The much anticipated Chinese Year of the Dragon starts on January 23, 2012! Little Steps digs into what exactly we are celebrating and where the fun is happening this CNY in Hong Kong. New decorations, traditional food, red packets, and of course fireworks spectacular…bring on the Year of the Dragon!
According to an ancient legend, people were once tormented by a beast called a Nian (Year), a ferocious creature with an extremely large mouth capable of swallowing several people in a single bite. Relief from the Nian came only when an old man tricked the beast into disappearing. In reality, Chinese New Year festivities are more of a desire to celebrate the end of winter and the fertility and rebirth that come with the spring. Today, New Year is about family reunions and wishing everyone good fortune in the coming year.
Prior to New Year's Day, Chinese families decorate their living rooms with beautiful flowers, platters of oranges and tangerines, and a candy tray with different kinds of dried sweet fruit. More food will be consumed during the New Year celebrations! Traditional food such as a whole fish, which represents togetherness and abundance, and a chicken, which represents prosperity, are prepared for family and friends. If you are looking for the one-stop-shop, check out the hampers at City Super packed with all the goodies for a top-notch celebration!
During Chinese New Year, there is also a tradition of offering lai see or ya sui qian (red packets filled with money) to bring good fortune and to ensure that kids and single people can begin the new year with some cash in their pocket. In Hong Kong, employers distribute lai see to employees as the motives of another year’s work. The amount varies, but it basically depends on who is doing the giving and the age of the recipients. The envelopes often have Chinese characters that translate to “good fortune” or “good in business” printed on them and are sometimes accompanied by Chinese paper cuts. Red packets are given mostly to children by relatives. Check out City Super and Log-on stores for cute packets that your little ones and their little friends will definitely love!
The Flower Market: From January 17th - 22nd, visit the stunning flower market at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay - bring home auspicious blossoms or plants and prepare for the New Year!
Chinese New Year Night Parade: You shouldn’t miss the chance of witnessing The 17th Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade on January 23rd, which is themed World City, World Party and features 12 magnificently decorated and brightly lit floats.
Fireworks: The following day, January 24th, bring your family to Victoria Harbour between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui to see an exciting fireworks show.
Hong Kong Well Wishing Festival: Hope for the best in 2012. Click here for details.
Hong Kong Disneyland: Auspicious New Year celebrations, Disney-style! Click here for details.
Chinese New Year Raceday: Join the eager punters at the race track in what is a unique Hong Kong tradition. On the Third Day of Chinese New Year, local sports fans hope to kick off the new year with a winning wager. Click here for details.
CNY at Palm Beach: Chinese New Year BBQ on Lantau! Click here for details.