Hong Kong Self-guided travel - Chinese New Year Ox

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20 FR 20 E ED E! IT IO N


11 - 14 Feb 2021 “Escape the ordinary!”

Buzzpacker www.buzzpacker.com

Your Local Self-guided Walking Specialist We wish you an auspicious year ahead! Can you imagine the fireworks bursting over your head?


TABLE OF CONTENTS 03 How to use this guide 05 The Legend of Chinese New Year





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How To Use This Guide

and daily topics. In this guide, you will find maps, walking routes, restaurants, price differences, as well as information on public transportation system. Full day route map can be found at the beginning of each chapter. Those words with yellow color representing a hyperlink for more information. You can change the sequence of these four days to suit your preference. If you would prefer to skip some attractions or stay longer at different points, you can do that – all you have to do is click the next destination’s hyperlink to give you a direction to stick to. The food in Hong Kong is fantastic; you will find different restaurants that offer international cuisines -- with some of them open for 24 hours. We have also made a list of the different types of restaurants as well as the various transportation fares in a tabular format – to make it easy for you to compare and select based on your preferences. The guide contains features such as "Hot Pick," "Budget Saver," and "Agent Discount." The "Hot Pick" feature makes it easy for you to see the favorite local spots, the "Budget Saver" feature shows the budgetfriendly options, and the "Agent Discount" feature shows you the offer details on cheaper travel agents you can choose from.

THE BEST ROUTE TO EXPERIENCE LUNAR NEW YEAR ON A BUDGET T his itinerary is a 4-day manual which would provide you

with all the details you need to travel to Hong Kong without stress. During Chinese New Year holidays, most of the shops are closed and people visit their families for celebration. But it's a good time to experience the traditional atmosphere! 'KUNG HEI FAT CHOY' With this guide, you will be able to visit brilliant attractions on your own and a budget easily. It is recommended that you GREETINGS travel to Hong Kong during the off-peak season – this would ARE JUST help you responsibly budget for your travelling and expenses. We also advise that you make use of the public transport for AROUND THE CORNER. budgeting and responsible travel purposes – visit the "Festival Page" on our website for seasonal and event information. The routes in the guide are designed to give you understandings on the nature and background of Hong Kong.


Every place has a story to tell which is why each chapter of the itinerary comes with topics you can follow to figure out the answers. Our standard package contains a Discovery Paper which you can use to get the details about the routes

It is important to note that we do not take any commissions from the restaurants and hotels that we recommend—this is essential for us to remain trustworthy. We suggest places based on their ratings, local observation, our experience, quality and budget. Compare the prices of hotel/hostel from different websites such as Trivago, Agoda, Hotels World, Hotels Combined, and Bookings.com to get a full picture of what you will spend. You can contact us for custom travel design for a small fee if you decide to stay in another place (hotel or hostel). In Hong Kong, the restaurants and shops are frequently changing, and our guide will be regularly updated to provide you with the latest information. You can easily get the GPS location of places by clicking the words with the yellow color, pin map pin or map icon in the guide. You can get the general idea of tourist attractions by clicking on the floor plan icon and virtual tour icon.

We also suggest that you take a look at our “Travel Essential Page" for a smoother journey before you begin your trip. This will help to save your time and provide you with a seamless experience. The public transportation networks of Hong Kong is efficient and well-coordinated, so you can easily use the MTR to get to most places. Try to enjoy the new year as a local!

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CHINESE NEW YEAR The Chinese New Year is better known as the Spring Festival, a festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year in the lunar calendar (Chinese traditional calendar). It is also the time to thank their ancestors, gods and deities, and to hang out/gather with family. It is associated






myths and has been in practice for

over three thousand years. Through the large-scale celebrations, farmers thank the gods for the harvested crops and pray for good weather for planting in the coming year. The festival

W hen

China's new year celebration is in full swing, millions of fireworks light up the sky like a colorful display of atomic light. Ever since the complete ban on firecrackers and fireworks was lifted in 1975, a government-organized display is held on the second day of the Spring Festival every year. What do you think is really going on? Are the Chinese just celebrating for the fun of it, or is there a deeper meaning to the firecrackers and the red paper cuts on their homes and businesses? The answer is yes, there is a rich meaning behind all of this. This is the myth that surrounds the Chinese New Year, a time when 1.5 billion people come together to celebrate not only the arrival of a new year but the expulsion of evil—Nian ( ).







calendar in a twelve-year cycle, with each year named after an animal. You can check your birth-year to find the corresponding animal. Traditionally, the Spring Festival was a time to express their esteem to the deities & ancestors. The Spring Festival is a very interesting event because it is a mixture of folklore, myths, and legends. Everything about the Spring Festival, from the food to the clothes and how the celebration is carried out, has a unique story that makes it interesting. In this article, we will dive deeper into the myths and legends that surround all the activities carried out during the Spring Festival, to help you better understand the history behind it all.



Folklore and legends aside, there is a rich history behind the Spring Festival. The record is unclear on the origin of the Spring Festival, but most historians are of the opinion that the celebration began in the Shang Dynasty (1766–1122 B.C.). Some historians believe the celebration started as far back as the reign of Emperor Two and Shun, which was approximately 2300 B.C. The celebration originally took place between mid-winter and early spring days. The ancient Chinese calendar is a solar-lunar calendar based on the phases of the moon. The first day of the first month of a year in the lunar calendar (the traditional Chinese calendar) was deemed as the start of the year. The date for the Spring Festival in the western calendar changes every year, because it is based on the Chinese lunar calendar.

