It is that time of the year again…. Euphoria and elation sparked at every corner of this city, a brilliant time to put aside the stress of everyday activities and embrace this celebration of the year of goat with loved ones.
Yet, this celebration is not complete without some parades and fireworks, here are some activities in Hong Kong to enjoy the most celebrated day in the chinese calendar:
Day 1: The Parade and Entertainment on New Year’s Day (February 19, 2015, Thursday)
Holiday Kickoff: The streets hop to the beating music, and the crowds enjoy the parade.
Crowds line the streets and make way for the parade in Tsim Sha Tsui area near Victoria Harbor. It will be the Year of the Goat according to traditional reckoning, and there will probably be goats on parade. It will go by some Hong Kong highlights such as the Avenue of Stars, Kowloon Park, and the Golden Mile of Nathan Road.
Dozens of floats proceed down the streets with dozens of performing groups and bands. Before the parade, many entertainers will entertain along the parade route that includes historic Nathan Road, Salisbury Road, Canton Road, and Haiphong Road. The parade starts near the Avenue of Stars on the waterfront, but can you watch it at any place along the way.
In 2014, the 35 or so floats of companies and associations of around the world were preceded by groups of dancers, jugglers, marching bands, children, skaters and bikers of various nationalities. It shows that Hong Kong is an international city with influences from around the world.
Read more about the International Performance Night and the parade program.
Day 2: Fireworks over Victoria Harbor on the Second Day (8 pm, February 20, 2015, Friday)
On Day 2 of the Spring Festival, Victoria Harbor is scheduled to roar with a giant fireworks display with choreographed pyrotechnics. It joins in with the daily record-setting Symphony of Lights with its colorful building lights and laser light show.
Read about the Chinese New Year Eve Fireworks, 2015 including locations and transportation.
Day 3: Horse Races on the Third Day (February 21, 2015, Saturday)
The most popular races of all…
100,000 excited fans will crowd into Sha Tin Racecourse on the third day of the holidays. The Chinese New Year races are a special event. It has always been Hong Kong’s most popular horse racing event. On this unique race day, the Jockey Club (a nonprofit charity group) will feature a full program of traditional and colorful festivities.
There is a grand opening show, a featured lion dance, and a variety of cultural performances and entertainment. Professional jockeys will cheer the fans with messages for good luck. The featured race of the day is the Chinese New Year Cup.
Chinese New Year Shopping Spree
Touring and shopping:
Before the parade, you could tour the attractions and shop and dine. Hong Kong’s biggest mall, Harbour City, is open along the parade route, as is iSquare that fills a skyscraper by Nathan Road. The Temple Street Market pedestrian street is a place to browse for bargains and snack or have a meal beforehand.
Promotions, discounts, and entertainment help make holiday sales skyrocket.
Chinese people go shopping before and during the Spring Festival, and the huge crowds at shopping malls and markets make it an athletic challenge. People shop for holiday food, decorations, clothes, gifts, and furniture. Portable luxury products are now the star sellers.
Now, with newly opened borders, a new feature to the Hong Kong Chinese New New Year is an influx of 100,000s of cash-rich Chinese on holiday shopping sprees. They snap up the festival deals in huge quantities, and the malls entertain them. The mainland Chinese use their Spring Festival vacation time to go to Hong Kong and take advantage of the low taxes on the wide selection of luxury products and the hard to get imported products such as powdered milk. They carry them across the border to avoid stiff duties and control.
They come with cash, and the many major malls schedule special promotions, entertainment and displays to attract them. The Chinese may soon overtake Americans as the world’s leading consumers of luxury products.
Shopping hours: Malls stay open and even extend hours for the shopping rush during Chinese New Year’s Eve and the important first few days of the Chinese New Year. But small market street shops may close for a couple of days or close early.
If you plan on shopping, here are regular and luxury shopping tips and guides.
This article appeared in China Highlights.