Header image courtesy of Lee Gardens
Traditionally, a part of celebrating Lunar New Year should include what’s known in Cantonese as “walking big fortune” (行大運; haang4 daai6 wan6), which means to go out with the family and walk around on the first day of the new year in order to encourage the flow of good cosmic energy that will give the upcoming year an auspicious spin. So what better time to admire the city’s many elaborate Lunar New Year displays and decorations since you’re going to be out and about? Here are the best Chinese New Year displays and markets for you to check out and start the Year of the Ox on a positive note!
Landmark brings a bamboo forest right to the heart of Central with their “Garden of Wishes,” created by local artisan Angus Ting For-chun, who channels the Japanese art of takezaiku (竹細工) bamboo weaving in his work. Expect to find meticulous details in how bamboo weavings and the water and stone elements from Landmark’s fountain are tied together. The patterns and motifs used in the weaves symbolise good fortune, longevity, harmony, and vitality, and who doesn’t want these qualities in 2021?
Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2500 0555
Until 25 February, Mira Place will be incorporating environmentally friendly materials into making a vibrant windmill village. There will be a six-metre-tall “Fortune Windmill Tower,” as well as over 200 paper windmills displayed in what’s named the “Sea of Romantic Windmills.” Another photo-taking location is the “Endless Blessing Windmill Swing,” a lavishly decorated swing set bedecked with Lunar New Year colours and—you guessed it—more windmills. Even this has sustainability in mind, made with Refit cotton from post-consumer recycled fibres and Gmund Biocycle which features grass as its main ingredient. Drop by on 11 or 14 February to receive an eco-friendly mini-windmill of your own to bring home!
Mira Place, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2730 5300
This year, IFC Mall has designed a floral-centric installation focusing on the elegant peach blossoms and peonies, accompanied by festive red blooms scattered throughout the mall. The centrepiece in the main atrium consists of several types of seasonal flowers, all with their own auspicious connotations, such as the Vanda orchid, solanum mammosum, and hydrangea. Scanning QR codes will allow visitors to see lion dance troupes performing on the site through each personal device. Look out also for the array of Lunar New Year shopping offers and privileges available throughout the celebration period.
IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central | (+852) 2295 3308
Possibly Hong Kong’s most famous outdoor pedestrian street, Lee Tung Avenue will be boasting the world’s first AI butterfly-themed light and shadow art installation, paired with the traditional red Chinese lanterns that hark back to the street’s history. The constantly changing shapes and lines of these butterflies are designed to imitate traditional Chinese auspicious patterns. To make things even more interesting, famous local concept artist Frog King, along with other artists, will sometimes be on site to write Lunar New Year spring couplets!
Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai | (+852) 3791 2304
This year’s Lunar New Year decorations are themed around a phrase commonly said to confer blessings, meaning “may each step take you to greater heights.” The main attraction in the middle of Pacific Place features a blossoming oriental garden with traditional moon gates, arches, and stepped walls. Don’t forget to look out for hidden Lunar New Year greetings in the main decorations throughout the mall, and capture them all in images or play an interactive digital game to get festive prizes.
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty | (+852) 2844 8988
Hysan Group is taking eco-friendliness one step further by promoting virtual Lunar New Year greetings and putting their usual budget for designing and manufacturing red packets into charitable donations instead. Lee Gardens One will also have eight auspicious golden ox statues on display, as well as a lane lit up with lanterns—perfect for a romantic stroll with a partner. Singles needn’t feel left out, either, and can stop by the “Blessing in Blossom” display instead, which carries the meaning of increasing one’s luck with romantic encounters (桃花運; tou4 faa1 wan6; táo huā yùn).
Lee Gardens, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2907 5227
Round the corner from Lee Gardens, Hysan Place also has their own festivities going on, with their main attraction this year being the “Fortune Windmill Corridor.” The Chinese believe that the spinning of a pinwheel symbolises the cyclical changing of bad fortune to good, so this corridor flanked with over 1,000 golden and red windmills is sure to be an auspicious sign for the year ahead. You can also have your future told by electronic fortune sticks to find out what may lie in store for you.
Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2907 5227
Until 28 February, Olympian City is organising Lunar New Year festivities with a slant that’s rarely been seen before. The “Chinese New Year Cultural Extravaganza” recreates a 4,000-square-feet ancient Chinese street, complete with red lanterns, a peach blossom tree, and a footbridge over a lotus pond. There will also be a hanfu (漢服; hon3 fuk6; traditional Chinese garments) exhibition, but what makes this Lunar New Year event special is that visitors get to try on these costumes using AR.
