HONG KONG – TRAVEL – Hong Kong is set to be bathed in colour and light as the Lunar New Year celebrations 2017 promise to be the territory’s biggest and most spectacular ever.
Themed “Best Fortune. World Party”, the 2017 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade will be held on the first day of Chinese New Year – 28 January – and feature the largest number of performers in the event’s history.
Three-thousand local and international performers and ten illuminated floats will parade through the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui to usher in the year of the Rooster and commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative region.
Spectators along the parade route will delight in the local traditions of dragon and lion dances, magic shows, clown acts and percussion performed by 26 roving groups. They’ll also experience overseas troupes including stilt walkers, cheerleaders, folk dancers artistic cycling, rope skipping and Latin dancing. And there’s an added treat for some as 350 local youngsters will act as “Lucky Buddies” and give out 13,000 festive goody bags.
The parade of ten vibrant, spectacularly decorated, illuminated floats starts at 8pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Open Piazza, and its trail of light and colour will unfold along Canton Road, Haiphong Road, Nathan Road and Salisbury Road, ending outside the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers.
And the celebrations don’t end there – if you head to Victoria Harbour on the evening of 29 January, you can take in the world-renowned, awe-inspiring fireworks display; and on 30 January you can try out your New Year-luck at Chinese New Year Race Day at Sha Tin Racecourse, where alongside the city’s favourite jockeys you can enjoy lion dances and singing performances.
And away from the carnival atmosphere of the night parade, races and fireworks, you can indulge in simple pleasures to celebrate the New Year like a Hong Konger. Explore the city’s many temples to pray for good luck, and light an incense stick to mark the beginning of the Year of the Rooster. In Che Kung Temple, turning the pin wheel is said to get rid of bad luck. And the fan-bladed wheel of fortune next to the Che Kung Statue, tradition has it, will bring good luck when spun three times.
Pick up a tangerine at the Chinese New Year Fair to bring luck in the Year of the Rooster; or simply browse Hong Kong’s many markets for red-coloured souvenirs to decorate your home or office – red is the colour of good fortune, joy, happiness, good luck and wealth.
Wherever you are in Hong Kong during the Lunar New Year – be it squeezed into a crowded temple; browsing festive markets selling auspicious foods and blooms; walking under the bright-red lanterns that adorn the city; or soaking up the party atmosphere of the night parade and firework display – you will find it impossible not to be caught up in and inspired by the energy of the celebrations to usher in the Year of the Rooster.