Five ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Hong Kong

During the Lunar New Year, Hong Kong explodes with colour and fabulous celebrations.

With bustling flower markets, exciting city-wide events and beautiful festive displays galore staged throughout the entire festive period from day to night, Hong Kong is one of the Asian cities with the richest Lunar New Year ambience.

Tourists looking to experience a celebration like no other should pay a visit during the Lunar New Year. Here are three fun ways to experience Hong Kong like a local this Lunar New Year.

Take part in a Poon Choi feast

Also known as a “basin meal,” poon choi used to be a somewhat under-the-radar dish, mainly confined to rural villages. It has recently seen an explosion in popularity, especially during the Lunar New Year period.

An enormous basin is layered with ingredients and covered in a rich, savoury gravy. The basin is then gently warmed up and eaten communally. There is much symbolism attached to the ingredients found in poon choi, from pork that symbolizes prosperity to prawns that symbolize happiness. Locals believe that eating these auspicious foods can attract these positive attributes into your life.

Tourists visiting Hong Kong can partake in a traditional poon choi feast by joining extraordinary local tours to one of Hong Kong’s rural walled villages like those in Yuen Long or Sha Tau Kok. With distinct customs attached to these walled villages, you can expect a fascinating glimpse into how villagers celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Make a Lunar New Year pudding

Lunar New Year puddings are among the most popular dishes to serve during Lunar New Year. These delectable puddings come in both sweet and savoury varieties and symbolize prosperity and attaining new heights in the new year.

They’re typically made before the Lunar New Year period and served during house visits to friends and relatives.

Perfect for cooking lovers, who can take home the recipe of Lunar New Year puddings through participating in the hands-on festive workshops run by traditional bakeries in town like Kee Wah, allowing you to make these conventional treats for your loved ones whenever and wherever you like.

Play a game of mahjong

During the Lunar New Year, locals visit each other’s homes to share New Year’s blessings and spread happiness.

One of the favourite activities among locals during the new year is to play mahjong. With a maximum of four players engaging at a time, this fun, highly social game represents unity and togetherness and requires both luck and skill to win. The loud clacking of the mahjong tiles sounds like the firecrackers set off during the Lunar New Year to drive away misfortune.

Be ready to fall in love with this game – you can join an exclusive mahjong course organized by the local operator that promises to have you “washing” those tiles like a pro in no time.

Watch the parade

The city’s biggest Lunar New Year event, the Cathay International Chinese New Year Night Parade, is returning with a bang to kick off the Year of the Dragon on Feb. 10 (Chor 1) after a five-year hiatus.

From 8 p.m. until 9:45 p.m., the parade winds through the popular tourist area of Tsim Sha Tsui, with performances by entertainers worldwide, lavishly decorated floats and much more as you will discover on-site. Stay tuned for the ticketing details and join us for this unmissable world party!

Enjoy the fireworks

The festive ambience continues to shine on Feb. 11 (Chor 2) as the world-famous Victoria Harbour lights up with the spectacular 2024 Lunar New Year Fireworks Display.

Marvel at the world-class fireworks brightening the night sky as the city roars into the new year. Head to the best viewing points on both sides of the harbour promenade for this shimmering performance, and usher in abundant prosperity and joy as the fireworks bloom gorgeously in the air.

The Lunar New Year period lasts until the 15th day. Before that, tourists can expect to enjoy a rich festive spirit around the town. A vibrant array of exciting celebrations awaits you in Hong Kong, such as the Chinese New Year Raceday, city-wide lion dances galore, and so much more.