Chinese New Year Hong Kong
Lucky you if your trip to Hong Kong falls in the run-up to or during Chinese New Year, the city’s biggest and most colourful festival! It is impossible to not be caught up in the energy as you squeeze into crowded temples to pray for good fortune, browse festive markets selling auspicious foods and blooms and photograph the shock-red lanterns that adorn the city.
Stay tuned for details of next year’s celebrations!
InfoMost government offices, banks and public utilities will be closed for the Chinese New Year public holidays in Hong Kong. However, most shops and restaurants in the busiest districts will remain open. Some shopping malls may even extend their service hours. Major attractions, theme parks and public transport will operate as usual. Street markets and stalls will usually close on the first and second day of the Chinese New Year (8–9 February) and resume business from the third day (10 February).
Despite its utterly modern world city status, Hong Kong is deeply traditional. And preparing for and celebrating Chinese New Year is especially rich with ancient rituals and customs. Below is your guide to understanding (and perhaps joining in) these timeless traditions.
Food is an essential ingredient to almost all Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year being anything but the exception. Here's a list of what's cooking on the Chinese New Year menu and why:Black moss: In Cantonese this is called 'fat choi', which sounds like 'prosperity'. Dried oysters: Its Cantonese word 'ho si' sounds similar to 'good business', which is music to many ears in this entrepreneurial city. Steamed sticky cake: In Chinese, 'sticky cake' is phonetically close to 'higher year', meaning that eating steamed sticky cake each year symbolises raising oneself higher. Braised black moss pig’s trotter: This dish represents getting extra, unexpected income, which is desired by business folk and those having a flutter on Chinese New Year Race Day. Tongyuen: These are sweet glutinous rice balls. In Chinese, tongyuen sounds like 'reunion', which is especially important in a family-conscious city that's populated by migrants from all over China and has sent emigrants to all corners of the world.
You’ve heard of the 12 days of Christmas, but what about the 15 days of Chinese New Year? Here’s a guide to what Hongkongers get up to during the festival.