The Chinese New Year (CNY) 2014 is approaching and Hong Kong (and whole China) is getting ready to celebrate the arrival of the “Year of the Horse”. Combining ancient traditions with a unique touch of cosmopolitan modern flair make celebrating Chinese New Year in Hong Kong very special and unique. Festivities and special events are spread out over three weeks and offer opportunities to party, celebrate and participate in typical Chinese New Year traditions. Similar to Western holidays, Chinese New Year has many different traditions, events and activities. Why not try some auspicious and lucky foods (e.g. black moss which sounds in Cantonese like ‘prosperity’, steamed sticky cake, sweet glutinous rice balls (tang yuan), vegetable with ham or dried oysters), visit a fortune teller for good fortune in one of the many temples, get enchanted at the Chinese New Year Flower markets or simply watch the Chinese New Year Firework Show.

For 2014, the first day of Chinese Lunar Calendar is on January 31st (see “2014 Hong Kong Public Holidays“). In order to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, Hong Kong will celebrate and welcome the “Year of the Horse” with several big events and activities from January 25th to February 14th, 2014. Colorful Flower Markets, dazzling world-class Chinese New Year Parade, Lunar New Year Fireworks, Lion Dances, special celebrations at temples, sport and fun activities or the famous Chinese New Year Horseracing spectacle.

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Similar to previous Chinese New Year celebrations we would like to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the most popular, colorful and impressive Chinese New Year events and activities. As a final reminder, before we start to introduce you the Chinese New Year activities, prepare that – no matter which event, activity or show you like to watch, join and/or participate, be prepared and aware that it will very, very (!) crowded.

Are you anxious to experience and celebrate 21 days packed with age-old traditions, cultural festivities and events?

• Flower Markets (January 25 – January 31, 2014)
• Cultural Activities
• Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade (January 31, 2014)
• Lunar New Year Fireworks 2014 (February 1, 2014)
• Horseracing – Chinese New Year Race Day 2014 (February 2, 2014)
• 2014 Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals (February 23 – March 2, 2014)

Flower Market (January 25 – January 31, 2014)  [Go Back]

Golden Orange Tree

Golden Orange Tree

The Hong Kong Lunar New Year Flower Markets usually kick-off the festive Chinese New Year season and festivities. Stroll through the beautiful and colorful Flower Markets throughout Hong Kong and join the locals to search for the perfect bloom. Narcissus, peach blossoms, orchids, citrus plants or kumquat trees (golden orange trees) are believed to bring good luck, wealth and prosperity for the upcoming New Year and if you pay close attention you will notice that almost every shopping mall, restaurant and shop are beautiful decorated with these kind of flowers. Similar to Christmas markets in Germany, Austria or Swiss these Chinese New Year Flower Markets open up the holiday season and bring the festive spirit with their colorful and aromatic displays of flowers. Dive into these local customs and make sure to enjoy some of the special food treats on the flower markets or pick up one of the unique Horse Year related souvenirs.

Dates: (for more details of opening hours please refer to the different venues)

The Lunar New Year Flower Markets usually opens from 10:00am till late at night (such as 1:00am) depending which market you visit and which day of the New Year Celebrations you stop by. Please note that on Chinese New Year Eve and Chinese New Year some flower markets might open earlier and/or have extended hours (some even till 6:00am).

Insider Tip: The best time to visit is either in the early morning hours or early afternoon/evening hours (4:00 – 6:00pm), but be prepared for a massive crowd of people no matter which time slot you choose. If you really want to mingle with the crowds and would like to grasp the romantic Lunar New Year Flower Markets at night then you might want to visit around 6:00 – 9:00pm.

Admission:

The admission to the Lunar New Year Flower Markets is free of charge.

How to Get to the Chinese New Year Flower Markets:

In 2014, Hong Kong has 15 venues of Chinese New Year Flower Markets and visitors can choose from various locations. The biggest and most popular Chinese New Year Flower Markets are located in Victoria Park (Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island) and Fa Hui Park (Mongkok, Kowloon).

However, the Chinese New Year Flower Markets in Causeway Bay and Mongkok are not the only ones. Throughout Hong Kong, there are several smaller ones which are off the beaten tourist tracks, but may be still worthwhile to visit especially if you would like get in touch with locals. Some are located close to major sightseeing or shopping attractions and can easily be incorporated in a normal tour itinerary.

