It has only been a month into 2016, but in just a few days we are once again celebrating the new year. This time we’re of course talking about the Chinese New Year celebrations! If you happen to be in Hong Kong this week, then you must be wondering what fun things you can do during the celebrations. Well, no worries because HK Free Walk got you covered! Here we’ll tell you all the things you can do on Chinese New Year 2016 in Hong Kong.
Things to do on Chinese New Year 2016
Chinese Lantern Festival @ Tsim Sha Tsui, Tseung Kwan O Po Tsui Park or Tuen Mun Park
When: Tsim Sha Tsui – February 4 to 28, lit-up time on Thursday through Sunday from 6 PM to 11 PM
Also at: Tseung Kwan O Po Tsui Park – February 19 to 22
Tuen Mun Park – February 19 to 22
For the Chinese New Year celebrations you’ll probably head to Tsim Sha Tsui at least once. While you’re around, definitely go check out the lantern displays at the Cultural Centre Piazza (where the Clock Tower is)! Unfortunately at the Chinese Lantern Festival there will be no air lanterns released, but the lantern displays are still beautiful and definitely Instagram-friendly.
Flower markets @ Causeway Bay, Mong Kok and other areas
When: February 2 to 7 – On New Year’s Eve on the 7th it will be open throughout until the early hours (6:00 am) of New Year’s Day February 8!
Where: Victoria Park at Causeway Bay and Fa Hui Park at Mong Kok (MTR Mong Kok East or Prince Edward). For smaller, less touristy flower markets you can take your adventure to Cheung Sha Wan playground, Lok Fu Morse Park or Kwun Tong Playground in the Kowloon area.
All Hong Kong locals will go to a flower market to buy their little tangerine trees for the Chinese New Year celebrations. Why you ask? Well you can guess it – tangerines represents wealth, just like bamboo and the number 8. Along with oranges (symbol of good luck), tangerines are a must during Chinese New Year celebrations. Whether you’re up for getting your own little tangerine tree or not, visit a flower market if you want to soak up some more Hong Kong culture!
Chinese New Year Parade @ Tsim Sha Tsui
When: February 8, official start time of the parade is at 8 PM
Route: Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza -> Canton Road -> Haiphon Road -> Nathan Road -> Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers
Also: Prefer to avoid the crowd? The parade will also be broadcasted live on TVB Jade channel from 8 to 9:45 PM
The Chinese New Year Parade is a must-see for visitors! Think of over 30 different spectacular looking floats, marching bands, colourful dragons and dancing lions. Traditional Chinese dancers, (international) troupes and of course loud firecrackers, drums and music! If you’ve seen one of these Chinese New Year Parades in your hometown (outside Asia) before, well expect to see the same ensemble but even bigger and better. Go early if you want to have a good spot!
Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival @ Tai Po Lam Tsuen
When: February 8 to 22
Make a wish during the Well-Wishing Festival on a piece of paper, then throw it onto the wishing tree. At night you can see the amazing release of the wishing lanterns – it’s so beautiful! Oh and if you missed out on the Parade, you’ll be able to see the floats of that day on display at this festival anyways. And there will be some nice performances, so the festival is definitely worth visiting.
Chinese New Year 2016 Fireworks @ Both sides of the Victoria Harbour
When: February 9 at 8 PM
For about 20 to 30 minutes, you’ll be able to enjoy some amazing fireworks at the skyline. Firecrackers and fireworks are believed to scare away evil spirits so that we can have a good and auspicious year. The louder the better, so expect a spectacular bang! Once again it will be super crowded, so go early to find a good spot.
Pulse Chinese New Year 3D Light Show @ Tsim Sha Tsui
When: February 10 to 29 every evening at 8:20, 8:45, 9:15 and 9:45 PM
The Pulse 3D Light Show is always fun to see so if you’re around Tsim Sha Tsui after a nice dinner, you might want to stick around to see the mini film. The Cultural Centre’s building will be used as the screen and you’ll be able to see the entire thing as long as you’re standing at the Piazza.
Chinese New Year Race Day @ Sha Tin Racecourse
When: February 10 from 11 AM to 6 PM
What’s a Chinese New Year without gambling? Every year there’s a Chinese New Year Race Day where people go bet on horse races, but also just to have a great time. Get some fortune tips from the famous Feng Shui Master Mak Ling Ling or enjoy a fun show with famous celebrity Aaron Kwok. And guess what? Tourists with valid identification or travel documents will have free access to the public enclosure! Aaand from 10:15 AM to 2:45 PM there will be a free shuttlebus to the racecourse at the Wong Tai Sin MTR Station D2 Exit (Ching Tak Street). So more time and money to spend at the racecourse!
Public transportation during Chinese New Year
For all special traffic and transport arrangements at Hong Kong Islands and Kowloon during the Chinese New Year, please check this list to make sure you can get back to your hostel. As for the Star Ferry, we weren’t able to find any updates so it is probably running as usual. However, the MTR will be running all night at February 7th! If you want to make sure, you can always go to the Tourism Board and ask. Enjoy your Chinese New Year celebrations!