Hong Kong readies for Chinese New Year


NEW YORK – Hong Kong is easily one of the most exciting cities on the planet any day of the year – but during Chinese New Year, Asia’s “world city” pours heart and soul into turning the page on the year just passed. As the most significant event on the Chinese calendar and Hong Kong’s grandest festival, the picturesque city on Victoria Harbour will welcome 2011, the “Year of the Rabbit,” with spectacular activities and festive displays of joyful enthusiasm to quicken the pulse of visitors and locals alike.

Traditionally, the Year of the Rabbit is associated with home, family, artistic pursuits, diplomacy and peace – auguring tranquility and blessings for the year ahead – so there is no more fitting way to kick off the New Year than with spectacular light shows, fireworks, elaborate floats and creative performances, and the company of family and friends.

On February 3rd, the first day of the Chinese New Year, the celebrations get rolling with the annual Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, selected as one of the world’s top must-see events by Lonely Planet. Featuring leading international and local performers, more than a dozen of the parade’s intricately crafted floats will accompany them along Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, showcasing their exquisite talents. The day after the parade on February 4th, delighted onlookers in the tens of thousands gather for the grand fireworks display that lights up the sky over stunning Victoria Harbour against the iconic backdrop of Hong Kong’s towering skyline and mountains. Entertainment for the Night Parade will showcase the impressive talents of popular performance groups hailing from around the world.

Stimulating the other senses and picking up on the festive atmosphere in the streets, local restaurants and hotels add to the festivities with themed events and special menus for Chinese New Year. The Conrad Hong Kong, for instance, is hosting a Lion Dance and God of Fortune performance in its lobby on the first day of the New Year in a gesture intended to bring health, fortune and wealth to its guests. Guests are also offered the blessing of 25 percent savings on their stay at the Conrad Hong Kong when booking any weekend during the 15-day Chinese New Year period. The Conrad’s rooms facing Victoria Harbour offer a perfect spot to watch the fireworks and all guests are invited to savor a traditional Chinese buffet dinner on the second day of the New Year.

The InterContinental Hong Kong is also presenting guests with special Chinese New Year dinners and spectacular views of Victoria Harbour during the fireworks. For guests who yearn for a more hands-on experience, the InterContinental’s Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, Yan Toh Heen, will host a Chinese New Year savory pudding- and dumpling- making class with celebrated Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai.