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Hong Kong knows how to celebrate the Chinese New Year in style with activities blending ancient customs with modern elements. While the four-day holiday is very much about reunion dinners and family visits, you’ll find festivities around the city—from flower markets to lion dances—to soak up the festive mood and good fortune for the year ahead

1. January 19-25: Flower markets

The annual flower markets kick off the Chinese New Year celebrations one week before the first day of the lunar year, filling the parks with colourful and aromatic display of flowers. 

The flower markets held at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and Fa Hui Park in Mong Kok are the best places to soak up the festivities, as you will find stalls selling auspicious flowers and plants, festive rat-themed gifts and souvenirs, traditional snacks and lucky decors. Traditionally, the market would be open for extended hours on New Year’s Eve through to 6am on New Year’s Day.

See also: How To Celebrate The 2020 Lantern Festival In Hong Kong

2. January 25 to February 9: Lam Tsuen well-wishing festival

One of the oldest Chinese New Year traditions in Hong Kong, a visit to Lam Tsuen, a 700-year-old residential area in Tai Po is a popular activity on the first day of the new year.

In the past, villagers and visitors would write their wishes on a placard and attach it to a mandarin—an auspicious fruit—and throw it onto the wishing trees. It was believed that the higher the branch the placard landed on, the more likely the wish would come true. These days, to protect the trees from damage, wishes are made by tying joss paper to nearby wooden racks or imitation trees. 

3. January 25: A fortune walk

Kick off the new year with a fortune walk at The Peak in the morning. It is believed that a stroll around The Peak Circle Walk, which winds around the highest point on Hong Kong Island, will bring good fortune for the next year.

Catch The Peak tram up on the first day of Chinese New Year to get a lucky start!

See also: 7 Luxurious Chinese New Year Decorations For Your Home In 2020

4. January 25-28: Chinese New Year Carnival 2020 (Update: The 2020 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Carnival has been cancelled)

This year, the Chinese New Year parade will transform into a four-day carnival, taking place at the West Kowloon Cultural District Art Park. The line-up includes stage performances by local and international acts, including acrobatics, magic, cultural dances, comedy, martial arts, as well as daily parades during the day. 

The carnival will also feature a New Year Wishing Tree, a Macau food truck, games booth and lantern displays, making it a family-friendly event for everyone to get into the festive spirit.

5. January 27: Chinese New Year Race Day 2020

One of the biggest horse racing events of the year, the Chinese New Year Race Day hosted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club happens on the third day of the holiday. Held at the Sha Tin Racecourse, the day will begin with a traditional lion dance and fortune tips from feng shui master Clement Chan. 

A feng shui formation will be on display, while Chinese New Year-themed gourmet dishes curated by award-winning chefs will be served at the Member’s Box and Pak Sing restaurant to whet your appetite and bring blessings for a prosperous year. 

Find out more at campaigns.hkjc.com

6. January 29-31: Lion Dance

Lion dances will be all around Hong Kong throughout the Chinese New Year holiday. Skilled lion dance troupes will visit shopping malls, temples and the streets with a cacophony of drums, cymbals and firecrackers. 

Secure yourself a spot for one of these lion dances: Pacific Place will be hosting its annual lion dance parade with performers travelling the mall to bring good luck and wishes on January 31 at 1pm, and The Peak will ring in the Lunar New Year with a lion dance performance on January 29 at 11:30am.

See also: 5 Chinese New Year 2020 Staycation Packages In Hong Kong

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