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Celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong Like a Local: Experience Little-known Festive Traditions and Can’t-Miss Events

It is the year of the dragon, and Hong Kong will be the place to be when celebrating this exciting cultural event from bustling flower markets to exciting city-wide celebrations to festive displays. For tourists looking to visit Hong Kong during the festivities, here are a few ways to celebrate Chinese New Year like a local.

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Chinese New Year pudding workshop in Kee Wah Studio (Credit: Kee Wah Bakery)

Chinese New Year pudding workshop in Kee Wah Studio (Credit: Kee Wah Bakery)

#1 Tuck into a Poon Choi Feast for Luck

Also known as a “basin meal,” poon choi used to be an under-the-radar dish, confined mostly to rural villages. It has seen an explosion of popularity in recent years, especially during the Chinese New Year period. An enormous basin is layered with ingredients and covered in a rich, savory gravy. The basin is then gently warmed up and eaten communally. There is much symbolism attached to the ingredients found in poon choi, from pork that symbolizes prosperity, to prawns that symbolize happiness. Locals believe that by eating these auspicious foods, you can attract these positive attributes into your life.

Tourists to Hong Kong can partake in a traditional poon choi feast by joining local tours to one of Hong Kong’s rural walled villages like those in Yuen Long or Sha Tau Kok. With distinct customs attached to these walled villages, you can expect a fascinating glimpse into the authentic way villagers celebrate Chinese New Year!

#2 Make Yourself a Chinese New Year Pudding to Reach Great Heights

Some of the most popular celebration dishes are Chinese New Year puddings. These delicious puddings come in both sweet and savory varieties and symbolize prosperity and attaining new heights in the new year. They’re typically made before the Chinese New Year period and served during visits to friends and family.

Participate in a hands-on workshop run by traditional Hong Kong bakeries like Kee Wah, which will give aspiring home chefs a lesson in preparing these new year treats and send them home with a recipe to be enjoyed all year long.

#3 Kick off a Prosperous New Year with Dried Seafood Shopping

Dried seafood is always the core ingredients for the Chinese New Year menu. Why? Locals believe that the start of the new year sets the tone for the year ahead.

The section of Sheung Wan’s Des Voeux Road West between Queen Street and Centre Street is well-known as “Dried Seafood Street, which is one of the world’s biggest dried seafood hubs. There, you’ll find dozens of shops doing a brisk trade in preserved scallops, abalone, shrimp and much more. These streets become even busier before Chinese New Year, as locals stock up on rare and precious ingredients ahead of celebratory meals with their loved ones. Tourists can also easily purchase dried seafood products all in one place at major retail stores in Hong Kong.

#4 Play Mahjong to Activate Good Luck

During the Chinese New Year, locals visit each other's homes to share blessings and spread happiness. One of the favorite activities among locals during the new year is to play mahjong. With maximum four players engaging at a time, this fun, highly social game represents unity and togetherness, and requires both luck and skill to win. The loud clacking of the mahjong tiles is said to sound just like the firecrackers that are set off during Chinese New Year to drive away misfortune.

Immerse Yourself in Marquee Chinese New Year Events in Hong Kong

Other than family and friends' gatherings, the festive atmosphere is also filling up every corner of the city with exciting array of celebratory events that can’t be missed during a visit to Hong Kong.

The city's biggest Chinese New Year event, the Cathay International Chinese New Year Night Parade, is returning with a bang to kick off the Year of the Dragon on February 10 after a five-year hiatus. From 8 pm until 9:45 pm, the parade winds through the popular tourist area of Tsim Sha Tsui, with performances by entertainers around the world, lavishly decorated floats and much more.

The festive ambience continues to shine on February 11 as the world-famous Victoria Harbour lights up with the spectacular 2024 Lunar New Year Fireworks Display. Marvel at the world-class fireworks brightening the night sky as the city roars into the new year. Head to the best viewing points located on both sides of the harbor promenade for this shimmering performance.

The Chinese New Year period lasts until the 15th day, and tourists can enjoy an array of exciting city-wide celebrations like, the CNY Raceday, Lunar New Year Cup, as well as lion dances galore and more.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Anne Gomm

Senior Manager, PR & Marketing

Hong Kong Tourism Board US

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