As the Year of the Rat kicks off a new 12-year cycle, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is going to celebrate Chinese New Year in a brand new way – the “Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Carnival”.
Rather than simply staging the night parade on the first day of Chinese New Year, they, together with title-sponsor Cathay Pacific, have organized a carnival, that will run from the first day (25 January) all the way to the fourth day (28 January) of the Year of the Rat, which will be held at the Art Park of the West Kowloon Cultural District – also a first time for the HKTB’s Chinese New Year event.
In addition to the signature parade, the event will feature a variety of family-friendly elements for people to kick off an auspicious new year with their loved ones.
HKTB Chairman Dr YK Pang said, “The HKTB has been staging its Chinese New Year event for nearly a quarter of a century to spread happiness across the city. This year being the Year of the Rat, the leader of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, it is not only the beginning of a new cycle, but also marks the staging of the 25th edition of this signature event in Chinese New Year. This provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate the much-loved festival in a new way. While enjoying the carnival, we hope the people of Hong Kong will share the festivities with their families and friends living abroad. We will also certainly show to visitors from around the world with our fun, vibrant celebrations that Hong Kong remains an open and welcoming travel destination.”
Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Mr Ronald Lam said, “As the home carrier of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific has always sought to promote and showcase our home hub as much as possible, while also playing our part to help develop Hong Kong into a truly international city. We are delighted to once again be sponsoring this fabulous event for the 22nd year in a row as we celebrate the Chinese New Year. We hope that both the people of Hong Kong and visitors from all over the world will enjoy this spectacular carnival, and experience the rich and vibrant festive culture of this city. We look forward to another great celebration, showcasing the fun, jubilant atmosphere and energy that embodies the character of Hong Kong.”
Brand new four-day carnival pumping up festivities day and night
The four-day International Chinese New Year Carnival is free to all. Both international and local performing groups will join the daily parades along the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. Even if you miss the parades, you can enjoy their stage performances from day to night. The stimulating programmes, along with the family-friendly activities, will guarantee festival-goers a great time whenever they join the event. The three highlights of the carnival are:
A highlight of the carnival is the participation of the greatest number of international performing troupes in the event’s history. The carnival will introduce 26 international performing troupes, a record for the event, plus 22 local performing teams, adding up to over a thousand performers. On top of taking part in the parades, they will provide stage performances on roster from day to night.
The 26 international teams come from 19 countries and regions in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. Among them, 22 teams will be performing in Hong Kong for the first time, doubling the number of last year’s event. International teams that are performing in Hong Kong for the first time include India’s V. Unbeatable, which rose to international fame in reality show America’s Got Talent, will stun with their hair-raising flipping acts and captivating dances; and NBC World of Dance and HHI PH Varsity champions UPeepz and VPeepz from the Philippines will steal the spotlight with their dynamic hip hop dance moves.
Another highlight are the photo spots with giant installations and decorations. Visitors and locals can take plenty of photos against various backdrops incorporating Hong Kong’s skyline, which is especially mesmerising during sunset. Photo hotspots include festive mouse cartoon characters and a giant inflatable of the caterpillar from children’s favourite The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a picture book by American children’s literature writer Eric Carle.
And what is a carnival without food and games? The first Chinese New Year market will feature 15 booths serving food and fun workshops. Enjoy flavourful Hong Kong, American, Taiwanese and Korean snacks, including Korean fishcake skewers in soup by Kelly’s Cape Bop, a street food joint recommended by Michelin Guide Hong Kong for five years in a row. There will also be workshops on balloon twisting and face painting are available to keep children happily busy.