THE MYTH BEHIND- OVERCOMING NIAN The Spring Festival is one of the most historical festivities in the world — it has been celebrated for over 3000 years. Now, we will unveil the legend of the Spring Festival, and why it is special among Chinese home and abroad.“

The Chinese years are based on a combination of not only the twelve-year zodiac animal cycles, but a ten-year cycle of animal stems; each year is associated with one of the five elements in Chinese astrology, which are gold, wood, fire, soil, and water. These elements undergo rotations every two years with Yin (Chinese: , Cantonese: yam1, meaning: negative) and Yang (Chinese: , Cantonese: yeung4, meaning: positive). For example, the last “Yang,” “Fire,” “Rat” combination took place in 1996, and the last time before that was in 1936—a difference of sixty years. Although it is quite complicated, we hope to give you a brief description of the significance of the symbols, principles, and elements that make up the Spring Festival.

A long time ago, a very ferocious beast called Nian devoured the villagers and destroyed everything in its path at midnight on the year’s eve in China. The villagers suffered from Nian for several years, until a villager guessed the weaknesses of Nian to be loud noises, bright lights, and the redness of fire. The villagers follow his ideas.

As the Chinese economy and cultural heritage were prosperous during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the larger-scale festivities involving firecrackers, social activities, and carnivals emerged. Other entertainment (such as watching dragon/lion dances) arose, and the lantern show came to mark the end of the Spring Festival celebration (the fifteenth day of the first month).

After that, Chinese villages celebrated the Spring Festival with massive displays of fireworks and firecrackers. Chinese folks dressed in colorful clothes and stuck red paper on the walls, windows, and even door frames of their homes to scare Nian away. That’s the reason why people wrote fai chun (Chinese , Cantonese: fai1 cheun1). Fai chun were inscriptions of luck written by calligraphers on red paper (some with gold powder). The papers were then posted on both sides of doors and windows.

In recent times, most of the tradition of the Spring Festival has been fading out. New trends like the CCTV Spring Festival gala night, shopping online, and WeChat red envelopes have replaced the old traditions. This evolution has moved the Spring Festival to a digital stage.

When Nian strolled into the village as usual, it realized something was abnormal and became uncomfortable — the red clothes hung around the doors and windows. The villagers started to hit the drums and ignited the firecrackers & fireworks. Nian was frighten to death by the loud noise and escaped immediately.”


The myths and legends cover the Spring Festival with a mysterious veil.

Story of the Chinese Zodiac (twelve animals) One of the legends behind the lunar calendar of twelve-year cycles is the twelve zodiac animals. The people born in a particular year are represented by one of the following zodiac animals: rat, ox, tiger, snake, horse, dragon, rabbit, goat, monkey, dog, rooster, or pig. In this article, we are going to tell you how the sequence of the twelve zodiac signs was decided. “A very long time ago, the Rat and Cat were very best friends. They usually played together. One day, the Jade Emperor (Chinese: , Cantonese: yuk6 wong4 daai6 dai3) decided to hold a race for expressing time and said, ‘I think we should find a convenient way to track time.’ He set the rules and briefed all the animals that the first twelve contestants to cross the river would be selected for the twelve zodiac animals. All the animals were excited for the race. However, the Cat was worried because he couldn’t swim. ‘I’m so afraid of water, and I will never reach the finish line.’ The Ox comforted the Cat: ‘I’m worse than you; my poor eyesight isn’t good enough to direct me on the track.’ The Rat had a tactic he suggested to the Ox: ‘Cat and I can climb on your back, so that we can guide you to the finish point.’ The Cat was relieved. ‘Great! That’s a good idea!’


On the day of the competition, in accordance with the plan, the Cat and the Rat climbed on the Ox’s back and guided it toward the river. They set out earlier than the other animals, before sunrise. When they got to the middle of the river, they looked back and saw the other animals just starting at the shore.

The Cat was cocky and boasted that he would be the winner of the race. Knowing well that the Cat hated water, the Rat kicked the Cat into the river when the Cat was distracted. The Rat mocked the Cat, ‘Sorry, brother…have a nice swim!’ The Ox wasn’t aware of the fight and kept his direction to the finish point. When they got to the shore, the Rat quickly jumped on the land and ran straight to the finish point. As a result, the Rat became the winner and sang, ‘I might be small, but I’m clever.’ Successively, the Ox moved a little faster by following the voice of the Rat and settled for second place. “Other animals began to approach the shore. The mighty Tiger sprang forward with lightning speed, while its fur was still wet from being soaked in the river. Just behind the Tiger was the Rabbit. At nearly the same time, the great Dragon looked down from the sky, roaring, ‘Here I am!’ The Horse was about to cross the finish line with the Goat, but the Snake was close behind and slithered between their legs to surpass them. The Monkey, Rooster, and Dog came in behind the Goat to take their places. As the Jade Emperor began to count down the number of animals that had finished the race, the Pig snorted loudly, ‘I am here…oink oink…’ When all the animals lined up, the Cat came and asked the Jade Emperor what position he was. The Jade Emperor told him that all the twelve positions had been filled already. The Cat was furious and yelled at the Rat, ‘I will never forgive you!’ That is why the rat is always afraid of the cat and only comes out at night.”


