Chinese New Year parade held on the first day of the biggest festival and holiday in Hong Kong - Chinese New Year
- draws a crowd of 100,000, not counting those watching it on TV. Teams from both local entities and various countries are invited to participate in the parade. The type of performance vary. Some are marching bands. Some include a float and people in front to walk and wave to the crowds. Some are teams of dancers synchronized to music. Some demonstrate Chinese 'kung fu'. One thing that can always be expected: lion dance, complete with drums and symbals. After all it's Chinese New Year!
It is usually held in Tsim Sha Tsui area in the evening, starting from the HK Cultural Center, and looping through Canton Road, Haiphong Road, and Nathan Road, ending at Sheraton Hotel at the corner of Nathan Road and Salisbury Road.
Seating & Choosing a Spot
If you would like to get a good and more comfortable spot to watch it, you can get tickets for seats. They are typically HK$180 (~US$23) and up. Otherwise, you can join those lining up along the route. But beware that if you want a front-row seat - or front row 'stand', rather - be there early. In fact from our experience even 45 minutes before show time is not enough. The police typically start blocking off the streets 2 hours before, so 2 hours should guarantee you a choice of the best vantage points! A tip on choosing: look for the 'zone' signs. They're the spots where the parade performers will stop to go through their routine.
If you're arriving Hong Kong on the evening of Chinese New Year and you've booked a hotel near or on the parade route, expect complications in getting there. The whole parade route will not only be closed to automobile traffic, even getting through on foot will be a challenge. Many streets in the vicinity are also closed to automobiles - though open to pedestrians. But if you're arriving any other time, you could get a room overlooking the parade and throw your own party!