Chinese New Year is THE most important festival in Hong Kong with lots of colorful Chinese traditions. The city will have a whole month celebration to welcome Lunar New Year. The 2020 Hong Kong Chinese New Year celebrations and events are not only just the annual highlights in town, but also great opportunities to feel the vibe, culture, history and people of Hong Kong.

The 2020 Chinese New Year (CNY) is the “Year of the Rat” or “Year of the Mouse“. Besides the most important annual Chinese New Year events, including CNY Flower Market or Fair, Night Parade, Fireworks Display, Lantern Display and Carnival, Horse Race Day, Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree, Hong Kong has also prepared many more colorful traditional celebrations.

Lion dance and dragon dance is a must. Auspicious flowers and plants, red traditional lanterns are everywhere. Shopping malls are all decorated with CNY-themed displays. People are busy going to the temples wishing for a good new year. This is the best time to learn, see and experience Hong Kong’s culture and locals’ life.

Hong Kong Lion Dance celebration in Chinese New Year

Celebrating with the traditional lion dance

The celebrations of Chinese New Year in Hong Kong start earliest with shopping malls decorations, count down with the Chinese New Year Flower Markets, reach to the climax on the first three days of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, and finally end with the Lantern Carnival.

For over one month’s time, wherever you walk around in Hong Kong, you will see rat decoration hanging all over the places. In Chinese customs, the zodiac of the Rat is believed to represent represents spirituality, strong vitality and exquisite. Do come, join and experience Hong Kong’s unique traditional culture.

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Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival (春節), starts on the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar and usually falls in January or February.

For 2020 Chinese New Year is on January 25th of 2020. It is a bit earlier compared with the previous years.

To usher in the New Year, Hong Kong will celebrate and welcome the “Year of the Rat” with several big events and activities from January 9th to February 23rd, 2020.

In Hong Kong, From 25th to 27th of January 2020 are the Hong Kong public holidays. Be prepared for the crowds wherever you are in town.

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  • “Chinese New Year is also the major and longest public holiday in Mainland China. It means there will be millions of Chinese tourists visiting Hong Kong. Hotels will be more expensive and fully booked. In 2020, starting from the 24th till the 30th of January is the official holiday period of Mainland Chinese.”

    “In Chinese New Year, most government offices and banks will be closed during the public holidays. Some shopping malls and shops in the major touristy areas will remain open and others may close for 2 or 3 days. Public transportation keeps and even extends their normal service. Theme parks and attractions will still open. However, usually family-run business will close for 4 – 7 days.”

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Due to over 150-year colonial history with Britain, the fusion of Chinese and British culture gives Hong Kong a very unique way of celebrating Chinese New Year. Combining ancient Chinese culture with a unique touch of cosmopolitan modern flair, festivities and special events are spread out over three weeks.

As usual, Hong Kong Government will hold many large celebrations and events to welcome “Year of the Rat”, of which the Chinese New Year Flower Markets (Lunar New Year Fair), Chinese New Year Carnival and the Chinese New Year Fireworks Display are the largest three annual events with the most visitors.

Updated information: Due to the current situation in Hong Kong, the tourism board just announced (Jan 6th) the cancellation of the CNY fireworks display for safety reasons. The traditional Chinese New Year Night Parade has been changed to a four-day canival for the first time.

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Date

Events and Celebrations

Top Events in Large Scale

19 Jan – 25 2020

Chinese New Year Flower Markets

25 – 28 Feb 2020, 2:00pm – 8:00pm

International Chinese New Year Carnival

26 Jan 2020, 8:00pm – 8:23pm

Chinese New Year Fireworks Display (cancelled)

26 Jan 2020

Chinese New Year Fireworks Harbour Tour (cancelled)

27 Jan 2020

Chinese New Year Raceday

From Feb 8 2020

Chinese New Year Lantern Carnivals

Other Celebrations and Tradtions

TBC

Chinese New Year Thematic Lantern Display

25 Jan – 9 Feb 2020

Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival

12 Dec 2019 – 16 Feb 2020

AIA The Great European Carnival

9 Jan – 9 Feb, 2020

Hong Kong Disneyland – Magical Year After Year

18 Jan – 9 Feb, 2020

Ocean Park Hong Kong – Lunar Lucky Fiesta

16 Jan – 23 Feb, 2020

Ngong Ping 360 – We Bare Bears Lucky New Year

8 Jan 2020

2020 Year of the Rat Octopus Card

5 Jan 2020

MTR Year of the Rat Commemorative Ticket

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When:  10:00am to late at night from January 19 – 25, 2020   
Where:  15 different Flower Markets at various locations
How much: Free admission

2019 Hong Kong Lunar New Year FairHong Kong Chinese New Year Flower Market, aka Lunar New Year Fair, usually kicks off the Chinese New Year celebrations. It starts one week before the 1st day of Chinese Lunar calendar.

In 2020, there are 15 Chinese New Year Flower Markets throughout the city opening between the 19th to 25th of January 2020.

Although it also refers to the Chinese New Year Flower Markets, it is definitely much more than flowers. Stands with lucky foods, auspicious decors, traditional Chinese New Year flowers are all over the markets. It’s a perfect way to join the locals and experience the real traditions on this special holiday season.

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Read more about Locations, photos, insider tips of 2020 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Flower Markets.

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When:  2:00pm – 8:00pm from 25th to 28th of January, 2020   
Where:  West Kowloon Cultural District Art Park
How much: Free admission

International CNY Carnival for 2020 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Celebrations and EventsIt is the first time that Hong Kong will have a Chinese New Year Carnival instead of the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade. It is a four-day extravaganza featuring festive installations, parades and performances.

It will be from afternoon to evening from 25th to 28th of January 2020.

Besides the dozens of illuminating floats, artists from all around the world will share their exquisite live performances. It will, without a doubt, be one of the most expected Hong Kong Chinese New Year events.

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Read more about Programme of the carnival, where to watch, more photos, insider tips of 2020 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Carnival.

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When:  8:00pm – 8:23pm on January 26, 2020  
Where:  Over Victoria Harbour
How much: Free admission

2019 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Fireworks DisplayThe annual Lunar New Year Fireworks Display is always on the second day of Chinese Lunar Calendar. It is the longest and most innovative fireworks of three yearly fireworks shows in Hong Kong.

The 2020 Chinese New Year Fireworks show will be in the evening of the 26th of January 2020. The sky over Victoria Harbour will be completely brightened by the 23-minute fireworks.

As one of the best fireworks display in the world, Hong Kong’s fireworks show over Victoria Harbour is something that you should not miss. Besides watching along Victoria Harbour with thousands of crowds, you can also choose to watch from harbour tours, roof-top bars or harbour-view restaurants.

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Read more about Where to watch, more photos, insider tips of 2020 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Fireworks Display.

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When:  January 26, 2020
Where:  On Victoria Harbour
How much: Various prices from tour operators

2019 Fireworks Harbour ToursBesides watching the fireworks from the best locations on land, how about sailing to the middle of Victoria Harbour during fireworks show and feel the stunning scenery in the closest distance?

Nothing beats these views and I bet there is no better vantage point to enjoy the spectacular fireworks. Not matter it’s Chinese junk boat, historical Star Ferry or floating restaurant cruise, it will for sure be an unforgettable memory.

Read more about Ticket discounts and insider tips of Fireworks Harbour Tours.

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When:  January 27, 2020
Where:  Shatin Racecourse, Shatin
How much: HK$ 10 for standard entry / HK$ 130 for special Tourist Badge

2019 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Race DayChinese New Year Race Day is one of the most popular horse racing events during the year. Not only it’s one of the best way to start a new year and wish for good luck, but also it is a special horse racing mixed with many traditional elements.

Nothing can stop the horse racing fans from trying their luck on the third day of Chinese lunar calendar in racecourse. In 2020, it will start from 11:00am till 6:00pm on the 27th of January 2020.

Besides horse races, there also will be Chinese New Year souvenirs and decorations in the racecourse.

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Read more about Free gifts, more photos, insider tips of 2020 Hong Kong Chinese New Year Raceday.

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When:  February 4 – 9 2020
Where:  3 Lantern Carnivals in various locations
How much: Free admission

2020 Hong Kong Lunar New Year Lantern CarnivalsLantern is a very important element in Chinese tradition. The Chinese Lantern Festival, or called the Spring Lantern Festival is an ancient Chinese festival, which is on the 15th day of Chinese Lunar calendar.

It is the first full moon day of the new year and also considered as the last day of Chinese New Year celebration. Illuminating lanterns represent wishing a good start of the new year. This year’s Lantern Festival is on the 8th of February 2020.

The Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival will feature with spectacular lantern displays, orchestra performances, Chinese ethnic songs, dance, acrobatics, traditional stage art and game booths. Usually there will be three Lantern Carnivals in different public parks in town.

