Living in China for a year has some amazing benefits – for example, I get to celebrate New Years twice. The western New Year in Shanghai (post to follow soon) and the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong).
Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is very spread out. In preparation of the festivities, flower markets are open the weeks leading up to, much like our Christmas markets in Austria. Sadly, as I should have expected, the market is super Chinese, meaning loud, filled to the brim with people, and selling loads of unneeded obscurities. The flower market is like any other Chinese market, with the exception of having a neat little flower section. Kim and I met up, followed the masses in the one way systems, bought an orchid for our good friend Emma, and proceeded to flee the seen soon afterwards.
On the evening of the first day of the new year, Hong Kong has a parade on the west side of Kowloon. We got there two hours early, but could just as well arrived just in time as there weren’t too many people. While the parade itself is nice and some of the carts and groups do amazing performances, poor planning and very irregular flow taint the overall experience. Some photos follow.
On the second day of the new year, another main event takes place: fireworks. After finding a prime spot on the pier on Hong Kong Island, my friends and a coordinated show of sparkling, sky-filling, so-loud-your-lungs-shake firework of 23 (!!!) minutes.
Chinese celebration is spread out over four days. The last two I spent with my host and a bunch of his friends camping on an island to the southeast of Hong Kong Island. I enjoyed a beautiful sunset and ate some delicious food. The next day we hiked around the island a bit until we had to head back to the pier to catch our ferry.