We are about to enter the Year of the Dragon in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. If you will be in Hong Kong to ring in the Year of the Dragon, here’s your quick guide to what’s on over the Chinese New Year holidays. While February 10-13 are statutory holidays, traditionally, the first 15 days of the new lunar year are part of the festival period. So you can expect celebratory activities and decorations throughout February 2024.
Looking for traditional Hong Kong snacks or flowers for the New Year? Find everything you need and more at any of the 15 Lunar New Year Fairs across the territory. Out of the 1,500 stalls at these fairs, there will be several booths selling fast food, wet goods and dry goods, as well as some dedicated to specific themes. The biggest fair will be at Victoria Park, and there will be others at every corner of Hong Kong — from Tung Chung on Lantau Island to Yuen Long in the New Territories.
When: February 4-10, 2024
Where: 15 locations across Hong Kong
Here’s another Lunar New Year celebration that will make its post-pandemic return, with the biggest international performer line-up in the event’s history. The parade will showcase nine themed floats, as well as 16 global and 13 local acts, and will revolve around the theme ‘World Party Great Celebration’. There will be floats from Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park Hong Kong, as well as replicas of galloping horses courtesy the Hong Kong Jockey Club float, and a dancing dragon on the Hong Kong Tourism Board display, among others. Each float will make its appearance among blooming flowers, felicitous couplets, lucky windmills, and firecrackers.
When: February 10, 2024, 8pm-9.45pm
Where: Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Canton Road, Haiphong Road, Nathan Road, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers
One of the most popular Chinese New Year traditions in Hong Kong is to make the first incense offering of the year at the Wong Tai Sin Temple, the city’s largest Taoist temple. Every year, visitors to the temple wait outside to collect incense sticks and then rush to the altar to offer them to the Great Immortal Wong, to whom the shrine is dedicated. This year, the incense offering will begin at 9pm on February 10, the first day of the Lunar New Year. However, the temple will open overnight from 9pm on February 9, the Lunar New Year Eve. In addition, Sik Sik Yuen — the authority that runs the temple — announced that anyone born in the Year of the Dragon, Dog, Cow, or Rabbit can pray for free to Tauisui from February 11 to March 9.
When: February 10, 2024
Where: 2 Chuk Yuen Village, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon
The biggest event on Hong Kong’s Chinese New Year calendar is the annual Lunar New Year fireworks display, which will be held for the first time in five years to usher in the Year of the Dragon. The 23-minute-long show will have 23,888 fireworks launched from Victoria Harbour, and will feature 8 acts. Keep an eye out for the gold-and-red figure-eight fireworks, smiling faces, red hearts, shoe-shaped gold ingots, golden rain, and the 30-second grand finale.
Want to find the best spot in town to watch the show? Read our guide on where to watch fireworks for free in Hong Kong.
When: February 11, 2024, 8pm
Where: Victoria Harbour
This is one of Hong Kong’s most popular racing events, featuring action-packed races, along with loads of entertainment, interactive games, and live shows featuring local stars. There will be a grand opening show, a lion dance performance, and a Feng Shui master dispensing fortune tips. Traditionally, there are 10 races — such as the 1400 metres, the 2000 metres, and the Chinese New Year Cup (also 1400 metres). The racecourse will be decked out in decorations to celebrate the festival.
When: February 12, 2024, 11.15am onwards
Where: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Sha Tin Racecourse Stand, Sha Tin, New Territories
This century-old football event is making a comeback to the city’s roster of sporting events on the fourth day of the Lunar New Year. This annual invitational tournament will see two star-studded teams — the World Legends and Hong Kong Legends — face off in a friendly match. The international side will have Rivaldo, Alessandro Del Piero, and David Villa, while the Hong Kong team will include Fan Chun Yip, Yapp Hung Fai, and Au Yeung Yiu Chung.
When: February 13, 2024, 5pm
Where: Hong Kong Stadium, 55 Eastern Hospital Road, So Kon Po
The third edition of InnerGlow will see the return of 3D architectural projections on the façade of the Barrack Block of Tai Kwun’s Parade Ground. The display, called ‘Dragon Tales’, pays homage to this year’s Chinese zodiac sign, as well as elements of Hong Kong’s intangible heritage, such as the Tai Hang Fire Dragon. In addition, there will be a series of shows at the Prison Yard showcasing displays by local young talents and student artists.
When: Until February 14, 2024, 6.30pm-9pm
Where: Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will hold lantern exhibitions at the piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (February 2-25, Fridays-Sundays), and at Hong Kong Velodrome Park, Tin Shui Wai Park, and Ginza Square (February 20-25, Tuesdays-Sundays). There will also be miscellaneous lantern displays all around Hong Kong throughout the festive period. Expect to see big, bright, and beautiful lanterns in various lucky animal shapes.
When: February 2-25, 2024, 6pm-11pm
Where: Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Velodrome Park, Tin Shui Wai Park, Ginza Square
This integral part of Hong Kong’s Chinese New Year festivities involves writing your wishes for the coming year — along with your name and date of birth — on a placard, tying it to a mandarin, and throwing it up into the branches of the legendary banyan wishing tree. The higher the mandarin hangs, the more likely it is that your wish will come true! For the first time this year, there will also be a night market at Lam Tsuen, where there will be stage performances, a glowing lion dance, and illuminated wish cards.
When: February 10-25, 2024
Where: Lam Tsuen Heung Kung Sho Road, Lam Tsuen
Hong Kong Disneyland is going all out for its Chinese New Year celebrations — from the red Mickey lantern dominating the centre of Town Square to the Lunar New Year Wishing Wall at Fantasy Gardens. Mulan will make an appearance at the ‘Mickey and Friends Street Celebration’ from February 10-14, and Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon will make her debut on the stage of the Castle of Magical Dreams. Mulan’s pal Mushu will also be at Disneyland, along with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck in their Chinese New Year attire.
When: Until February 25, 2024
Where: Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau
Time travel to the past with Neon Lights Up Old Hong Kong, where luminous neon signs adorn the 80s to 90s streetscape and nostalgic snacks are on offer. Every evening, performers will interact with visitors, and on weekdays, talented dancers will wow audiences with their moves. As a bonus, there’s A thrice-daily Neon Lighting Show at Ma Pak Leung.
When: Until March 3, 2024
Where: Ocean Park Hong Kong, 180 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen
Lee Tung Avenue will celebrate the Year of the Dragon with its iconic red-lantern display for Chinese New Year, but with a difference. This year, gold-coloured lanterns in the shape of goldfish will be “swimming” among the red lanterns. There will also be an 8-metre-long golden dragon installation placed at the Central Piazza. Lee Tung Avenue will also bring back its Dragon & Lion Dance Spectacular on February 20, the highlight of which will be the performance of an 80-plus-feet traditional golden dragon accompanied by five colourful lions.
When: February 1-March 10, 2024
Where: Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
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Header image credits: Wpcpey via WikiCommons