Happy Chinese New Year

By: Virgin Atlantic

January 22, 2019

Wishing you a very happy Chinese New Year, and prosperous year of the pig. Did you know more fireworks are set off worldwide on this day than any other? That’s a lot of ooh and aah-ing. 新年快

To celebrate the year of the pig our Shanghai office held a photography competition. Here are the winners:

  • By Danny Wang

  • By Isabel Ling

  • By Isabel Ling

  • By Jiang Maomao

  • By Jinjin Studio

  • By Juxiang Shuwu

  • By Sisily

  • By Yvette Zhang

  • By Yvette Zhang

Chinese New Year falls on the 5th February this year, so there’s still time to squeeze in a trip to Hong Kong to celebrate.

As the biggest holiday of the year, 2019’s lunar festivities look set to be as spectacular as ever. From the show-stopping annual parade to colourful flower markets, explosive fireworks to the legendary festival of wishes, Hong Kong certainly knows how to ring in the Chinese New Year in style. We’ve rounded up our top events in the city to make sure your Year of the Pig gets off to a flying start.

Chinese New Year parade

Chinese New Year parade, Hong Kong © Shutterstock

The whole city seems to tumble out onto the streets of TST for the annual Chinese New Year Night Parade – a riot of lion dancers, elaborate floats and rainbow-costumed troupes of performers flown in from all corners of the globe. Traditionally held on New Year’s Day, the all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza snakes its way through the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, bringing the city to life with acrobatics, music, dragons and more, so get down early to secure yourself a spot for the night.

When: 5 February 2019

Where: Tsim Sha Tsui

Flower markets

Kumquat trees at the flower market © Shutterstock

Every year, a week before the new lunar calendar begins, Hong Kong is transformed into one giant, colourful florist. Join throngs of city residents bargaining for armfuls of auspicious blooms, which range from orchids and chrysanthemums to miniature kumquat trees. No room for an orange tree in your suitcase? There are plenty of other treasures to shop for. Seek out toys, sweets and anything and everything pig-shaped, but be warned — crowds reach ultimate heights on New Year’s Eve, so come with elbows sharpened and be prepared to barter hard.

When: January/Feburary 2019

Where: All around Hong Kong, with the largest markets in Victoria Park (Hong Kong Island) and Fa Hui Park (Kowloon)

Victoria Harbour Fireworks

Chinese New Year fireworks, Victoria Harbour, © Shutterstock

Traditionally believed to ward off evil spirits and usher in good luck, firecrackers have always welcomed the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong with a bang. Victoria Harbour’s New Year Fireworks take that to the next level, with a twenty-minute display of kaleidoscopic pyrotechnics illuminating the sky and water. Join the crowds gathered on both sides of the harbour to gaze up and gasp, or watch, cocktail in hand, from a harbourside bar (our particular favourites include: Aqua, Café Grey, The Intercontinental Lobby Lounge and The Ritz Carlton’s Ozone – one of the highest bars in the world)

When: 6 January 2019

Where: Victoria Harbour

Wishing Trees at Lam Tsuen, Tai Po

Wishing Trees at Lam Tsuen – Left: © Joybot / Flickr Creative Commons, Right: © Chong Fat / Wikipedia

For centuries, villagers have been coming to Lam Tsuen around Chinese New Year in the hope of making their wishes come true. Traditionally they would write their wishes on bright scarlet joss papers, tie them to oranges and throw them up into the tree branches — legend had it the higher the offerings landed, the more chance they had of the wish coming true.

The tradition has now spread beyond the local villages and grown to become a full-blown festival, with visitors flocking in to hang wishes on wooden racks and imitation trees. There are performances, lantern ceremonies and other festivities, and floats used in the Chinese New Year Night Parade are also displayed – so if you didn’t manage to catch them winding their way through the city on the main night, fear not.

When: 5 – 19 February 2019

Where: Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, New Territories.

Race meeting

Sha Tin Racecourse © WiNG / Wikipedia

Horse racing is one of Hong Kong’s favourite pastimes, and the New Year Sha Tin Races are the biggest and most hotly anticipated of the year. Expect cultural performances, dances and a variety of other festivities as you celebrate alongside professional jockeys. The Chinese New Year cup is the featured race.

When: 7 February 2019

Where: Sha Tin Racecourse, New Territories

Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to Hong Kong from London Heathrow – book your flight to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year today.

Virgin Atlantic

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