Millions of people around the world join in as many Asian countries celebrate the arrival of the Lunar or Chinese New Year. This Year of the Rabbit is lucky indeed, as Hong Kong has just recently reopened for travel. Our friends at the Hong Kong Tourism Board have shared the most fortuitous ways to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit in Asia’s World City. Some are steeped in historic tradition, while others take on a distinctly ultra-modern twist—and all make this a Lunar New Year to remember.
1. Find Your Own Lucky Rabbit: One of the best things about Lunar New Year celebrations is that they are not over in just one evening as a clock strikes midnight. A series of dazzling, Year of the Rabbit-themed displays created by the Hong Kong Tourism Board transform Victoria harborfront.
2. Experience Unique Hong Kong Traditions: The Year of the Rabbit marks the return of many authentic Hong Kong customs for visitors to enjoy. Get into the spirit by wearing red, the most auspicious color, and taking in these other uniquely Hong Kong CNY events:
• Head to the Chinese New Year flower markets for festive shopping and take in good fortune as blooms signify wealth in Chinese culture.
• CNY Raceday in Sha Tin’s epic horseraces, lion dance performances and holiday décor add high excitement to New Year celebrations, and allow you to gather good luck—and even test it with a small bet on the race.
The Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival in Lam Tsuen is another age-old tradition. Visitors are encouraged to join, too. You can write down wishes on a notecard, tie it to a mandarin orange, and toss it into a legendary Wishing Tree. If the fruit catches a branch, it’s an auspicious sign your wish may come true.
3. Hop on Auspicious Harbor Tours: It’s customary to usher in luck and prosperity by spending time outdoors for Chinese New Year. Visitors can embrace the tradition with a scenic Victoria Harbour cruise aboard a historic Star Ferry. Along the way, try to catch the Lucky Rabbit hiding on the ferry.
4. Taste Classic Lunar New Year Dishes with Modern Twists: A time for connection, Chinese New Year brings families together over delicious meals symbolizing longevity, fortune and wealth. Year after year, Hong Kong restaurants reinvigorate traditional Chinese New Year dishes with fresh ideas.
This year, Green Common has reinvented poon choi (or “prosperity stew” made with meat, seafood and veggies) using only plant-based meat alongside vegetarian ingredients. Meanwhile, in a purely local Hong Kong twist, Häagen-Dazs has transformed traditional nin gou (a sticky rice cake representing prosperity) into a Chinese New Year ice cream cake, which also comes with another option of Chinese candy box (named chuen hup in Cantonese meaning togetherness and perfection).
While some of these experiences are only available during Chinese New Year festivities in Hong Kong, it’s a destination with evocative year-round traditions and ultra-modern atmosphere and energy.
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