HONG KONG -- The pinnacle of Hong Kong's festival season, Chinese
New Year, will dazzle visitors with a number of festive events in
The Lunar New Year, ushering in the Year of the Rabbit, falls on
Feb. 16 next year, with Hong Kong marking the change of the
calendar with its Chinese New Year Carnival.
The celebration will see buildings and streets -- most notably
along the harborfront of Kowloon's Tsimshatsui and central Hong
Kong Island -- festooned with light displays depicting rabbits and
other holiday motifs.
Major restaurants throughout the city will present special menus
featuring symbolic foods for more than two weeks after the New
Year, and shoppers can look for bargains of up to 50% off at stores
ranging from street stalls to boutiques on the days preceding Feb.
The highlight of the celebrations will be a massive Feb. 16
Chinese New Year Parade, featuring colorful floats, marching bands,
roving performers and local and international dance troupes,
proceeding along the waterfront of Hong Kong Island.
The parade occurs between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and begins at the
waterfront Tamar Site in central Hong Kong Island. The procession
continues through Tim Wa Avenue, Lung Wui Road, Fenwick Pier
Street, Harbour Road, Fleming Road and Convention Avenue.
Tickets cost approximately $26 for a grandstand seat inside
Tamar Site and $13 for a seat in the spectator stand along Tim Wa
Avenue. Viewing from the street is free.
Another popular New Year event is a giant fireworks display
launched from barges moored in Victoria Harbor on the night of Feb.
17, with some of the best views traditionally afforded from the
Peninsula Hong Kong hotel. Another popular fireworks option is a
90-minute nighttime Harbor Tour organized by Watertours of Hong
Kong. The cruise costs $32 for adults and $21 for children and
includes an open bar. More information is available by contacting
Watertours of Hong Kong at (011) (852) 2730-6171; fax (011) (852)
On Feb. 14 and 15, the city's teeming flower markets will fill
with bargain hunters seeking seasonal flowers and flowering tree
branches. Traditional New Year favorites include kumquat trees,
narcissus and peonies, with peach and plum blossoms signifying good
luck. Major flower markets are open from noon to midnight in
Victoria Park, Hui Park, Mongkok and Kowloon.
One of the biggest events of Hong Kong's horse racing season is
the Feb. 18 Chinese New Year meeting, held at Sha Tin
The Hong Kong Tourist Association offers two Come Horseracing
Tours. The Classic Tour, which includes a buffet meal at the Hong
Kong Jockey Club's visitors' box and admission to the Members'
Enclosure costs $63. The EZ Race Tour, which includes admission to
the Betting Lounge within the Jockey Club's Members' Enclosure
along with a food and drink coupon that costs $32.
The price of the tours also includes transportation and
materials to help bettors wager.
For more information about various Chinese New Year events or to
inquire about the horseracing tours, contact the Hong Kong Tourist
Association at (212) 869-5008 or (212) 869-5009.
The HKTA can be contacted via e-mail at [email protected] and
maintains a Web site at www.hkta.org.