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Your Guide to Celebrating Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

With Chinese New Year (CNY) just around the corner, Hong Kong locals and expats alike are wondering what’s in store for this year’s celebration. Also known as the Lunar New Year, the city’s biggest celebration falls on the 11th of February this year, welcoming the Year of the Dragon.

As the first CNY without any COVID restrictions since the outbreak, a lot of places are entirely open in celebration of the CNY, offering a wide array of annual facilities where you can participate and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and joy of CNY this year.

This Pacific Prime Hong Kong article serves to give you an idea of what you can do during your holidays in case you run out of activity ideas. Now, let’s make your CNY holidays count!

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How to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong 2024

The start of CNY centers around family and fortune. Traditions involve eating special dishes and performing auspicious rituals. Visits among family members usually take place to spread blessings, and families gather for a sumptuous meal which signifies prosperity and unity for the rest of the year.

The lai see (aka red envelope) tradition is one of the most famous, involving giving money to younger family, friends, and acquaintances for good luck to both parties. Note that electronic lai sees are encouraged this year, offering a more convenient and eco-friendly way to exchange money.

Aside from what’s covered above, here are some activities you can enjoy this Lunar New Year in Hong Kong 2024.

Festive Displays

As the CNY approaches, festive displays are virtually everywhere in Hong Kong. Whether you are closely following Canto-pop or prefer something more traditional like Chinese flowers and lanterns, this year you have no lack of choices to go.

For Flower Lovers

Pacific Place has put in a lot of effort this year to create an immersive CNY experience for all visitors until the 25th of February. Packing modern design, blooming floral decorations, and vibrant colors all in a Chinese garden, shoppers can enjoy a day of endless shopping and Instagrammable photo-shooting.

For Cartoon Lovers

Trendy lifestyle brand ‘Fat Coffee With’ has made this CNY cuteness overload. From now until 18th February, Fat Jai and his friends are forming a Lion Dance Troupe in Festival Walk, spreading fortune to visitors. Remember to check out a range of exclusive Fat Jai merch in the pop-up store as well!

For Pop Lovers

Featuring a 4.5-meter-tall cherry blossom tree in the atrium and elegantly adorned floral pathways, Time Square’s ‘Spring Blossoms’ has it all. Collaborating with Canto-pop singer Panther Chan, visitors can redeem the uniquely designed lai see set and give it out to pop-loving family and friends.

Temple Visits

Temple visits are a popular tradition in Hong Kong that many people enjoy on the third day of the Lunar New Year, as superstition plays a vital part in the Chinese tradition.

Buddhists, Confucianists, and Taoists gather at Wong Tai Sin Temple for prayers in the Kau Chim tradition. This involves shaking a cylindrical container with divination sticks that tell your fortune, which is enjoyable to both witness and partake in.

Wong Tai Sin Temple attracts thousands of worshippers every year to make an offering to the gods by burning incense sticks. Locals also visit Sha Tin’s Che Kung Temple for their turn to spin the copper windmill to attract good fortune.

Flower Markets

Floral decorations are a huge part of Chinese New Year, with flowers adorning the entire city during this occasion. Peach blossoms, pussy willows, and orchids are some of the most auspicious flowers for CNY and are believed to bring prosperity and luck.

Flower markets are set up across Hong Kong, with one of the most popular taking place at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. Featuring 377 stalls full of fast food, wet goods, and dry goods (plush toys, festive decorations, and wacky gadgets) merchants, this year you can expect to return home fully supplied.

Chinese New Year Night Parade 2024

2024 marks the grand return of the Chinese New Year Night Parade. Themed ‘World Party Great Celebration’, you can expect to witness one of the most energetic and festive performances of the year.

Performers from all over the world, including the Universe of Light from Germany and the Arts and Chamdo Troupe from Guangxi and Tibet, give their best shots to entertain. Be sure to meet them at Tsim Sha Tsui as they make their way from the Hong Kong Cultural Center Piazza to the Sheraton Hotel and Towers.

Note: Check out the event details here.

Chinese New Year Race Day 2024

Good news for gamblers! One of the best things to do to kick off the Year of the Dragon is to watch a breathtaking horse race, make a bet, cheer for your favorite horse, and hope it is going to reach the finish line first for the grand Chinese New Year Cup.

What’s more, you can celebrate the day with lion dances and singing performances too! If you are interested, remember to arrive at the Sha Tin Racecourse on the 12th of February.

Chinese New Year Guide: Tips for CNY in Hong Kong 2024

The first three days of the Lunar New Year are an ideal time to witness Hong Kong’s favorite holiday and immerse yourself in all the celebrations. Note that many Chinese businesses, including stores and restaurants, traditionally close for a few days from the night of Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Be sure to follow some Chinese New Year etiquette to ‘spend CNY like a proper Chinese’, including:

  • Wear the color red, which is said to bring good luck.
  • Avoid using words that are tied to misfortune, such as death, and discussing bad news during this time.
  • Avoid cutting or washing your hair on the first day of the new year, as it is believed to wash away any good fortune.
  • Do not sweep or clean your home during the first three days of the new year, as it is believed to sweep away your fortune. Consequently, spring cleaning is usually done a couple of days before the festivities.

Put Your Health First This CNY

The new year is an ideal time to take charge of your health, and even more so this year due to the current situation. If you don’t have health insurance in Hong Kong, now is a good time to go over your options and secure a comprehensive policy for you and your loved ones.

However, with so many providers and policies out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. That’s where Pacific Prime comes in.

With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, we at Pacific Prime Hong Kong have the knowledge and expertise to get you the best plan for your needs and budget. Contact us for impartial advice or a free plan comparison and quote today.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Hong Kong
Eric is an experienced content writer specializing in writing creative copies of marketing materials including social media posts, advertisements, landing pages, and video scripts.

Since joining Pacific Prime, Eric was exposed to a new world of insurance. Having learned about insurance products extensively, he has taken joy and satisfaction in helping individuals and businesses manage risks and protect themselves against financial loss through the power of words.

Although born and raised in Hong Kong, he spent a quarter of his life living and studying in the UK. He believes his multicultural experience is a great asset in understanding the needs and wants of expats and globe-trotters.

Eric’s strengths lie in his strong research, analytical, and communication skills, obtained through his BA in Linguistics from the University of York and MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Bristol.

Outside of work, he enjoys some me-time gaming and reading on his own, occasionally going absolutely mental on a night out with friends.
Eric Chung