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Chinese New Year 2020 in Hong Kong

chinese zodiac: year of the ratChinese New Year 2020 begins a Rat year.

Chinese New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the Spring Festival holiday, which is the biggest holiday in China. Hong Kong's Chinese New Year festival is world-famous.

In Hong Kong, people mark the occasion with a unique fusion of modern fun and ancient customs. The three days comprising a night parade, spectacular fireworks, and horse racing often make it to the top of world festival event lists.

For Chinese New Year 2020, many of the traditional annual Chinese New Year events have been canceled such as the fireworks and the parade.

Chinese New Year Parade on New Year’s Day (Officially Cancelled)

  • Time: Saturday, January 25, 2020, from 8pm to 9:45pm
  • Location: along Nathan Road, Salisbury Road, Canton Road, and Haiphong Road
  • Tickets for seats range from about 300 HKD to 480 HKD per person. It is free if you view the parade from the street.
chinese new year paradeChinese New Year parade

The Chinese New Year Parade is one of the most popular events for the Hong Kong Chinese New Year celebrations. It attracts tens of thousands of visitors to enjoy the colorful parade each year.

Crowds line the streets and make way for the parade in the Tsim Sha Tsui area near Victoria Harbour. You can see dozens of colorful floats, lively dragons, traditional Chinese dancers, and bands. The parade route proceeds along the historic Nathan Road, Salisbury Road, Canton Road, and Haiphong Road. It goes past some Hong Kong highlights such as the Avenue of Stars, Kowloon Park, and the Golden Mile of Nathan Road.

The night parade begins at 8pm but pre-parade street performances usually begin at 6pm. You’d better arrive early to get a good spot.

Before the parade, you could tour the attractions, go shopping, and dine out. Hong Kong's biggest mall, Harbour City, is open along the parade route. The Temple Street Night Market pedestrian street is a place to browse for bargains and to snack or have a meal beforehand.

Read more about the International Performance Night 2020 and the parade program.

Chinese New Year Fireworks Over Victoria Harbour on the Second Day (Officially Cancelled)

Hong Kong Chinese new yearVictoria Harbor blazes with fireworks, while the lights dance on the buildings.
  • Time: Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 8pm
  • Location: along Victoria Harbour
  • Free admission

On the second day of the Spring Festival, Victoria Harbour is scheduled to roar with a giant firework display with choreographed pyrotechnics. The show is set to last for about 25 minutes. It usually coincides with the daily record-setting Symphony of Lights with its colorful building lights and laser light show.

The best places to view the display are both sides of the harbor front in Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Wan Chai, by boat on the water, or from The Peak. A more enjoyable and less-crowded way is to reserve a spot at a restaurant or bar, or sit in a hotel room with a harbor view.

Read about the Chinese New Year Fireworks in Hong Kong including locations and transportation.

Chinese New Year Horse Races on the Third Day

horse racing in Hong KongHorse races are a Chinese New Year tradition in Hong Kong.

(It might be cancelled in 2020)

  • Time: Monday, January 27, 2020, 12:30pm to 6pm
  • Location: Sha Tin Racecourse (New Territories) / Happy Valley Racecourse
  • Admission: 10 HKD

Known as the most popular races of all, 100,000 excited fans crowd into Sha Tin Racecourse on the third day of the holidays. The Chinese New Year races are a special event. This has always been Hong Kong's most popular horse racing event.

On this unique race day, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (a nonprofit charity group) features a full program of traditional and colorful festivities. There is a grand opening show as well as cultural performances and entertainment. The featured race is the Chinese New Year Cup. Read more on the Hong Kong horse racing season.

Chinese New Year Shopping Spree

Family Shopping in Hong KongFamily shopping in Hong Kong

Crowds go shopping in Hong Kong before and during the Spring Festival for holiday food, decorations, clothes, gifts, and furniture. Promotions, discounts, and entertainment help make holiday sales usually skyrocket. This winter, because of a drop in tourism, expect prices to be lower than normal. It might be an opportunity for you to go bargain hunting.

Malls usually stay open and even extend hours for the shopping rush during Chinese New Year's Eve and the important first few days of the Chinese New Year. This winter, malls might reduce hours. Small-market street shops may close for a couple of days or close early as usual during the vacation period.

If you plan on shopping, here are regular and luxury shopping tips and guides:

Chinese New Year 2020 in Hong Kong: Other Celebrations and Events

Lunar New Year Fair (May Be Cancelled)

Chinese new year fair

What makes the Hong Kong Chinese New Year festivities different to those of mainland China isn't only the festival horse racing tradition and the luxurious shopping, it is the Hong Kong and Macau tradition of decorating items with flowers and plants, and also giving them as gifts.

