The most significant holiday on the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year will start on January 17, 2012. This year, Hong Kong will celebrate the “Year of the Dragon” — the most powerful year in the Chinese Zodiac — with events, displays and festivities.
From January 17 to January 22 flower markets will be held at different venues in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island and Fa Hui Park, Mong Kok, Kowloon. Flowers form a very important part of Chinese New Year traditions and cultures, and orchids, peonies and lilies will appear everywhere.
On January 23, the first official day of the New Year, Hong Kong will host the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade. Filling the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, with floats and traditionally dressed entertainers, the event will also feature performance groups from around the globe. This year, Hong Kong has invited the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams cheerleaders and the Utah-based dance group, The Vibe.
The festivities continue on Jan. 24, as the annual Chinese New Year Firework Display lights up the Victoria Harbour skyline. The display attracts thousands of spectators every season. Here is my blog post from last year, about the amazing fireworks we enjoyed.
Rounding out the rest of Hong Kong’s New Year is an assortment of traditional events such as the Chinese New Year Race Day at Sha Tin and customary Chinese New Year Fortune Seeking Trip. Rituals include burning incense sticks and shaking out a fortune stick for a New Year prediction at Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple; praying to Tai Shui, the deity governing the Year of the Dragon, at the Yuen Yuen Institute in Tsuen Wan; spinning the Wheel of Fortune at Sha Tin’s Che Kung Temple to dispel bad luck and encourage good fortune; make wishes at the fabled Wishing Trees in Lam Tsuen, Tai Po;and paying tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo) at Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road in Central. The 2012 Chinese New Year Celebration will come to a close in early February.