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Go Bananas this Chinese New Year – Things to See and Do

By Sophie Pettit 19 January 2016
You've goat to be kidding - another year has flown by already? Prepare yourself for a truly spectacular week of Chinese New Year celebrations as we bid farewell to the Year of the Goat, and watch the monkey swing into the city. From grandiose firework displays and dazzling night parades, to bustling flower markets and traditional temple rituals, there are heaps of incredible events lined up. Here's our roundup of the best.

"The God of the Gamblers" Party

drink dice Are you feeling lucky? It's time to put on your poker face and celebrate the New Year old-school style as Bao Bei brings traditional Chinese gambling games to the table. Indulge in Asian inspired cocktails and food as you groove along to the live DJ, as you try your hand at Big and Small, Fish, and Prawn and Crab games. Good luck and remember to bet responsibly! When: February 6, (10pm - 2am) Where: Bao Bei, U/G, 77 Wyndham Street, Central How much: Free entry, and 1 chip per $50 spent (each chip deducts $5 from your bill) Visit the Facebook page for more information

Flower Markets

oranges Treat your senses to an explosion of colour and aroma at the Chinese New Year flower markets. Fifteen markets are set to pop up across Hong Kong, with an abundance of traditionally festive flowers and plants such as kumquat trees, cherry blossom, and daffodils ready for the taking. Not only are these floral decorations the perfect way to spruce up your home and get you into the festive spirit, they're believed to bring good luck your way too. You can also find fresh tangerine, orange, and citrus plants which are known to usher in luck and prosperity making them the perfect gift this season. When: February 2 - 8, (12 noon - midnight, except February 8 which runs from midnight - 6am) Where: 15 parks across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon including Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and Fa Hui Park in Mong Kok How much: Free Click here for more information

"Kingdom of Vigorous Monkeys" Lantern Display

lantern As the sun disappears and darkness falls, the Chinese New Year lantern display will come to life at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Watch a tribe of cheeky chimps play around in lantern form, and admire the radiant colours and creative designs of the stunning lights. Don't miss your chance to catch the spectacular 3D Pulse Light Show while you're over there too (read on). When: February 4 - 28, (6pm - 11pm daily) Where: Piazza, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui How much: Free Click here for more information
Read more! 8 Quirky Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

 Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival

tree Every year, hundreds of thousands people flock from across the world to gather at Lam Tseun for the Well-Wishing Festival. Embellish the lucky Wishing Tree with your hopes and dreams for the Year of the Monkey, and release a wishing lantern into the sky. This festival really is a sight to behold, and is well worth a visit during the festive period. When: February 8 - 22, (9am - 7pm) Where: Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, Lam Tseun, Tai Po How much: Free Click here for more information

Traditional Temple Rituals


The explosive excitement of Hong Kong's grandiose Chinese New Year celebrations may appear to steal the show, but the traditional temple rituals are equally impressive. Hundreds of people gather at the beautiful, tranquil temples dotted across the city to give thanks for their good fortune over the past twelve months. Popular places to perform these rituals include Wong Tai Sin, Che Kun, and Man Mo Temple, so make sure to swing by for an insight into the heart and soul of Chinese New Year. When: During Chinese New Year Where: Temples across Hong Kong How much: Free Click here for more information

Chinese New Year Night Parade

feature In honour of the Chinese New Year, the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui will be transformed into an extravaganza of lights, music, and dancing. Falling under the theme, Playground of the Seas. Party of the World, this year's parade presents drummers, dancers, cheerleaders, and stilt walkers who will party through Kowloon alongside 13 dazzling floats. Catch all the action for free along the parade route, or book your spectator seats at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. When: February 8, (8pm - 9.45pm) Street performers will warm up the route from 6pm Where: Tsim Sha Tsui (performing zones at Canton Road and Nathan Road) How much: Free to watch along the route or tickets ($300 - $480) available at Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centre at the Star Ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui Click here for more information and tickets

 Chinese New Year Fireworks Display

fireworks Don't miss the most epic firework display of the Hong Kong calendar, as sparkling colours and awe-inspiring pyrotechnics illuminate the sky above Victoria Harbour in a 23 minute long show. This is the ultimate way to welcome in the New Year with a bang, just make sure you get down to the harbourfront nice and early to secure yourself a good viewing spot. When: February 9, (8pm) Where: Anywhere with a view of the harbour How much: Free Click here for more information.
Read more! Do’s & Don’ts for the Best Year of the Monkey

