Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is the biggest celebration in the city’s calendar. Yes, we get excited about Christmas too, but CNY, Spring Festival, Lunar New Year or whatever you want to call it is the real number one occasion. This year, Hong Kong prepares to welcome the Year of the Rat on January 25. Despite only having three days of public holidays to celebrate, in CNY tradition, the festivities continue on until the 10th to 15th day of the Lunar New Year.
Whether you’re a visitor or a local staying in town for the holiday (travelling during CNY is extra expensive after all), there are tons of things to do in Hong Kong this time of year. Read on below to learn about important Chinese New Year traditions, find out where and what to eat during the festival and check out some gorgeous displays in town.
Celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong
What to do in Hong Kong according to your Chinese zodiac sign
Just like Western Astrology, each Chinese zodiac sign boasts an individual approach to life, complete with dynamic likes and dislikes. As we welcome the year of the Golden Rat in Hong Kong, we pair each zodiac sign with the perfect Hong Kong outings based on your horoscope's personality traits. Have fun! RECOMMENDED: Getting ready for Chinese New Year? Check out the best CNY displays around town, a guide to Chinese New Year fruits and flowers as well as the season's biggest traditions.
Herbal tea shops to help you detox after Chinese New Year
Turning plants into medicine to improve the body's overall wellbeing and to boost the immune system is an age-old Chinese practice that herbal tea is at the very heart of. Herbal teas are considered an integral part of the legacy of ancient Chinese wisdom, and in Hong Kong the craft was even inscribed onto the first national list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006.Despite the teamendous wealth of health benefits, for a time, Chinese tea came to be viewed as outdated by many. Recently however, the traditional tipple has experienced a resurgence in popularity as tea makers have began to refocus more on tea's relationship with health and wellbeing. These days, younger generations are creating renewed versions of the beloved beverage, designed to be more convenient in modernised packaging that promotes a hip and healthy lifestyle. So, the next time you’re looking for something to quench your thirst, maybe consider forgoing the bubble tea and going traditional! By Cara Hung. Translated by Ashlyn Chak RECOMMENDED: Onward and upward into the new year, check out what your zodiac sign says about you!
Chinese herbal teas and where to buy them
Chinese herbal teas remain as popular as ever in Hong Kong thanks to their vaunted medicinal benefits. But with peculiar names such as 24 herbs, chicken bone grass, kudzu juice and snake needle grass, it can be downright confusing knowing what you’re ordering and what the benefits might be. Worry no longer. Whether you’re looking for something to cure a cold or to soothe a sore throat, use our handy guide to help find the best bitter brew for what ails you.RECOMMENDED: If you fancy brewing tea at home, be sure to check out our guide to the best places to buy tea in Hong Kong. Or if you’re more into matcha treats, why not try one of the city’s best matcha desserts.
The best places to avoid crowds in Hong Kong
If hell is other people, Hong Kong is far from heaven. Come public holidays like National Day and Chinese New Year, the city is even more jam-packed than usual. If the heaving masses are starting to get to you, breathe and relax. As well as the far reaches of our SAR, even the centre of town has places where you can get away from people. RECOMMENDED: If you think a drink will help you calm down, try one of Hong Kong’s best bars. Or find catharsis in this list of things that make Hongkongers mad.
Things we hate about Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in Hong Kong, it’s even more popular than Christmas. It’s a great time to get together with the family while gobbling down all the tasty (but seriously fatty) food. And we even get to take some time off and enjoy a long weekend. But let’s be honest, the holiday comes with many bummers like interrogative relatives and ridiculous crowds everywhere. Here are just some of the things we’re not so keen on regarding CNY. RECOMMENDED: Make this holiday a little bit more bearable with some tasty festive treats, or take some snaps at these beautiful festive spots in town.
Hong Kong’s best Chinese New Year displays
There’s a whole host of great things to do this January, but there’s no bigger occasion than Chinese New Year. As Spring Festival approaches, incredible CNY-themed decorations and displays have started popping up all around Hong Kong, especially in shopping malls. Whether you’re into Micky Mouse or Lego, or maybe just over-the-top flower displays, here are the top places to get the best selfies this Chinese New Year. RECOMMENDED: If all the over-the-top displays and decorations bug you, you might enjoy reading about certain things we hate about Chinese New Year.
The best food and drink gifts for Chinese New Year
If there's anything that our loving Chinese parents have taught us, it's to never show up to someone's house empty-handed, especially not during Chinese New Year. But if searching for the right gift down a supermarket aisle has you feeling totally uninspired, perhaps these gorgeous nibbles might turn that frown upside down. From local brands with a homemade touch to elegant tea sets that will go perfectly with Chinese pudding, we've put together a list of food and drink gifts that will surely impress all your family and friends this Chinese New Year. RECOMMENDED: Want to be out and about during the festive holiday? Check out our ultimate guide on Hong Kong Temples, or pick up some blooms at a Chinese New Year flower market.