What to Do Over Chinese New Year

It's shaping up to be a slightly different Chinese New Year celebration in Hong Kong this year, here's your CNY events guide for 2020.

2 Jan 2020 — By Catherine Stewart / What's On
victoria park flower market chinese new year

If you will be in Hong Kong to ring in the year of the Rat, here’s your quick guide to what’s on over the Chinese New Year holidays.

Note: Saturday 25th, Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th January are all statutory holidays.

Chinese New Year Flower Markets

flower market cny

Colourful and festive, these markets are a perfect place for people watching, enjoying the atmosphere and buying some lucky blooms to decorate your home. Evening is the most popular time to go, expect crowds. Normally alongside the flowers for sale you might see some political or satirical messages, but not this year as it will be strictly flowers only (and a few snacks) and there will be far fewer stalls than usual.

When:   19-25 January (traditionally the market would be open for extended hours on new year’s eve (24 January) through to 6am new year’s day (25 January) – but opening times may differ this year)

Where:  Victoria Park, Causeway Bay & Fa Hui Park, Mongkok


Lantern Exhibitions and Displays

The LCSD will hold lantern exhibitions in the grounds of the HK Cultural Centre, and all around Hong Kong. Expect to see big, bright and beautiful lanterns on display as well as a carnival night with performances and activities. There will be a ‘golden dragon’ theme at The HK Cultural Centre this year.

When:    at HK Cultural Centre from 17 January – 9 February, check LCSD website for details of other events


CANCELLED – International Chinese New Year Carnival (replaces night parade)

Citing safety concerns, this year the Hong Kong Tourism Board have planned a 4 day CNY carnival instead of the usual parade through TST. Details are yet to be confirmed but the Discover Hong Kong website promises a “fun-filled carnival with a spectacular parade of dazzling performances by local and international performers, including the gymnastic feats of world-champion acrobats and astonishing traditional troupes of entertainers”.

When:   24-28 January

Where:  West Kowloon Cultural District Art Park



Chinese New Year Fireworks in Hong Kong

The government have confirmed will be no CNY firework display this year.


Lion Dancing

CNY lion dancing

The traditional Lion Dance is believed to scare away bad luck and evil spirits and will be happening all over the city from 25 January onwards. Visit any market or shopping mall and you will hear the distinctive Chinese drumming as lion dancers visit shops and businesses. Check out the listings in your own local area to see if any special performances are planned near you.

When:    from 25 January onwards

Where:   all around HK


Chinese New Year Horse Races, Sha Tin

Enjoy the festive atmosphere at the Chinese New Year’s Day horse racing meet. Have a flutter and find out whether your luck is in for the coming year!

When:     27 January 12:30-6pm

Where:    Sha Tin Racecourse


The AIA Carnival

AIA Carnival

THE AIA Carnival is Hong Kong’s not-to-be-missed traditional European Carnival with a modern twist. New thrilling rides will be making their debut, complemented by exciting games with adorable prizes, a wide range of irresistible carnival treats, and fun photo ops, promising to bring you the most memorable carnival experience.

When:     12 December 2019 – 16 February 2020
Where:    Central Harbourfront Event Space
For more information:  Event Website


The Great Circus of Europe


The Great Circus of Europe returns for its third year to unearth a new range of never-seen-before acts under the Big Top at the Carnival. This fantastic family show is sure to become the talk of the town and will leave you gaping in disbelief as you witness awe-inspiring and death-defying acts mixed with a touch of comedy and laughter. There’s a 2-for-1 ticket offer from 2 to 24 January.

When:     12 December 2019 – 16 February 2020
Where:    Central Harbourfront
Tickets:  From $200, Event Website



CNY decorations at HOng Kong Disneyland

Disneyland will be decked out in red & gold finery to celebrate Chinese New Year, Mickey and his pals will all be dressed up for the occasion and you may get lucky with a festive Disney red packet during your visit.

When:    9 January – 9 February 2020

Where:   Hong Kong Disneyland


Times Square Dazzling Lunar Blossoms

Dazzling Lunar Blossoms at Times Square

Hong Kong Times Square will welcome the Lunar New Year by transforming into a stunning garden filled with dazzling flowers. The exhibition will feature an 8-meter long Flower Tunnel with projection, Good Fortune Pool, Digital Fortune Stick and Flower Scented AR Photo Booth.

When:     15 January – 8 February 2020
Where:    HK Times Square
For more information:  Facebook


Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival 2020

This festival attracts hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors from all over the world to Lam Tsuen every year. Experience the well-wishing tradition by throwing placards onto the wishing tree and lighting wishing lanterns.

When:     25 January – 9 February 2020
Where:    Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, Tai Po
Tickets:  Free admission, Event Website


The Courtyard of Harmony at ifc mall

Courtyard of Harmony at ifc mall

For CNY this year, ifc mall has put together a juju-themed installation with lanterns, fresh florals and flying birds for guests to come celebrate together. There’s also the Snap-then-Chat Photo Zone where visitors can take photos and create their own WhatsApp stickers as personalised greetings to share with friends and loved ones.

When:     14 January – 8 February 2020
Where:    ifc mall
For more information:  ifc mall Website


Check out our complete what’s on guide here, and our family-friendly what’s on guide!


Need some guidance on lai see giving? We’ve got you covered!


Photo credits: Flower Market: Flickr, Fireworks: Flickr, Lion Dance: Flickr


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