Hong Kong is ready to celebrate the Year of the Dragon in spectacular style with stunning flower markets, a fantastic International Night Parade, dazzling fireworks, lively sporting events and much, much more. Chinese New Year is the most important celebration of the year and the lead up to the festival is a busy time for everyone. Weeks beforehand it seems the whole of Hong Kong is immersed in a whirl of house cleaning and renovation, installation of auspicious red and gold decorations, selection of peach or plum blossom branches and kumquat trees laden with fruit, not to mention shopping and cooking in preparation for a big family gathering. Visitors to Hong Kong can join locals at one of the pre-holiday flower markets in Hong Kong in search of the perfect bloom to bring good luck in the coming year. In return, you’ll be treated to a riot of colour and aromas. One of the most popular is in Victoria Park; this is one of the largest in Hong Kong and is open from the 17th January 2012 until the 22nd, with the best time to beat the crowds being between 6pm – 9pm. One of the ‘must see’ events of the celebrations takes place on 23rd January 2012, the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade. The parade starts from 8pm until 9.30pm featuring illuminated floats accompanied by spectacular international and local performing groups and it’s free to watch. Experience this carnival atmosphere as festive crowds lining the route around Tsim Sha Tsui watch the colourful parade pass by with Victoria Harbour serving as a stunning backdrop to this magical evening. Then at midnight on the 23rd visit the Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple to witness the locals rushing through the gates to be the first plant incense to receive good luck! Then on New Year’s Day the 24th January 2012 at 8pm experience the fantastic Lunar New Year fireworks display traditionally used to scare bad spirits away. For some of the best views head over to Wan Chai near the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre or the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui. The spectacular backdrop of city lights, harbour and surrounding mountains makes this a must see event. For those who enjoy a flutter the races the Chinese New Year Race Day on the 25th January 2012 is a must see event. Join local sports fans hoping to kick off the New Year with a winner and head to Sha Tin racecourse. There will also be an array of festive programmes staged at the Sha Tin racecourse designed to bring prosperity and good fortune to racing fans.
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