Annual reunion dinner & fair on the Chinese New Year's Eve 團年飯

The annual reunion dinner (Chinese: , Cantonese: tyun4 nin4 faan6) is a major custom of the Spring Festival. Amid the mirth, all family members come together to have a meal. The meal is similar to Thanksgiving dinner in the United States. The venue of the dinner is typically at the home of the elder family members. The total number of dishes is eight (Chinese: , Cantonese: baat3) due to the homophone of “wealthy” (Chinese: , Cantonese: faat3 daat6). The dishes, which are usually prepared by the female family members, are sumptuous. Certain dishes have symbolic meanings:


Symbolic meaning



Surplus, symbolic of the plenty left over from year to year (Chinese: ’ ’, Cantonese: nin4 nin4 yau5 ‘yu4’)

年年有 餘

After the big feast and ancestor worship, some of them go to the Lunar New Year Fair. The biggest market is found at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. The fair is an open-air market, selling trinkets, flowers, food, clothes, and small electrical appliances. Doing New Year's shopping is a common practice, not only buying new clothes and shoes, but flowers (e.g. narcissus, azaleas, orchid mandarin orange and beach blossoms). Flowers are symbols of growth and plenty. Some people believe that if a flower blooms on New Year’s Day, it is a sign that the year ahead will be a good one.Certain plants have symbolic meanings:

Common Name in Chinese


Wealth, as it looks like an ingot (the currency made in gold/silver in ancient China)

Floral Décor

Nian Gao

To get taller or a promotion, as it sounds like high (Chinese: , Cantonese: gou1).






Lily Gladiolus Narcissus

百合 劍蘭 水仙

Everything goes well

Moth Orchid


Pomelos Sweet rice ball

Tangerine Chicken Fried melon seeds (in red/ white/black color)

The reunion of the whole family, due to the round shape

Good fortune, because of the homophone of “luck” (Chinese: , Cantonese: gat1 cheung4)


More money / children, as it is pronounced similarly to "much money' (Chinese: , Cantonese: do1 chin2) & 'much children' (Chinese: , Cantonese: do1 ji2)

多錢 多子

Remarks: People seldom call this name, but they call it as 'grab the silver' (Chinese: , Cantonese: wa2 ngan2) instead


Lobster Shrimp

Happiness, as it sounds the same as “laugh” (Chinese: , Cantonese: ha1).

Symbolic Meaning Healthy & Safe

Happiness comes

Peach Blossom


romance enhancer, boost revenue if running a business

Pussy Willow


Silver at home

Solanum Mammosum


Longevity for the family

Customs & Taboos- Preparation Thorough cleaning Ya Sui Qian (壓歲錢) Preparations for Chinese New Year begin early, with the house being thoroughly cleaned in readiness. People say ‘Twenty-eighth day wash the dirt away!’ To be spotless for the coming year, it is important to clean and scrub the home before the new year arrives. All the cleanup will be done two days before the new year. During the Chinese New Year, people do not clean the house. They believe all the wealth that the gods have brought for the new year will be swept away. People may get their hair cut and do the facial treatment before the new year. During the Chinese New Year, people do not cut their hair because cutting hair implies cutting the luck.

Red & gold decorations After the house is clean, some people put up special New Year’s decorations. The dominant colors of decorations are red which symbolizes happiness & good luck, and gold symbolizing prosperity. Red paper door god(s) are/is stuck on the door for protection, and paper cut-outs decorate the walls and windows for good luck. Two-line poems (called Spring couplets), written on red paper, may be hung side by side at the gate to protect the home. The doorway is surrounded by hopeful messages on red paper; peace, wealth, a long life, many children and power. Also, people carry lanterns because they hope the lanterns would help bring out the light and warmth of spring.

& red pockets

According to Chinese folklore, there was an evil spirit named Sui (Chinese: , Cantonese: Seui3). It came on the eve of the new year and rubbed the heads of the children. Any child that had unfortunately been selected by Sui would suddenly suffer a fatal fever. Few survivors became mentally handicapped. Thus, most of the parents didn’t sleep, instead looking after their children. One night, a couple innovated a solution by placing a total of eight copper coins with a red paper underneath the pillow while their child slept. When Sui came and tried to touch the child’s head, the coins flashed and scared Sui away. Since then, it has become a custom to put Ya Sui Qian (Chinese : , Cantonese: aat3 seoi3 cin4) on the year’s eve to ward off evil spirits and to usher in a better year for the child. Married couples would prepare the red pockets (also known as 'lai see' and red envelopes) to distribute during Chinese New Year.


Customs & Taboos- During Chinese New Year Wearing new clothes / shoes

Lion / Dragon dances

People also buy new clothes and shoes because Chinese believe New Year is a time for new beginnings. That’s the reason why you can see the consumption atmosphere is enthusiastic. On the first day of the New Year, children wake up and greet their parents with New Year’s wishes. People put on their new clothes, mostly in red color. The eldership blame someone wearing colors associated with funerals: white, black, or dark blue, or colors associated with monks and nuns: brown and grey. Colors symbolizing good luck should be worn: especially red; also gold, pink, yellow, orange or purple. Also, breaking things, using knives/ scissors, books, clocks and washing hair are taboos during Chinese New Year.

Two fabulous animals are associated with Chinese New Year; the dragon and the lion. Both are symbols of good luck for the New Year. The lion has huge head and lots of teeth, but the eyes are left blank before the ceremony. There is a kickoff to dot the eyes of the lion, which is said to ‘awaken’ him. When the dancers practice started, the sound was tremendous. Drums banged and cymbals clashed. The lion’s head was lifted up and the first dancers put it on and began to dance. Inside the model are two or more dancers or acrobats. The person at the dragon’s / lion’s head can pull straps and push buttons to make the eyes flash and blink and its mouth open wide. Shops and village offices place red pocket envois inside a cabbage or lettuce and dangle this in an awkward position. It is part of the object of the dance to see how dexterously the lion is able to extract it. The lion ‘swallows’ the pun then spits out the greenery and keeps the money.

New Year greetings & visits People may visit relatives and friends, bringing gifts and good wishes. They shake their fist enclosed in another hand and say, ‘kung hay fat choy’( ) . This New Year’s greeting means ‘wishing you good fortune and wealth.’ Children are passionate to clasp their hands and say auspicious wordings. The hands show that they greet people with good wishes for the future. All the children, including unmarried grown-up children, receive red pockets containing money. The Chinese New Year holiday in Hong Kong lasts for 3 days, some people go overseas during this long vacation. However, most of them think it is a time to visit family and friends. People exchange traditional offerings of fruits and gifts (e.g. cookies, sweet). Whereas, the host presents a Chinese candy box and asks the guest to 'grab the silver'.


Dragon, which is a symbol of strength, is not a real animal in the world. Long time ago, the people of China lived in different tribes. Each tribe had a different animal to symbolize dragon’s strengths. Later, when the tribes joined together, the people brainstormed and described the parts of the Dragon. It is said that the dragon has eyes of a rabbit, head of a camel, horns of a deer, ears of an ox, body of a snake, scales of a carp, whiskers of a catfish, claws of a hawk and feet of a tiger. It is different from the lion; the dragon need not be fed. Once he is wakened, he dances playfully guided by a ball symbolizing a pearl.

Taboos of the Chinese New Year Festival FEELS AUTHENTIC



If you visit a hospital or take medicine,you may get sick continuously in the coming year

traditionally, eating congree as breakfast on the first day implies poverty. Chinese people believe eating porridge for breakfast is only for the pauper.

DO NOT SWEEP OR TAKE OUT YOUR GARBAGE it is believed you're sweeping away wealth and good fortune for the year

DO NOT WASH CLOTHES OR HAIR Washing or cutting away your hair symbolizes you driving away your earnings and luck.

DO NOT SAY UNLUCKY WORDS AND CRY Chinese believe auspicious words and happiness may attract good luck to the person for the whole year, and vice versa

NO BLACK OR WHITE CLOTHES in Chinese tradition, black and white clothes are usually worn only for funerals.

DO NOT BREAK DISHES DO NOT DO NEEDLEWORK sharp things imply “breaking.” Chinese believe they will break one's relationship

breaking things (i.e. bowl, plate) may result in losses or family rifts in the future

DO NOT LEND OR BORROW MONEY if you want to live the year debt-free, then you should avoid borrowing money or lending anyone money on the first day of the Chinese New Year

Prohibition & Rumour of Red mouth

Firecrackers and fireworks Firecrackers bring joy and laughter now. But in ancient times, people believe that the loud bangs and flashes of light of the fireworks and firecrackers could frighten away Nian and devils. The first firecrackers were made by Bamboo. It is a type of tree, and the sticks the form the tree’s trunk burst open with a bang when they burn. The stems are hollow inside; When the bamboo is lit, the air inside the stems expands. The pressure is so great, the bamboo suddenly splits open with a loud crack! Nowadays, firecrackers are made with cardboard and chemicals, is prohibited in Hong Kong due to the safety concern.

Red mouth (on the 3rd day of Chinese New Year)


People will not visit friends on that day because it’s bound to end up in an argument. Instead, people visit temple for paying respects and give to the Gods and Goddesses from whom one sought protection at the beginning of last year. Sometime, they do hiking on that day. On the other hand, The Hong Kong Jockey Club organizes horse racing on that day.

No matter how this holiday is celebrated, all celebrations have common characteristics: new and red things, grand banquet, bustling with noise, and the most important, spending time with family and friends, are all part of this holiday. This is a warm, lively holiday full of good wishes. Are you ready to join the crowds to say ‘kung hay fat choy’ and welcome the Lunar New Year? Travel tips: Most government offices, banks and public utilities will be closed for the Chinese New Year public holidays in Hong Kong. However, most shops and restaurants in the busiest districts (Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay) will remain open. Those may charge an extra 20-30% for service. Some shopping malls may even extend their service hours. Major attractions, theme parks and public transport will operate as usual. Street markets and stalls will usually close on the first and second day of the Chinese New Year (12-13 February 2021) and resume business from the third day (14 February 2021). BUZZPACKER




Airport Express

Operation Hours

5:54 am 0:48 am

Time Fare


21m A. Official website:


Bus #A21

Free airport express shuttle bus (route #K3)

7:50 am8:50 pm

ACCOMODATION Top-rated Hostel in the area


-Hot PickTo Hung Hom Station

5:30 am – 0:00 midnight (outside operating hrs # N21)

Normal lines, involves 2 interchange stations

5:54 am - 0:16 am






HK$ 70 (Octopus: HK$ 65)

HK$ 100 ( single journey )

HK$ 185 ( round trip )

B. Travel agent discount


10 mins

Name of Hostel 30mins

Route details:


Airport (Terminal 1 , L5 Airport Express Station)

1. Airport --> Tsing Yi Kowloon Station Airport (Interchange: (Exit B, G/F) (Ground platform 2, to Hong Kong) Transportation Centre) 2. Tsing Yi --> Lai King (Interchange: platform 4, to Hong Kong)


5 11

Kowloon Station

Stop 1: Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong

Stop 14: Cameron Road

: Just As Inn

10 mins

8-20 mins

3. Lai King --> Tsim Sha Tsui (Interchange: platform 2, to Central)

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Check in : 2 pm Check out: 11 am Tel : (+852) 2366 8972 Budget : ~HK$ 140/night


day 1


doing spring festival shopping as a local


9:00 am

Locals Recommend


Name in English

Kung Fu Dim Sum


Name in Chinese




Shop 4, 3/F, 20-22 Granville Promenade Level, Tower 2, Road, Tsim Sha Tsui China Hong Kong City, (around 6 mins walk 33 Canton Road, from the hostel) Tsim Sha Tsui (around 9 mins walk from the hostel)

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

11:30 am- 10:30 pm

Sat & Sun: Off




One Dim Sum

一點心 G/F, 209A-209B Tung Choi Street, Prince Edward (near exit A of Prince Edward MTR station)

Mon-Fri: 10:00 am - 0:00 midnight Sat & Sun: 9:00 am -0:00 midnight

HK $100-200

HK $50-100

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Coffee Break Hay Fever Floral & Gifts Address

: G/F, 62-64 Flower Market Road, Mongkok

Opening hours : 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Budget


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SHOPPING PARADISE As a world-famous shopping paradise and culinary capital, from glamorous malls to open-air street markets, Hong Kong lays its claim as Asia's top shopping destination. Ladies' Market and Temple Street Night Market are bustling, cacophonous bazaar dotted with restaurants, performers and street vendors. Aside from offering a wide array of wares, these marketplaces are also great fro practicing your haggling, which adds even more fun to your retail experience. When you’re done with souvenir shopping, head to the north end of the Temple Street Night Market, where a cluster of fortune-telling booths await to unveil what the future has in store for you. While the city boasts no shortage of huge shopping malls, some of the best buys are actually found along the city's numerous famed shopping streets. These street-level bazaars have become synonymous with particular types of products, where you may experience the city's vibrant local culture. Apliu Street is packed with vendors that sell a plethora of new and used devices, ranging from audio-visual equipment to the latest game consoles, vintage typewriters and parts for old kitchen appliances. Help your customers choose wisely and avoid dishonest merchants.

The Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme lets you easily find retail shops, restaurants and visitor accommodation that could be trust. The scheme administered by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. The retail shops, restaurants and accommodation under the Scheme must pass stringent annual assessments showing that they meet high standards of product quality and service. For example, they must provide clearly displayed prices and information clearly. In the meantime, they should ensure superb customer service. You may find the retail shops under QTS Scheme here.

10:00 am FLOWER MARKETS As the Chinese New Year approaches, incredible Chinese New Yearthemed decorations and displays have started popping up all around Hong Kong. Going to the Lunar New Year Fair stalls to do Spring Festival shopping and buy the Chinese New Year flower decoration is one of the traditions and customs for Chinese. Many people like to decorate their houses with Chinese New Year floral during Spring Festival; they hope to add some festive delight to their homes as well as bringing back happiness and peace with auspicious symbolic meaning Chinese New Year flowers. To buy spring festival flowers for Chinese New Year, locals like to visit the flower market in Prince Edward. One reason is many flower shops were assembled at that area with a lot of varieties; and with the same budget. Welcome the new year like a local with a visit to a flower market and be dazzled by the riotous colours and aromas of orchids and other favourite blooms, plus endless inventive offerings from enthusiastic stallholders. Business Hours: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Location: Flower Market Road and Prince Edward Road West

3:00 pm

BIRD GARDEN popular haunt for songbird supporters, the visually engaging Yuen Po Street Bird Garden is designed in the style of a traditional Chinese garden. The park has dozens of stalls selling exotic birds, beautifully crafted bamboo cages, porcelain water dishes and other bird-care paraphernalia.

(Click here to view the route)

(Click here to view the route)

6:00 pm


Hong Kong Style Chaan Tang Chinese Name: Address


: G/F, 16 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang

Opening hours : Mon to Sun : 12:00am ~03:00pm 06:00pm ~ 10:00 pm



8:00 pm

NIGHT TIME: LUNAR NEW YEAR FAIRS Not many people go to bed on New Year’s Eve. The street buzz with happy people, young and old alike.

WONG TAI SIN TEMPLE Time: sharply 1100 pm of 4 February Venue: 2 Chuk Yuen Village, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon Admission: Free admission


How to get there: MTR Wong Tai Sin Station, Exit B2, walk for about three minutes.

Time: Midnight to 8am on the following day

For the sincere Buddhist and Taoist believers, instead of going

Venue: 1 Hing Fat Street, Causeway

offering the first incense sticks. Worshippers wait for a few

to the fair, they visit Wong Tai Sin Temple to strive for

Bay, Hong Kong Island

hours outside the Wong Tai Sin Temple, and then they rush into the main altar so that, once the new year starts, they can offer Wong Tai Sin their glowing incense sticks. There is a

Admission: Free admission

belief that the first person to offer the incense will attract a special kind of good luck throughout the entire year ahead.

How to get there: MTR Tin Hau Station,

Some people wear zodiac animal-themed clothing, helmets,

Exit A2, walk for about ten minutes.

and goggles to protect themselves from the lighted incense.

Floor Plan

12:00 am

MIDNIGHT EVENT: FIRST LUNAR NEW YEAR INCENSE OFFERING The Temple closes during the afternoon today and re-opens at 11 pm, the first hour named jee see ( ), in Chinese timekeeping.