Chinese New Year Fireworks Cruise

photo 04 All aboard! Escape the New Year crowds, settle into your front row seats, and enjoy the spectacular firework display in all its glory as you sail across Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong Yachting promises you a boat party to remember on board their iconic Jungle Jane and Tazan. With a delicious buffet dinner and free flow drinks on board, this is a truly sophisticated way to enter the Chinese New Year! When: February 9, (6.30 pm - 10pm) Where: Central Pier 10 How much: $1,300 per person (includes dinner and drinks) Click here for more information and tickets

AIA Great European Carnival

Chinese New Year at AIA To add even more excitement to the bright lights and big tops of the AIA Great European Carnival, a spectacular schedule of festive events has been announced. Catch the cheeky monkey mascot having a good old boogie in a festive dance show, watch the wacky Phantastique brothers as they parade around the carnival ground with "Choi Sun", the God of Wealth, and prepare to be amazed as the traditional lion dance gets a hip, LED makeover. With all Hong Kong residents being welcomed into the carnival for free, this is a festive bonanza you would be crazy to miss! When: February 8 -12, (festive schedule starts at 2pm); the Carnival runs until February 21, (11am - 11pm) Where: Central Harbourfront Event Space How much: Free entry for all Hong Kong residents (don't forget money for the rides and attractions though!) Click here for more information

Pulse 3D Light Show

pulse 3d light show Prepare to be amazed as the spectacular 3D light show returns to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre with a festive makeover. With larger that life images, high-energy sounds, and jaw-dropping 3D effects, the eight minute show promises to welcome in the Year of the Monkey in magnificent style. Don't forget to download the Hong Kong Pulse Sound Track app to listen to the accompanying tunes if you're out of earshot. When: February 10 - 29, (shows every half hour between 8.20pm and 10pm) Where: Open Piazza, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui How much: Free Click here for more information.

Chinese New Year Race Day

new-year-race Hedge your bets! The Chinese New Year Race Day has a programme packed with entertainment to kick the Year of the Monkey off on a real high. Listen up for some handy tips from the Feng Shui Master, watch a traditional lion dance as it takes over the track, and cheer on your favourite jockeys as they race to the finish line and win the Chinese New Year Cup. A selection of limited edition items will be on offer at the Chinese New Year Merchandise Bazaar so you can mark the occasion too. When: February 10, (12 noon - 6pm) Where: Sha Tin Racecourse How much: $10 entry fee to the public enclosure Click here for more information

  Fashion Walk "Pixelrific" Exhibition

fashion walk The Berlin-based boys of art group eBoy have been monkeying around with Chinese New Year traditions. Keep your eyes peeled for traditional Chinese figures such as the zodiac monkey and the Three Fortune Buddies, Fu, Lu, and Shou (pictured) at Fashion Walk, which have been given a modern makeover in this "Pixelrific" exhibition. Don't forget to hunt down the scannable codes hidden around the mall to unlock interactive, pixelated games and be in with the chance of winning eBoy goodies and limited edition "lai see" envelopes! When: Until February 21 Where: Fashion Walk Indoor Mall, Causeway Bay How much: Free Visit the Facebook event page for more information

IFC Bamboo Forest of Happiness 


The IFC mall has gone barmy for bamboo this year, with a Bamboo Forest of Happiness popping up in the Oval Atrium. Marvel at the 888 towering specimens (some of which have reached 5m in height!) as you wander through this lucky, indoor woodland. Bamboo is synonymous with Chinese New Year, as it represents prosperity, good fortune, and abundance. Try to spot the light-up monkeys hanging about, and the Chinese symbol for fortune which has been embossed on some of the plants. The fun doesn't stop there either, with other bamboo-inspired decorations, including bamboo cascade pendant lights and animated monkey lanterns, popping up around the mall.

When: Until February 18 Where: Podium Level 1, IFC Mall How much: Free Click here for more information

Cityplaza Sky Lantern Festival

A dazzling sea of lanterns lights up the New Year Cityplaza is glowing with festivity this year, with hundreds of colourful lanterns lighting up the mall. Inspired by the annual Taiwanese Sky Lantern Festival, each lantern is adorned with New Year blessings and good wishes. Wander through the enchanting sky lantern garden on the Central Bridge, admire the seasonal flower displays, and wish your friends and family luck as we enter the Year of the Monkey with a personalised lantern. To design your lantern, download the Cityplaza app on Facebook or Instagram, and watch as your festive creation floats onto the big screen. When: Until February 22 Where: Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Taikoo How much: Free Click here more information
Whatever you have planned this Chinese New Year, we wish you happiness, luck, and prosperity as you swing into the Year of the Monkey. Kung hei fat choi!
Read more! Don't slip up this Chinese New Year and check out the Dos and Don'ts for the Best Year of the Monkey.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.