Chinese New Year, or SpringFestival, starts in either Januaryor February. This holidayis very meaningful to Chinesepeople all over the world, akin to Christmasto Westerners. Spring Festival customseven share similarities with those ofChristmas, such as gift exchanges, familygatherings and feasts. Hong Kong, as a metropolisblending Eastern and Western cultures,is an ideal destination during SpringFestival. Tourists can participate in myriadactivities sated with festive atmosphere.
The flower market, New Year parade,and fireworks above Victoria Harbor arehighlights of New Year’s Eve, New Year’sDay and the second day of the Lunar NewYear, respectively. Contrasting some areason the Chinese mainland, the week precedingthe festival brings the strongest festiveatmosphere to Hong Kong, especiallyNew Year’s Eve when the flower marketpushes the celebration to its climax.
The Spring Festival flower market isconsidered Hong Kong’s modern templefair. Many areas of southern China practicethe custom of buying flowers and placingthem in homes for the festival. Variousflowers and potted plants imply differentauspicious meanings. Hong Kong’s 14flower markets begin festivities abouta week before the festival, and the onein Victoria Park is the largest and mostbustling. Since every flower market closesby the early morning of New Year’s Day,visitor traffic peaks on New Year’s Eve.
For those who prefer the parade and fireworks at Victoria Harbor, patience and physical strength are required. HongKong’s New Year parade began in 1996,with inspiration from its renowned internationalcounterparts such as the RoseBowl Parade plus injection of Chineseelements. Disney characters wearingtraditional Chinese costumes join Chineseacrobats in the parade. As for fireworks atVictoria Harbor, visitors can watch themfrom either Kowloon or the island.
Of course, Hong Kong is home toplenty of scenic spots year-round. Thearea around Central is full of Hong Kongflavor. Visitors will not only find plentyof modern skyscrapers, but also typicallocal life and time-honored structurescombining Eastern and Western features.Victoria Peak, Hong Kong’s most popularattraction, offers a panoramic view of theharbor. Hong Kong Park is an amazingcombination of human design and natureand ideal for families.