Route of incense offering




day 2

Day 1 of 1st Moon

Activities of the First Day of the Chinese New Year

年生貴子 出入平安


give birth to a child

sang1 gwai3 ji2

cheut1 yap6 ping4 on1


maan6 si6 sing3 yi3


sang1 yi3 hing1 lung4

safe wherever you go wish success in every endeavors

thriving and prosperous business

In light of the myth of the Spring Festival, ancient practices

Then, married couples present pairs of red pockets to those who are

involving burning bamboo, lighting firecrackers, and setting off

unmarried. Red pockets are also known as red envelopes or lai see

fireworks are aimed at scaring Nian away. People wear new clothes,


new shoes, and don new haircuts—all symbolizing a fresh start. In

money, which typically varies from a few dollars to several hundred.

consideration of color, red is believed to be the nemesis of evil,

Common practice is to put a twenty-dollar banknote. The amount

whereas gold is symbolic of wealth.

kept inside the red pockets should be an even number, since odd

利是 / 利事 , Cantonese: lei6

si6). These red pockets contain

numbers are associated with the cash amount given at funerals. Buddhists advocate vegetarianism on this day, as they don’t want to kill animals or even cook. They believe lighting fires and making use of knives may cause bad luck, so the villagers prepare all the food

四 , Cantonese: sei3) will never be used due to its homophone of “death” (Chinese: 死 , Cantonese: Moreover, the number four (Chinese:

sei2). It's customary to ensure the bills used are brand-new printed

money, and as a matter of fact, everything concerning Chinese New

before the Spring Festival.

Year must be new. This is believed to bring one good luck and The first day of the Chinese New Year, most importantly, is the day

fortune. In business, owners or supervisors may give red pockets to

of deities of heaven worship and the expression of respect to elder

their staff/subordinates for smooth sailing in the coming year.

family members. Thus, descendant family members pay a visit to the oldest house. All the relatives gather on the premises, greet by

To those married, people buy gifts packed in red wrapping paper for

shaking their fist enclosed in the other’s hand, and say benediction.


There are some common greetings:

presented as gifts. Such taboos are outlined below:


恭喜發財 身體健康 青春常駐

Pronounce in Cantonese gung1 hei2 faat3 san1



Symbolic Meaning coi4 hong1

ching1 cheun1 seung4 jyu3

congratulations and be prosperous








items associated with funerals (i.e. clocks, chrysanthemums, towels, handkerchiefs, items colored white or black) umbrellas, pears, fans, and sharp objects (knives and scissors) symbolizing relationship breakdown, green hats, implying a cuckold

good health lasting youthfulness and every amiability in life


When you stroll around, some big shopping malls induce Caishen (Chinese:


Cantonese: choi4

dispatching red pockets and saying Kung Hei Fat Choy to people. You may also see the installation of plum blossom pillars for the lion dance.





san4 ), the God of Wealth,



performed throughout the city. Most of the performers are Kung Fu school apprentices. Before it starts, the eyes of the lion/dragon will be dotted by VIPs for waking the lion/dragon up. The lion is led by a big-headed buddha holding a large palm-leaf fan. This palm-leaf fan involves a legend too.

Mirror Reflecting the bad energy , and the evil would be frighten by their own apperarenc

The large , blinking eyes make it easier to see the evils.

“Once upon a time, a lion was kept by a monk. One day, it escaped. The monk rushed out the temple with a large palm-leaf fan, as he thought the lion would rot and die once it touched the fan. When the monk got to the village, the lion saw the fan at the far end of the street.












These customs are preserved in modern practice. When the lion is searching around for food, people (especially retail shops) bundle a red pocket with Chinese lettuce and hang it at the entrance. Once the lion discovers it, it dances and jumps dexterously to get it. This practice is known as “plucking the greens” (Chinese:



Cantonese: choi2 ching1). It is not only for the Spring Festival, but also when a new shop opens or when moving into a new house, as it symbolizes good luck.

Plucking the greens Red pocket with Chinese lettuce It signifies the prosperity in the coming year.

The monk The monk is taking a palm-leaf to guide the lion . The lion is afraid of the leaf as it thinks it would rot and die once it touched the fan. Nowadays , the monk and lion appear together for the celebration.


day 2 Itinerary

Feng shui enthusiasts may notice structures representing the five geomantic elements: the Bronze Pavilion (metal); the Archives Hall (wood); the Yuk Yik Fountain (water); the Yue Heung Shrine (fire), where the Buddha of the Lighting Lamp is worshipped; and the Earth Wall (earth). Other areas of the complex include the Three Saints Hall, the Confucian Hall and the extravagantly colourful Good Wish Garden


that is lavishly decorated with chinoiserie.

(if you had been there last night, you may sleep late this morning) Try the free foutune telling stick and Check Temple is full of worshippers. It takes around 40 minutes to get inside.

your result here!

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple’s claim to ‘make every wish come true upon request’ might have something to do with its popularity. They are eager to figure out their future by asking fortune sticks. Each number of the sticks represents different fortune. The way the sticks fall shows the kind of luck the person will have. Moreover, Bye Tye Soy (

拜 太 歲 ) is the practice of Chinese New Year.

Every year, people of some zodiac years offend the god Tye Soy which

will bring bad luck to those people. To avoid it, those people will visit one of the Tye Soy temples and worship. Home to three religions (Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism), its natural setting and beautifully ornamented buildings make it as much a scenic attraction as an important religious centre. The temple commemorates the famous monk of yore, Wong Tai Sin

12:00 pm


Shang Hai Cuisine Chinese Name: Address

上海婆婆 :Shop 605-606 6/F iSQUARE, 63

Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui Opening hours : Mon to Sun : 11:00am ~23:00pm

(also known as Huang Chu-ping), who was born in the Fourth century and became a deity at Heng Shan (Red Pine Hill). In 1915, Taoist priest Liang Ren-an carried a sacred portrait of Wong Tai Sin from Guangdong in southern China to Hong Kong. Now housing this precious portrait, the Wong Tai Sin Temple is where worshippers pray for good fortune through offerings, divine guidance and fortune telling.



