it. Set up in the shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui, this night time parade will keep you entertained with the traditional classics and an array of talented performers. Think festive clowns, street musicians, an LED glowing bike gang, and a pack of dancing monkeys.
3. Explore the Outskirts
Since so many locals have fled the city for the holiday, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore unseen parts of the city and beyond. Believe it or not, Hong Kong has some pretty stellar mountains and beaches (read more about that here). Needing some fresh air and nature in my life, I took a day trip to Sai Kung to check out Ghost Island, an eery deserted island with a population 1. It’s hidden gems like these that make me fall in love with HK.
4. Horse Races in Sha Tin
Who doesn’t enjoy a little gambling and day drinking? The CNY horse races is the prime race to attend all season. Mix and mingle with the locals and have a few giggles at the clever horse names. $100 on Snowhooves!
5. Eat, Drink, and be Merry!
Pop the bubbles, it’s time for the new year! Without a doubt, this holiday I enjoyed a few treats and libations. It’s hard not to when Hong Kong offers a delicious spread with killer views. Additionally, exploring the food scene is one of the best parts of this city. Looking to catch a happy hour and an impressive sunset? Head to Eyebar in TST. Wanting to immerse yourself in CNY traditions? A traditional dish for this time of year is dumplings and nian gao (rice cake). Check out the popular dim sum spot Tim Ho Wan to try some authentic Chinese dishes.
6. Super Bowl Party!
Yessss, I know this isn’t apart of Chinese tradition, however, the game always falls during the holiday. Being American and a Broncos fan, you bet your sweet cheeks I got up at 6:00 A.M to watch them dominate the Panthers. In fact, this might have been the highlight of my holiday. Fortunately, several expats enjoy watching American football, so there are quite a few restaurants and bars viewing the game with a full breakfast spread including but not limited to Stone Nullah Tavern and Champs.