In Hong Kong and Macau, a lot of significance is attached to this custom, and the various kinds of flowers or plants that are given as gifts denote different wishes or signs and give good luck. Learn more about the Chinese New Year's Eve Flower Market Rush 2020.

The Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival

(may be cancelled in 2020)

It is a long-established tradition for locals to go to Lam Tsuen in the New Territories to pray for good luck during the Chinese New Year period.

It is a colorful festival where you can experience many unique traditions and events, such as well-wishing at the wishing trees, releasing of the wishing lanterns, and seeing the floats and performance groups from the Chinese New Year Night Parade.

The carnival lasts for a couple of weeks from January 25th to February 8th, 2020.

The Spring Lantern Festival (Probably Cancelled)

Lantern Festival in Hong KongLantern Festival in Hong Kong

During the Spring Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Chinese New Year, Hong Kong will be decorated with thousands of colorful lanterns. It is a tradition to hold a lantern carnival at Tsim Sha Tsui at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza.

Apart from lantern displays, you can see some performances, such as acrobatics, folk songs, and dances, and cultural activities, such as lantern making.

Macau Chinese New Year Alternatives for Winter 2019/2020

Macau TowerMacau Tower is where the Macau Chinese New Year fireworks are displayed.

Macau provides an alternative place to go for fireworks, parades and celebrations that is fairly convenient. You can travel between the two regions by bus or ferry in an hour and a half or less.

We suggest that you can easily travel between the two regions and enjoy the events in Macau and stay, shop, and dine in Hong Kong at lower prices than maybe decades.

With the construction of a new megabridge linking the two regions in 2018, transport between the two regions is easier than before. For more detailed information, see Celebrating Chinese New Year in Macau in 2020.

Tips for Touring Hong Kong During Chinese New Year

1. The first three days of the Spring Festival are a prime time to tour Hong Kong if you are interested in experiencing the celebrations as mentioned above.

2. The Spring Festival is by far the heaviest travel period in China. This peak travel time starts about a week before New Year’s Day. Get your tickets early – weeks or months beforehand – since people snap up transportation for these dates. Demand is very high for international flight tickets and train tickets.

3. Chinese businesses, restaurants, and stores traditionally close for several days starting from the evening of Chinese New Year's Eve.

4. Unless you are interested in experiencing the holidays, it would be better to see Hong Kong at a less busy time. Travel is easier, and accommodations and meals cost less.

Hong Kong Travel Alert for Winter 2019/2020

Summary: While HK remains a great travel destination this Chinese New Year's season and it's now much more affordable, you may want to avoid the risks of inconvenience, disappointment, and physical harm. The risks are slight if you stay away from any protest demonstration.

The Risks

Travel in Hong Kong isn't as safe and convenient as in the past. For the last half-year, there have been massive demonstrations involving millions in the whole region.

The violence and vandalism, including scattered arson, has been increasing, and tourism is way down, sometimes perhaps 60% less than previously. Groups of armed thugs have attacked protesters, passengers, and bystanders in train stations and in the streets. Streets and shopping areas may be closed, transport has sometimes been stopped, and the police often use tear gas and force to disperse crowds.

Many of the traditional annual Chinese New Year events have been canceled such as the fireworks and the parade. The events described here are the regularly scheduled events. In attempts to stop the protests, the government will probably cancel big public events.

The Opportunities

Great bargains: This winter season may be the best time in decades for touring and shopping inexpensively and without the crowds of tourists! You can find great bargains on everything: hotel rooms (up to 60% off in Tsim Sha Tsui), discounted flights, fine dining at lower prices, to discounted shopping.

December 2019 and January 2020 is a particularly good time to go for low prices and to enjoy shopping for bargains as the stores try to sell their stocks of products. You can enjoy the region's world-class facilities and service at much lower prices than for decades. We suggest that you consider doing your shopping and hotel stays in Hong Kong and going to Macau for its Chinese Near events (see Macau Chinese New Year Alternatives below).

Discover Hong Kong with Us

Tour Hong Kong with China HighlightsHong Kong is often warm at Chinese New Year!

Our travel experts can help you plan a regional tour that is lower priced this year. We'll guide you to the best things to do and places to go this Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. Here are two itinerary ideas for your inspiration:

We can create your dream trip: Let us tailor-make your own Chinese New Year tour to visit the places you want in Hong Kong and China.

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