2:00 pm



6:00 pm DINNER Deli and Wine Address

:Hong Kong Cultural Centre,

Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsiu

After having the lunch with relatives, some locals go to the cinema to watch The Lunar New Year’s Film which always makes people laugh. A

Opening hours : Mon to Fri : 08:30am ~10:00pm Sat to Sun: 09:30am~10:00pm

happy begin of the new year. You can simply UA iSQUARE Address

:No. 63 Tsim Sha Tsui, Nathan Rd, iSQUARE,

Tsim Sha Tsui

(click here to see what movies are ticketing)


Chinese New Year Night Parade The International Chinese New Year Night Parade is one of Hong Kong’s most anticipated annual events, with fantastic floats







international performers, welcoming Chinese New Year with a festive energy that is uniquely Hong Kong.



Chinese New Year Night Parade Route


Venue: Major roads in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Parade starts with an opening ceremony at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. First float and performing group will arrive at Canton Road at around 8:30pm, Haiphong Road at 8:50pm and Nathan Road at 9pm. (Click here to view the route)

How to get there: To parade route along Canton Road, Haiphong Road, Nathan Road (Free viewing): MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exits A, C, D and E. MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exits J, K, L1, L3, L5 and L6. To Spectator Stand at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui (Ticket required):

Time: 8:00 -9:45 pm

MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit L6.

(A variety of street performances will entertain the crowds

Star Ferry from either Central or Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui.

along the route from 6pm onwards) To spectator seats on Nathan Road (Tickets required): MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit K Admission: Free viewing along the streets. Admission to spectator stand: HK$480/HK$450/HK$300 per person for spectator seats at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. HK$300 per person for spectator seats on Nathan Road. Ticket sales begin on Saturday, 26 January and are available on

Note: Surrounding roads will be closed to vehicles about two hours before and after the parade. Please pay attention to government announcements in the local media.

a first-come-first-served basis at the Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centre at Star Ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui (Opening hours: 8am to 8pm daily). Each visitor will be given a number tag to purchase tickets at a designated time on the same day. (Maximum four tickets per person, per transaction.)




day 3

Day 2 of 1st Moon

Today is the birthday of Che Kung, who was a military commander in the Southern Song Dynasty (960–1279). He was famed for suppressing uprisings and plagues. At the end of the Song Dynasty, he escorted the emperor to Sai Kung. Che Kung later became respected and worshipped as a god. Local folklore claims the Che Kung Temple in Shatin was built

Activities of the Second Day of the Chinese New Year

300 years ago because he brought about an end to a plague. A slew of believers throng to the Che Kung Temple in Shatin. They hold the notion that if one spins a fan-bladed wheel of fortune and hits the

On the second day of the Spring Festival, it is a time for married daughters









daughters were not allowed to pay frequent visits to their birth families because they were required to put their full attention on their children, husband, and the family of their husband.

開 年 飯 , Cantonese: hoi1


faan6) for having a good

start to their business. Compared with the vegetarian food of the day before, the banquet features red-colored tofu, lettuce, chicken, dace, dried oysters, shrimp, squid, shiitake, scallop, duck, and fat choi








ingredients or more in layers in a large bowl. This dish is called Poon Choi (Chinese:


Cantonese: pun4 choi3) or “a big bowl

feast.” It can serve more than ten people. The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees, which are located at one of the walled villages in Tai Po, is another site people visit on this day. Chinese believe that the higher the branch the joss paper lands on, the more likely their wishes will come true. This is why, in the past, you might have seen many people write their wishes on joss paper, then throw and hang their wishes on the tree. However, in recent years, the tree almost broke, as there were too many hangings on the branches. The villagers set up wooden racks and imitation trees instead.

good luck instead. When they finish worshipping the Che Kung deity, believers will then consult fortune-tellers for securing a prediction of fortune in the year ahead. Though firecrackers and fireworks have been banned in Hong Kong due

Some traditional businessmen prepare a feast named Hoi Nin Meal (Chinese:

drum three times, it will help drive away existing bad luck and bring

to the fire hazard, the indigenous peoples in the walled villages of New Territories still launch small scale fireworks illegally. To keep with the custom, the Hong Kong government launches its own large-scale fireworks show over Victoria Harbor at 8 p.m. The spectacular fireworks are shot into the night sky over Victoria Harbor and music is played in the background in a synchronized fashion. Some people go on boat trips to get a better view and experience the shocking sense of explosion under the fireworks.

day 3 Itinerary

How to get there: Bus 63R (8:30am5:30pm) at the bus terminal nearby MTR Tai Po Market

10:00 pm



Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees Address

:Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, New Territories

Tel:+852 2638 3678 Website: lamtsuen.com A








traditionally scribbled wishes onto joss paper, then threw them with an orange at the trees. Today, the ancient trunks are protected and joss papers are tied to replicas, while the temple surrounds have a buzzy, carnival atmos enhanced by colourful floats and food stalls. Immensely popular during the New Year holiday, You are recommended to avoid peak times and allowing plenty of time to get there. Tai Po Lam Tsuen Fong Lam Tsuen, in Tai Po, was already a residential area 700 years ago

Ma Po New Year Fair

during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). Today, it still bustles with


people and visitors thanks to its two ‘wishing trees’ and Tin Hau Temple.

Time: 9:30a.m. - until completion

In the past, whenever there was a festival, villagers would throw joss paper into two trees and make wishes. They believed that the higher the

Place: Tai Po

branch the joss paper landed on, the more likely it was the wish would

Community Centre (2

come true. People from all over Hong Kong still come here in their

Heung Sze Wai Street,

droves to make wishes during festivals; however, as it’s not just local

Tai Po)

villagers hoping to try their luck in the trees anymore, measures have been introduced to protect the wishing trees from becoming buried in paper. Nowadays, wishes are made by tying joss paper to nearby wooden racks or imitation trees.


