Chinese New Year things to do

Discussion in 'Asia' started by NileGuide, Feb 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. With the New year just over, its time for mad Chinese New Year Winter Sales in Hong Kong. The 3rd of February is
    Cold but not lonely, shops do close for a prolonged period of time during Chinese New Year so make the most out of Chinese New Year's eve
    Chinese New Year’s Eve and this year is going to be one of the busiest and breakneck crowded places that celebrate Chinese New Year 2011. Its is customary on Chinese New Year’s eve for family dinners so if you do dine out then expect a once in a year 10-20% service charge on your bill.
    After dinner is when most locals make the most out of the ultimate winter sales because major shopping malls extend hours till midnight and shops use this year to clear inventory and sometimes stock is discounted up to 70% off. Otherwise if shopping is not your thing its a kid friendly option to stroll down the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade to see Chinese New Year lighting on the exteriors of buildings and landmarks along the Glam Victoria Harbour skyline.
    The flower market at Victoria Park is always another attraction that locals enjoy, buying flowers before the New Year connotes a year full of blossoming good luck and fortune.
    There are various Chinese New Year taboos that you may want to avoid doing, and according to good fung shui principles Chinese people usually take the first to fifth days of Chinese New Year off for a holiday. Business is back to usual on the Fifth day but people avoid getting mad at each other and parents restrain themselves from chiding their kids during the New Year.
    For 3 February 2011 (Thursday) this Chinese New Year’s Day is all about greeting friends and relatives with “Bai Nian” greeting such as “Kung Hei Fat Choy”, Wishing you a prosperous and happy new year. Did you know that you should never wake the person sleeping on Chinese New Year’s day up by calling their name or else they may have to spend the rest of the year in an anxious and hurried state of mind. Though your intentions may be good thinking that you want to be the first person to wish loved ones a happy Chinese New Year but take note that someone who is still sleeping should not be deliberately woken up to hear your greetings or they may have to receive the new year ill and bed ridden. Do what most Hong Kong residents do at Chinese New Year – take a fortune-seeking trip at the temple such as the Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin or the Wong Tai Sin Temple.
    Most Hong Kong residents abide to these unwritten rules of Chinese customs. Married daughters do not go back to their parent’s home on Chinese New Year’s Day because traditionally married daughters were seen as daughters of their husband’s family and going back home on this day would mean one less pair of hands to help out at home. Fun fact: Did you know that for breakfast on Chinese New Year’s Day people avoid light congee, meat and medicine? Traditionally the Chinese gods would pay patronage to people’s homes and as a sign of respect you should go vegetarian for breakfast but no watery or liquid foods because only poor people ate such meager meals
    Click here to view the embedded video.
    The Chinese New Year parade is the highlight of the day, whilst tickets are all sold out it wouldn’t hurt to get comfortable with the crowd along the Cultural Centre along Tsim Sha Tsui, Cantopop stars put on a show as well as Peruvian folk dancing, Samba, cheerleaders, Thai dancers and percussion floats just to name a few. Its a little corny and perhaps a little cliched and stereotypical of each country but its Chinese New Year’s Day and Hong Kong locals do enjoy a little bit of everything.
    Free Things to do for Chinese New Year 4 February 2011 (Friday):
    Victoria Harbour between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui, There’s no better way to enjoy the dazzling fireworks than with a Victoria Harbour cruise.
    The Lunar New Year fireworks display against the backdrop of a million dollar skyline attract mobs of people lined along Victoria Harbour, people can’t resist going “Wah” every time a new combination of fireworks pattern lines the sky. There will be traffic bans and you should be prepared to either book in advance for a sea view Hotel room in enjoy the fireworks in your own comfortable hotel room or call a tour for a cruise:
    Fireworks Show Cruise Tour Operators
    • Able & Promotion Tours Ltd HK$460 per person +852 2544 5656
    • Gray Line Tours of Hong Kong Ltd HK$800 per person +852 2368 7111
    • Harbour Cruise – Bauhinia HK$583 per adult;HK$473 per child +852 2802 2886
    • Jetway Express Ltd HK$500 per adult;
    • HK$400 per child +852 2336 6916
    • Splendid Tours & Travel Ltd HK$600 per person +852 2316 2151
    • Star Ferry’s Harbour Tour HK$175 per person +852 2118 6201
    • Watertours of Hong Kong Ltd HK$560 / HK$800 per person +852 2926 3868
    Chinese New Year Races start at 11am at the Shatin Racecourse
    By the third day of Chinese New Year you may be exhausted but sleeping in during the daytime is a superstitious taboo again where sleeping in connotes laziness for the rest of the year and is considered rude because you want to be seen entertaining guests who come to your house. Chinese New Year Race Day is on 5 February 2011 and its a good start to try your New Year’s luck at the Shatin racecourses on a 100 dollar bet on your favourite horse. Or just go for the atmosphere, its free admission to the public enclosure with a foreign passport. Otherwise tourist badges cost HK$100.
    By Saturday some shops begin to re-open for business but the majority still remain closed, it depends on what the notice on the door reads but you wouldn’t expect shops to open until after the fifth day of Chinese New Year. Running out of things to do still? Best bet is the family friendly option of Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park.
    Nileguide Hong Kong local expert wishes you and your loved ones good health for the Rabbit Year and have a great time in Hong Kong.

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