Hong Kong Island:

– Victoria Park (Causeway Bay)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily / Jan 30, 2014 noon – next day 6am)

Kowloon Area:

– Fa Hui Park (Sham Shui Po)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily / Jan 30, 2014 noon – next day 6am)

– Cheung Sha Wan Playground (Sham Shui Po)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

– Morse Park (Wong Tai Sin)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily / Jan 30, 2014 noon – next day 6am)

– Hong Ning Road Recreation Ground (Kwun Tong)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

New Territories:

– Man Yee Playground (Sai Kung)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

– Po Hong Park (Tseung Kwan O)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

– Kwai Chung Sports Ground (Kwai Tsing)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily / Jan 30, 2014 noon – next day 6am/)

– Hong Ning Road Recreation Ground (Kwun Tong)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

– Sha Tsui Road Playground (Tsuen Wan)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily / Jan 30, 2014 noon – next day 6am)

– Tin Hau Temple Plaza (Tuen Mun)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

– Tung Tau Industrial Area Playground (Yuen Long)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

– Shek Wu Hui Playground (North District)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

– Tin Hau Temple Fung Shui Square (Tai Po)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily)

– Yuen Wo Playground (Sha Tin)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily / Jan 30, 2014 noon – next day 6am)

Outlying Islands:

– Tung Chung Road Soccer Pitch (Islands)
(Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2014 noon ‑ midnight daily / Jan 30, 2014 noon – next day 6am)

Cultural Activities  [Go Back]

The time around Chinese New Year is full of seasonal traditions and rituals. Locals love to prepare and eat ‘lucky food’ or flock into temples to give thanks for the past 12 months and pray for good fortune for the New Year. Visitors have a great opportunity to experience and engage into these cultural Chinese New Year activities. Simply visit e.g. the Che Kung Temple to spin the Fortune Wheel for some good luck, make a wish at the Wishing Tree in Lam Tsuen, shake out a fortune stick for a New Year Prediction at the Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple or simple burn some incense in one of the many temples in Hong Kong.

Lam Tsuen

Lam Tsuen

Wishing Tree in Lam Tsuen

Wishing Tree in Lam Tsuen

In case you are pressed for time and don’t want to travel to far, we highly recommend taking a closer look at the Man Mo Temple on Hong Kong Island or the Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple on the Kowloon side to experience some local Chinese New Year customs, rituals and traditions.

Like any event during the Chinese New Year period, be prepared that it will be very crowded. Admission to the temples are free of charge, but we recommend to give a small donation to maintain the beautiful temples and art works.

How to Get to the Temples:

Hong Kong Island

Man Mo Temple

Kowloon Side:

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

New Territories:

Che Kung Temple (Sha Tin)
Yuen Yuen Institute (Tsuen Wan)
Wishing Tree in Lam Tsuen (Tai Po)

Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade 2014 (January 31, 2014)  [Go Back]

One of the highlights of the Chinese New Year Celebration is the world-famous Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade. Sponsored by Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific Airlines for the 16th consecutive year, the 19th Chinese New Year Night Parade will enchant by young and old. About 13 beautiful decorated and colorful floats will wind its way through the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon) and along the Victoria Harbour front. Be assured that this area along the planned concourse will transform into a giant party. Aside from the beautiful decorated floats, you are able to watch and enjoy a whole bunch of international performers including marching bands, local dragon and lion dance teams, cheerleading groups, cultural dance performances and costumed cartoon characters and “cosplayers” giving out souvenirs.

Where to watch the parade?

The Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade 2014 will start right in front of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza (Tsim Sha Tsui). Then the parade will proceed to move along Canton Road, Haiphong Road and turn back along the famous Nathan Road to end in front of the Sheraton Hotel Hong Kong in the Salisbury Road.

You can either watch along the parade route  which is free of charge either purchase tickets to sit right in front of the spectacle in the spectator stands at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. Tickets are available on a first come first basis ranging between HK$ 300 – 400 at the Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Center at the Star Ferry Concourse in Tsim Sha Tsui (open daily from 8:00am-8:00pm). Tickets will start on sale from the 25th of January 2014.

When is the parade?

The Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade 2014 will last from 8:00pm – 9:30pm on January 31st, 2014. Starting from 6:00pm, there will be several performers and games to warm-up the crowds along the parade route. Spectator stands at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza will open at 7:00pm (for all of you purchased tickets for the parade).

Year of Snake Parade

Year of Snake Parade

Year of Snake Parade

Year of Snake Parade

In case you would like to enjoy the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade 2014 make sure to arrive way ahead (!) of the scheduled parade time. There are several special traffic arrangements due to the special events and usually, roads will be closed at least 2 hours before and after (!) the event. Make sure to calculate enough time to arrive early at the venue and prepare that it will get very crowded.

Insider Tip:

For all of you who won’t make it in time to get along the parade route, the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade 2014 will also be televised in National TV. In addition, for everyone who might have missed the incredible Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade 2014 or for everyone who would like to get a closer look at the beautiful floats to take some pictures, there are several opportunities. The floats will be on display at various locations around Hong Kong from February 1 – 14, 2014. At night, the floats will be illuminated and are a great photo opportunity. In addition, there will be special performances of some of the parade’s colorful groups on February 1 and 2, 2014.