Bus return: 63R (last bus: 6:30 pm)


This temple located in the Tai Wai area of Sha Tin honours Che Kung, a

3:00 pm


Che Kung Temple

military commander of the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279) whose advantageous power for suppressing uprisings and plagues made him a household name. In popular folklore, it’s said that Che Kung escorted the Song dynasty’s last emperor on his escape to Sai Kung in what is now called the New Territories. His achievements led to him eventually becoming revered as a god. The original temple was built here around 300 years ago in a desperate move to stop an epidemic that was spreading across the Sha Tin area. According to legend, the epidemic began to subside on the day construction was completed. The structure you see today was erected in 1993 to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers during Che Kung’s festival, which happens on the second day of the Chinese New


:Che Kung Miu Road, Tai Wai, New Territories

Opening hours: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Tel:+852 2697 2660 Website:www.ctc.org.hk How to get there: MTR Che Kung Temple Station Exit B, follow the signs and walk for around 10 minutes.

Year. A giant statue of Che Kung can be found at the altar in the main worship hall, while the main altar is also flanked by a huge drum and bell. Next to this is a fan-bladed wheel of fortune, which, the faithful believe, will bring good luck when spun three times. Fortune tellers often gather to ply their trade at the left of the entrance.


Background: Former Song dynasty (960–1279) military commander Che

Victoria Harbour

Kung has quite the catalogue of skills under his belt. He was famed for being able to suppress uprisings and plagues, and is also believed to have accompanied the last Song dynasty emperor to Sai Kung in what’s now the New Territories. He later became revered as a god. And it is believed his luck rubs off: in Sha Tin, local folklore says construction of a Che Kung Temple 300 years ago ended a plague that was devastating the area. The temple is also conveniently located for people attending the Sha Tin Racecourse, as Che Kung is also popular with gamblers). On his birthday, Che Kung temples are crowded with devotees hoping to

Although it was a long wait, you are suggested to get to either side of the harbour early in order to have a good angle of the fantastic fireworks display. The fireworks soared into the sky in time with the music. While the crowd cheered and clapped. It was a fantastic

catch him in a good mood. Around 100,000 people visit the Che Kung


Temple in Sha Tin on this day, where they turn fan-bladed wheels and

How to get there:

beat a drum to pray for good fortune in the coming year.

MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit A1, follow the


signs and walk for around 10 minutes.


day 4 10:00 pm

LUNAR DATE Day 3 of 1st Moon

Here they preserve the oldest and traditional fishing village culture. Just come and feel the new year in another way!


AIA Great European Carnival


Cheung Chau Address

:Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

click here to view the map

The third day of the Chinese New Year is called red mouth (Chinese: , Cantonese: chek3 hau2). It is also known as Red Dog Day. In the legend, the Red Dog is the God of Blazing Wrath, who is associated with bad luck. Red refers to a red flush that spreads from face to neck in Chinese culture. It is seen as an unlucky day to either go visiting or invite guests, as visiting causes arguments. Rural villagers uphold the customary act of burning paper offerings over trash fires.


It’s a time for locals to take rest after the dense three-day activities. Some people go hiking, horseracing, pray for good fortune at a temple, or watch the Chinese New Year film. Cheung Chau is a beautiful island of Hong Kong with long cultural history. Aside annual explosion like Bun Festival fun, Cheung Chau’s temples, seafood restaurants, beaches and even a pirate’s hideout, we have a very unique atmosphere during Lunar New Year here. When finishing the family and temple visiting in the first three days, people go out to have a relax holiday in the island.


Address: Central Harbourfront Event Space9 Lung Wo RoadCentral click here to view the map

Buy Ticket

There is still time to catch the AIA Great European Carnival in Central – one of the highlights of winter in Hong Kong. Highquality carnival games and rides are perfect for kids or even just as enjoyable for adults (there’s draft beer, too!).


Destiny of Ox

Just as the ox is a symbol of diligence, conservatism, responsibility, and stubbornness, so are the people born in this year. They value responsibility to their families and friends. When they choose a partner, they will not marry for romantic reasons but for logic. They are kind and compassionate, but unfortunately, they are usually cheated because they too easily trust people. They also excel as businessmen or -women, due to their superior intelligence and logical approach. The ox is most compatible with the rat, but should avoid the goat. Lucky numbers : 0, 5 Ill-starred numbers : 3, 8 Lucky color : yellow Unfortunate colors : green and blue Suitable jobs : agriculture and livestock, real estate, consultant, pharmacy Unfit job : teacher Some famous oxen : Napoleon Bonaparte, Charlie Chaplin, Princess Diana





Bus #A21


-Hot PickTransport

Operation Hours Time Fare

Free airport express shuttle bus (route #K3)

Airport Express

6:15 am11:00 pm

5:53 am 0:52 am




Normal lines, involves 3 interchange stations

To Airport

5:15 am – 12 midnight

5:54 am - 0:27 am




HK$ 70 (Octopus: HK$ 65)

8-30 mins

10 mins

Official website: HK$ 100 ( single journey ) HK$ 185 ( round trip )

Travel agent: HK$ 50 (single journey)


15 mins

10 mins

Route details:


Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong

Kowloon Station (Level L2)

Haiphong Road


Tsim Sha Tsui --> Lai King (Interchange: platform 1, to Tsuen Wan)

2. Lai King --> Tsing Yi (Interchange: platform 3, to Tung Chung)

3. Tsing Yi --> Airport


Kowloon Station



(Interchange: platform 1, to AsiaWorld-Expo)

(Ground Transportation Centre)


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