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Read more about Traditions, locations, more photos, insider tips of 2020 Hong Kong Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals.

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When:  January 17 – February 9 2020
Where:  Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui
How much: Free admission

2019 Hong Kong Lunar New Year Thematic Lantern DisplayBesides the lantern carnival, Hong Kong Culture Center Piazza will have a themed lantern display. It is the longest event of all the Chinese New Year celebrations, which will last almost a complete month.

This year’s lantern theme is “Flying High with the Golden Dragon”. In Chinese traditional culture, the dragon symbolizes good fortune, success, auspicious power and strength.

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Read more about More photos, insider tips of Hong Kong Lunar New Year Thematic Lantern Display.

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When:  January 25 – February 9, 2020   
Where:  Lam Tsuen, Shatin
How much: Free admission

2020 Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival in Chinese New YearLam Tsuen Well-wishing Festival is one of the oldest traditions during Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, which can be traced to 700 years back. It is also regarded as one of the most popular spots in Hong Kong for making a wish.

Two giant banyan trees in Lam Tsuen are considered as god. Whenever there is a festival, villagers will toss the joss paper onto the wishing trees to make a wish. Besides the traditional rituals, the floats from Chinese New Year Night Parade will be displayed here, allowing visitors for a closer look and some selfies.

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Read more about Traditions, more photos, insider tips of 2020 Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival.

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Every year during Chinese New Year, the top attractions will put up traditional decoration, creating many color photo booths and bring visitors good luck.

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When:  January 18 – February 9, 2020   
Time:  10:30am – 8:15pm
Venue:  Ocean Park Hong Kong
Ticket: HK$ 498 (adults)/ HK$ 249 (children)
Discount: HK$ 418 (adults) / HK$ 235 (children)

There is nothing more appropriate than celebrating Year of the Rat with the member of the rodent family, the cute capybara. Meet the adorable capybara at Ocean Park Hong Kong at Chinese New Year celebration.

Come to the capybara garden fortune and take instagrammable photos at capybara prosperity pool. Enjoy the Faces of Abundance Show at Old Hong Kong and try some Chinese New Year delicacies.

Ocean Park Hong Kong 2020 Chinese New Year celebration

Ocean Park Hong Kong 2020 Chinese New Year celebration

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When:  January 9 – February 9, 2020   
Time:  10:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue:  Hong Kong Disneyland
Ticket: from HK$ 639 (adults) / from HK$ 475 (children)
Discount: from HK$ 580 (adults) / from HK$ 435(children)

Hong Kong Disneyland Chinese New Year Celebrations 2020ethical pajamas has launched a series of Chinese New Year celebrations for the Year of the Rat. No matter it’s Disney’s beloved characters in the traditional Chinese dress, the Year of the Rat themed food, limited Chinese New Year merchandise or the God of Fortune Goofy Celebration Moment, there is something for everyone.

Read more about 2020 Hong Kong Disneyland Chinese New Year Celebrations.

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When:  January 16 – February 23, 2020   
Time:  10:00pm – 6:00pm (weekdays)
9:00pm – 6:30pm (weekends and public holidays)
Venue:  Ngong Ping Village
Ticket: from HK$ 235 (adults) / from HK$ 110 (children) (round trip)
Discount: from HK$ 190 (adults) / from HK$ 99 (children) (round trip)

Ngong Ping Cable Car and Big Buddha on Lantau Island is one of the most popular attractions. To welcome the 2020 Year of the Rat, Ngong Ping 360 teams up with cute cartoon We Bare Bears and transforms into a sea of flowers. Get here and make a wish for a good start in the new year.

Do keep in mind that during the Chinese New Year period, the Ngong Ping Cable Car will be very crowded. If you don’t want to waste hours in the waiting line, prepare a fast lane ticket to save your time.

Ngong Ping 360 Year of Rat Chinese New Year celebration

Ocean Park Hong Kong 2020 Chinese New Year celebration

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When:  December 12, 2019 – February 16, 2020
Where:  Next to Observation Wheel
How much: HK$ 130

2019 The Great European CarnivalHong Kong AIA The Great European Carnival turns to an annual event since 2014. It is located right next to the Victoria Harbour in Central and usually lasts two months throughout Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year.

The 2019/2020 The Great European Carnival starts from December 2019 to the 16th of February, 2020.

The 2020 carnival is a mixture of fun rides, games, entertainment program, circus as well as plenty of Asian and European food delights.