Lunar New Year Fireworks Display 2014 (February 1, 2014)  [Go Back]

The Lunar New Year Fireworks Display 2014 is another highlight of the Chinese New Year events. Be assured that thousands of people will watch and enjoy the stunning fireworks display in Victoria Harbour to welcome and celebrate the Year of the Horse.

This year’s Chinese New Year’s Firework will start at 8:00pm on February 1, 2014 (the second day of Chinese New Year). Please refer to our earlier article to get all the insights where to find the best places to watch and enjoy the fireworks show.

2013 Chinese New Year Fireworks in Hong Kong

2013 Chinese New Year Fireworks in Hong Kong

2013 Chinese New Year Fireworks in Hong Kong

2013 Chinese New Year Fireworks in Hong Kong

Please be reminded that special traffic arrangements are in effect before and after the Chinese New Year’s Firework Show. This includes closure (!) of roads and MTR Exits. Be prepared for a very large crowd and we highly recommend to plan your arrival way ahead of the schedule fireworks time. In case you would like to watch the Chinese New Year’s Firework Show from one of our recommended listing, be sure to make reservations.

Horseracing – Chinese New Year Race Day 2014 (February 2, 2014)  [Go Back]

One of the wonderful and fascinating things about celebrating Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is the opportunity to participate and enjoy in the unique event of horse racing as a tradition. Is there any better way to kick-off the New Year with some betting and hoping for prosperity and wealth than at the world-famous horseracing event in the “Year of the Horse”?

2013 Chinese New Year Horse Racing in Sha Tin Racecourse

2013 Chinese New Year Horse Racing in Sha Tin Racecourse

2013 Chinese New Year Horse Racing in Sha Tin Racecourse

2013 Chinese New Year Horse Racing in Sha Tin Racecourse

Date:

The Chinese New Year Race Day is always on the third day of Chinese New Year ( this year is on the February 2, 2014) in Sha Tin Racecourse (New Territories).

What to do?

Being one of the most popular horse racing events of the year, the Chinese New Year Race Day 2014 will feature a full program of traditional and colorful festivities including a grand opening show, lion dance performances, a variety of cultural and entertainment performances and of course horse races. In addition, you might have a chance to spot one of the famous jockeys or pick-up one of the limited edition items and souvenirs at the Chinese New Year Merchandise Bazaar (e.g. this year four special designed “Year of the Horse” Octopus cards designed by famous painter Xu Beihong as well as traditional red packets are available). Join the fun and games and pick up some Feng Shui tips from Feng Shui Master Mak Ling Ling at the Tipster Forum or enhance your luck with some stylish gold ornaments from the Love Knots gold booths at the concourse and first floor of the public betting hall.

Admission:

Entrance fee at the Sha Tin Racecourse venue is HK$ 10. Foreign visitors showing their valid travel documents can enjoy free admission. Furthermore, foreign visitors can experience a one-of-kind horseracing experience within the Members’ Enclosure of the Hong Kong Jockey Club by purchasing the special Tourist Badge Option for HK$ 130. The tourist promotion applies only to tourist and in case, you would like to enjoy this exclusive Hong Kong Jockey Club Members experience make sure to take your valid passport with you. In addition, each visitor will receive a special Chinese New Year (CNY) gift (a mobile phone screen wiper printed with famous Xu Beihong’s masterpiece and iconic horse painting “Shuang Jun”) when entering the racecourse (while supply last).

The Sha Tin Racecourse opens its gate around noon and last until 6:00pm. The first actual horse race starts around 12:30pm at the Chinese New Year Race Day. Check the article: Horse Racing to get more information about how to get to the Sha Tin Racecourse.

2014 Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals (January 23 – March 2, 2014)  [Go Back]

Parts of the Chinese New Year Celebration are the Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals. Foreign visitors have a unique chance to experience some traditional Chinese culture and traditions during the Chinese New Year. The 2014 Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals features spectacular lantern displays as well as various performances including classical songs, dances and traditional stage arts. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy popular and traditional Chinese New Year activities such as nostalgic games, palm-reading and lantern riddle games at the 2014 Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals.

There are several Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals throughout Hong Kong in 2014:

Lunar New Year Thematic Lantern Display – Roaming in Love
Date: January 23 – March 2, 2014
Time: 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Venue: Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza

Urban Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2014

Date: February 14, 2014
Time: 7:30pm – 10:30pm
Venue: Hong Kong Cultural Centre

New Territories East Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2014

Date: February 15, 2014
Time: 7:30pm – 10:30pm
Venue: Tseung Kwan O Po Chui Park

New Territories West Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2014

Date: February 16, 2014
Time: 7:30pm – 10:30pm
Venue: Tin Shui Wai Park

The admission to the Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals are Free of Charge.