On the first day of the Chinese New Year there is always a big parade in Hong Kong, going through the South of Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui). The parade is sponsored by Cathay Pacific and this year the theme was World City, World Parade. The Parade starts at 8pm but we already arrived at 6.30pm, trying to get front-row standing places. It was already crowded and we squeezed between an elderly couple from the UK, a group of drunken US people celebrating their holiday in Hong Kong and a lot of local people, some with small children dressed specially in old-fashioned Chinese clothes
We had to wait 90 minutes and to keep the masses entertained, there were some groups of Korean/Japanese girls and boys dressed in bright colours and wild costumes as well as some marching bands – some made up from very young people!
Before the Parade started, lions danced on the streets (yes, by now you will know that these symbolises good luck to Chinese people):
The parade kicked off with a float by Cathay Pacific, followed by staff. The World Parade featured 13 illuminated floats accompanied by international (US cheerleaders, a US choir, a Czech majorettes dance group, an UK Samba school were those that I remembered) and local performing groups.
The international ones were a little cheesy, most of the time only girls dressed in skimpy clothes, like these Taiwanese girls here:
Or these English Samba dancers:
Of course, there were also a lot of different bunnies and rabbits, including some little ones:
Or these marching bunnies:
But the ones that impressed me the most were the Thai temple dancers, who wore elegant clothes and walked in a fascinating and beautiful style.
The Thai also brought a replica of one of their famous temples along – it sat on top a float and was beautifully made, with lots of details:
There were also some Chinese…
…and some Japanese groups that looked really fascinating:
The Chinese New Year parade started in 1996 and it is now the 16th time that it was being staged. It was a sleek organisation, although some of the floats were delayed, there were street performers, people handing out red envelopes (with watermelon seeds – probably another good luck wish as well) and a lot of police people monitoring the crowd.