The Chinese Lunar New Year takes place on a different date each year, a clear differentiation from the Gregorian event you may be more familiar with, that adheres faithfully to it's 31st of December alloted station. This year it takes place on the 19th February, over a month after the traditional NYE, although the main fireworks display over the island's famous Victoria Harbour typically doesn't take place until a day later. This is part of a series of celebrations that last a total of 15 days,
Hong Kong, existing as it does in something of a unique cultural blend, is one of the few locations world wide that celebrates both events with equal relish - there are still a large number of westerners on the island as a residue of it's recently ended colonial days, while the influx of new residents from nearby China means that the Chinese New Year celebrations continue to grow and expand in popularity.
There are 2 main events to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong - the Lunar or Night Parade and the fireworks display. The fireworks are launched over Victoria Harbour, in the region between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Probably the single most popular HK new year celebration however is the iconic Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, starting at 8pm. There is a nominal finish time of 9.30pm, but if you're in the area then the party is sure to continue beyond that well into the night.
The parade travels through the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui and is made up of a series of colourful, illuminated floats, and the whole area becomes one huge party as locals and visitors alike take to the streets to watch.
As well as the floats, there will be a number of other participants, including visitors form around the world. These include dance troupes, including of course the famous dragon and lion dancers, marching bands, stilt walkers, drum bands and hip-hop and jazz dancers.
The Hong Kong Chinese New Year fireworks display over Victoria Harbour then takes place on the evening of the following day.
The full schedule of the main events for the 2015 Chinese New
Year in Hong Kong is:
Feb 19: Night Parade. Entertainment starts from around 6pm, the main parade gets underway at 8pm and lasts for about 90 minutes
Feb 20: Fireworks display over Victoria Harbour
Feb 21: Spring Festival Races at Sha Tin Racecourse
Places to watch live - there are a number of live webcams positioned around Hong Kong, and a couple looking over Victoria Harbour in particular that should offer an excellent view of the fireworks:
In 2015 the TVB Jade Hong Kong television coverage of the night parade was also available online, and it looks like they will be showing all the main events this year too:
The official site also has some excellent views captured by Google Street View during the 2013 Night Parade and also at the Victoria Park Lunar New Year Fair - view them here:
To see coverage of previous new years events in Hong Kong, including the lunar parade and fireworks, there is an excellent selection of user-recorded videos on Youtube:
If you're planning on visiting Hong Kong over the Chinese New Year period, then early reservation is strongly recommend. You can search, check availability and book local hotels here.
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