With complimentary hair-styling, professional photographers on hand, and placed against the backdrop of ancient China, this makes for a most interesting Lunar New Year-themed series of photos. If looking like an extra from a kung fu movie isn’t your cup of tea, then there’s always the Good Fortune Lunar New Year Market to check out, with booths selling festive foods, decorations, and flowers accompanied by live Chinese classical music performances!
Olympian City, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui | (+852) 2740 4108
Elements has chosen the peony, traditionally a Chinese symbol of fortune and prosperity, for their Lunar New Year theme. Until the end of February, visit the Metal Zone to see a seven-metre-tall lantern with a see-through design and three-dimensional peonies artfully arranged inside. On closer inspection, you might realise that the peonies are actually embellished with coins knitted together with floral elements. If you like their festive florals, get your hands on the Elements red packets as well, embossed with peonies, and available in burgundy or gold versions together with a two-way bag.
Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2735 5234
Skip the crowds at the Mong Kok flower market and hit up the flower market pop-up at East Point City instead for locally grown orchids and other festive plants! This mall is the only in Hong Kong to have Toy Story-themed decorations to inject your Lunar New Year outing with some fun and brevity that is a breath of fresh air compared to the traditional decorations found in most places. The excellent Eslite and Yata stores are both also running Chinese New Year bazaars, so you’re sure to find all the festive foodstuff and trinkets that you need to make this year’s festive season a memorable one.
East Point City, 8 Chung Wa Road, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2628 7399
Recommended Localiiz partner. See here for more details.
The miniature motor cars of Tomica have quite a cult following, drawing fans to the Tomica Expo in Japan each year, and this year, Citywalk celebrates the modeller’s fiftieth anniversary with a Lunar New Year event themed after the famed cars. Apart from a vintage Tomica exhibition worth visiting, there will also be a massive diorama, as well as various installations to bless your social media feeds with.
Tomica fans will be delighted to know that there will be three brand-new Tomica cars exclusively debuting at this pop-up, with fiftieth-anniversary models available; what’s more, S* Rewards members can also redeem points for a set of eight “Tomica 50th Anniversary Gala” red packets, which includes a complimentary toy car and opens up to create a Japanese backdrop for displaying Tomica cars!
Citywalk, 1 & 18 Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan | (+852) 3926 5708
Chocolate candy lovers will have to head out to Citygate this festive season, because the outlet mall will be collaborating with M&M on the confectionary’s eightieth anniversary for Lunar New Year. Six well-known M&M characters will be on display in brand-new costume designs at a range of photo spots, including one of the mascots doing a lion dance performance. Until 16 February, shoppers can also redeem their money spent in Citygate on limited-edition red packets and other M&M products, such as a peanut butter movie box or an M&M candy dispenser.
Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung | (+852) 2109 2933
If your Lunar New Year traditions include heading to Wong Tai Sin Temple to pray for blessings for the upcoming year, then the perfect place to stop by after would be Temple Mall. Keeping with the theme of the famous wish-granting temple nearby, Temple Mall will have a “Blooming Bliss” tree, where visitors can make virtual wishing tags to be uploaded onto the massive screen on the tree. There is also a big golden pinwheel on display, flanked by motion-sensor pinwheels arranged in a floral formation, which will automatically spin as you walk by, symbolising the changing of fortunes. Their New Year lucky draw also includes prizes such as personalised digitally printed scented amulets, the new PlayStation 5, and a Chinese zodiac forecast by renowned fortune-teller Mak Ling-ling.
Temple Mall, 136 Lung Cheung Road, Wong Tai Sin | (+852) 2320 5614
A collaboration between Farmhouse Productions and Famaland, The Unknown CNY Market is back once again by popular demand. Visit PMQ to see the range of small local businesses that offer sustainable, organic, and wellness products. Vendors of note include Garden Hill, which produces plant-based “dairy” items such as butter, mayonnaise, and cheese in small batches, and Liz Fry Designs with their environmentally-conscious products that support the local arts. All visitors can even enjoy free plum wine and 10 percent off the bill if you dine-in. Do note that the market will only run from 12 pm until 6 pm.
The Unknown CNY Market, Sohofama, SG09, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Sheung Wan
As expected of The Mills, their Lunar New Year decorations are really more of a creative art installation. This year, they have created a giant maze composed of over 500 Coca-Cola crates and glass bottles, with a 12-metre-tall peach blossom tree waiting in the middle. OrangeTerry will transform some of the hanging decorations on this year’s tree into eight pairs of wooden Chinese candy trays, and elsewhere, unwanted materials from local workshops are collected and repurposed into hanging ornaments.
These recycled materials mix modernity with nostalgia and advocate sustainability, urging visitors to think more about longevity in items as well as in people. Several of the boutiques in The Mills are also having Lunar New Year special products or promotions.
The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan | (+852) 3979 2300