In both Hong Kong and Macau, a major tradition for Chinese New Year’s Day is giving flowers, potted plants, and bouquets as gifts. A lot of significance is attached to this custom, and the various kinds of flowers given as gifts denote different wishes or signs.
The residents of the two cities like and can afford very fresh flowers, so there are huge crowds buying flowers at the major flower markets and flower shops.
Though some people in mainland China, especially Cantonese who live in Guangdong Province, give gifts of flowers on New Years Day, giving flowers isn’t as important a custom there as in the two specially administered regions of HK and Macau. It is thought that gifts of fresh flowers and plants give good luck. So it is a part of how Hong Kong and Macau people celebrate their holidays.
In Hong Kong, on Chinese New Year's Eve, January 27, the crowds are especially heavy at the flower markets. About 15 temporary markets are set up each year in parks or other public places. The scramble can get intense. Many vendors keep selling after midnight.
Hongkongers have their New Year’s Eve family reunion dinner, and then they go out and scramble to be able to present fresh flowers, toys, and holiday foods on New Years Day to the important people in their lives.
Along with the desire to present very fresh flowers, another reason for the scramble of the crowds on New Years Eve is the tradition that stores close on New Year's Day and for a while afterwards. The first three days of the Chinese New Year, January 28 to Monday, January 30, are legal holidays in Macau. January 28 through January 31 are public holidays in Hong Kong.
The weight of tradition dictates that shops and businesses close and that everyone focus on family matters, reunions, important relationships, and religious matters at the temples and house shrines during the first three days of the Chinese New Year.
Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island is the most popular temporary market, and the Mong Kok Flower Market in Kowloon is the biggest permanent flower market. About 100 shops are in the Mong Kok flower area.
Flower shops and stalls will sometimes stay open late and even to early morning hours on New Year's Day, but the shops should be closed when the sun rises. So the shop owners may also be frantic about selling their stock of flowers and potted plants before dawn.
Read more on Chinese New Year Celebrations in Hong Kong in 2017 — it is one of the top 10 festivals in the world according to Forbes.
In Macau, the people celebrate their holidays even more fervently than the Hong Kong people. The flower markets are popular places to go for the holidays.
Tap Seac Square: The main traditional Chinese New Year flower market is at Tap Seac Square. It opens in the morning on New Year's Eve, but it is best visited in the afternoon and evening, and it stays open late. It is a popular place to visit during the holidays.
It is Macau's biggest public square, and it is highly decorated and special events are put on each year. There are lion and dragon dances and booths for food, beverages and gifts.
Fisherman's Wharf: There is a casino and resort and theme park located next to the Macau Ferry Terminal. It is only a few minutes walk away from the terminal. The flower market there is smaller.
Read more about the Macau Chinese New Year 2017
The flower giving traditions are much the same in Hong Kong and Macau. Some flowers and plants hold a special significance when given as gifts on Chinese New Year.
In Hong Kong and Macau, kumquat plants are a recommended gift. Kumquats are a small orange citrus fruit. They are like small tangerines. Kumquats are particularly popular since in Cantonese "kum" means gold. So you are wishing the recipient a financially prosperous year.
China Highlights can help you customize a tour to celebrate the Chinese New Year as local Chinese do. Create your own dream trip.
For Hong Kong and Macau during Chinese New Year: These standard packages may be modified by you as you like. We can work with you to make it personalized.