Travel

Celebrate Chinese New Year at nocturnal parties in Hong Kong

February 01, 2013

People buy plush toys depicting snakes in Shanghai January 23, 2013. — Reuters picPeople buy plush toys depicting snakes in Shanghai January 23, 2013. — Reuters picHONG KONG, Feb 1 — Stilt walkers from Australia, dance troupes from Bolivia, pom pom girls from the US, and a roller-skating group from Estonia are just a few examples of the entertainment that will be on hand at this year’s Chinese New Year parade in Hong Kong.

To ring in the year of the snake February 10, the annual Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade will take over the streets of Hong Kong in a nocturnal, outdoor party against the backdrop of the Victoria Harbour.

Under the umbrella theme of “happy@hongkong,” a parade of 13 colourful, illuminated floats will join a troupe of international performers including a variety show from Russia, cheerleaders from the US, a drumming band from Korea, and traditional cymbal players from China.

The nocturnal carnival will also feature the requisite traditional dragon and lion dancers, as well as roving ballerinas, hip hop dancers, and an African drum group.

The following night the city will continue the festivities with a lunar fireworks display over Victoria Harbour. For a front row seat to the show, meanwhile, cruise operators will take visitors out on the water where they will get up close to the pyrotechnics light show. Fares range from HKD220 (RM88) to HKD1,000.

The city also hosts the world’s largest permanent light and sound show every night, in which more than 40 buildings on either side of the harbour are illuminated in coloured lights, laser beams, and searchlights to a narrated, musical soundtrack that embodies five themes: awakening, energy, heritage, partnership and celebration.

The parade starts at 8pm to 9:30pm on February 10.

Tickets for a seat on the spectator stands at the parade are available for around HKD400, though viewing along the parade route is free.

The fireworks display also kicks off at 8pm the following night, February 11. — AFP/Relaxnews