Read more about Tickets and insider tips of 2020 The Great European Carnival.

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When:  January 8, 2020
Where:  7-Eleven convenience stores in MTR Stations
How much: HK$ 288 per set

2020 Year of the Rat Limited Edition Octopus CardTo celebrate the Year of the Rat, Octopus Card Ltd. will launch a set of limited Octopus Card. Each set contains two designs of Octopus Card featured with cute rat.

The price for each set is HK$ 288 and it is limited to only 2000 sets. It’s not only a great souvenir but also a good wish for the new year.

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When:  January 5, 2020
Where:  Most of the MTR stations
How much: HK$ 98 per set

MTR Year of Rat Commemorative Ticket 2020To the coming Year of the Rat, MTR Company also will launch a set of commemorative ticket featured the zodiac rat. Each set contains two designs of tickets and 8 Chinese red pockets.

The price for each set is HK$ 98 and the stock is limited. The ticket allows a full day free ride on MTR on Chinese New Year.

Read more about where to buy the 2020 MTR Year of Rat Commemorative Ticket.

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CNY shopping mall display for 2019 Hong KongIf you cannot join the traditional events or you will not be in Hong Kong during the time, don’t be regret. Most of the major shopping malls will set up the Chinese New Year themed decoration. Lion dance, firecrackers, peach trees will be all around Hong Kong. This year is the Year of the Rat. You will also find rat decors appearing every corner in town.

Some of the Chinese New Year displays in shopping malls:

  • Mr. Men & Little Miss Chinese New Year Celebration (Jan 8 – Feb 23, 2020)
  • Sumikko Gurashi in The ONE (Jan 22 – Feb 16, 2020)
  • Lego “READY, SET, BUILD” at Langham Place (Jan 8 – Feb 9, 2020)
  • “Mick” the Holidays Bright in Fashion Walk (Jan 10 – Feb 16, 2020)
  • Pete and Gulu Chinese New Year Feast at Windsor House (Jan 11 – Feb 16, 2020)
  • Lunar Dazzling Blossoms in Times Square (Jan 15 – Feb 9, 2020)
  • New Year Blessing Instapop at New Town Plaza (Jan 1 – Feb 16, 2020)
  • tmtplaza x Nissin Lunar New Year Funfair (Jan 10 – Feb 16, 2020)
  • Gudetama Eggcellent New Year at Megabox (Jan 8 – Feb 23, 2020)

Read more about Best of 2019 Year of the Rat Shopping Mall Displays.

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Similar to Western’s Christmas, Chinese New Year is one of the most important traditional holidays in Hong Kong. Hongkongers will celebrate this holiday with all kinds of traditions.

  • Family will gather together no matter how busy they are. Nothing can stop anyone from going home and being with family;
  • Locals will give out red pockets (with cash) to friends, colleagues or people whoever helped them in the past year for good wishes;
  • Auspicious and lucky foods such as black moss (Cantonese pronunciation is Fat Choy, similar to ‘prosperity’), sticky rice cake, sweet glutinous rice balls (tang yuan) are eaten and wishing for good luck in the coming year;
  • Some families will visit the fortune tellers for good fortune in one of the many temples;
  • Shopping malls, restaurants and offices are decorated with zodiac Rat all around Hong Kong;
  • Shopping malls and shops will hire Lion Dance group to perform for good luck and a good start of new year;

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One of the most frequent questions I heard is: “Are shops, shopping malls and restaurants open during the 2019 Chinese New Year2019 Chinese New Year Celebrations in Hong Kong?”.

The majority of shops, shopping malls usually will close on the 1st and 2nd of Chinese Lunar Year (this year is Feb 5 and Feb 6). However, malls and restaurants in the major tourist areas usually remain opening during the Chinese New Year.

Usually, the days before Chinese New Year, some of the big shopping malls will extend their business and opening hours and decorated their malls with a special theme to attract more shoppers and visitors.

Please note that whether the shops and restaurants will open during CNY varies according to the regulation of different cooperations. Normally small and traditional shops and restaurants (e.g. Chinese Medicine Stores, family run restaurants, dried seafood shops, etc.) will be closed for longer time (4-7 days).

Major sightseeing attractions as well as theme parks will remain open during this period and usually have a unique Chinese New Year decoration.

box-info2 Did You Know

  • “Be prepared that – no matter which event, activity or show you like to watch, join and/or participate, be aware that it will very, very (!) crowded.”