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Chinese New Year Parade in Hong Kong to be bigger than ever

The Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is the world’s largest Chinese New Year celebration; a time when locals and visitors alike mark the occasion with a unique fusion of ancient customs and up-to-the-minute fun.

The two-week celebration includes a spectacular parade, exciting fireworks, gorgeous flower markets, fast-paced sporting events and interesting themed tours.  It’s a wonderful time to visit Hong Kong.  

Celebrating the Year of the Tiger in Hong Kong 

Photo provided by the Hong Kong Tourism BoardThe celebrations to welcome the Year of the Tiger will begin on the evening of 14 February, when the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), will weave its way along a new route in Tsim Sha Tsui, selected as the “Best Value Entertainment Around the World” by the Lonely Planet Bluelist in 2007.  This parade continues to be a world-class spectacle and the highlight of Chinese New Year festivities in Hong Kong.

The arrival of the Year of the Tiger will be celebrated in the parade by a total of 40 performing groups from 14 countries and regions, and will include 14 elaborately-decorated floats, 13 international and 13 local performing troupes. Among these, 18 groups are making their debut appearance this year, including such internationally-famous teams as the Notting Hill Carnival from the UK, Morioka Sansa Odori Dance from Japan, the Arezzo Flag Wavers from Italy and the Paris Firemen from France. Also taking part will be the Dance Ensemble Siverco from Russia, the San Diego Chargers Girls and the Tropidanza groups from the USA, the Tiger Bank from Switzerland and others. There will be musicians in marching bands, energetic cheerleaders, roving costumed characters and acrobats and, of course, the friendly Tiger mascot. The music will stir the spectators, cheers will ring out, beads will be thrown and everyone involved will be dazzled and have the most memorable of times.

Photo provided by the Hong Kong Tourism BoardThis year, Festive Hong Kong 2010 will be the theme of the Parade, featuring highlights from each of the four seasons. Through a variety of performances and decorations linked to each season, the parade will showcase Hong Kong’s unique fusion of Chinese and Western festivities that are celebrated throughout the year. Lining the parade route will be giant decorations symbolizing a number of Hong Kong’s important festivals: for example, the Chinese bun representing the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, pumpkins for Halloween and Santa reminding everyone of Hong Kong’s annual Christmas celebrations.

Starting at 8 p.m., the parade will leave the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza and proceed along Canton Road, Nathan Road and other major roads in Tsim Sha Tsui, stopping at two performing zones along the route, before finally coming to a stop at the New World Centre.  Spectators who wish to be seated can choose to watch from the stands at the Cultural Centre Piazza, where tickets will cost approximately Cdn.$41 or $25. But all along the parade route spectators can enjoy everything free of charge, with brilliant street lights or the view across Victoria Harbour as the stunning backdrops to the equally dazzling parade. The new route means that, for the first time, the procession will enter renowned Nathan Road, giving ‘old-time’ spectators a novel experience and first-time visitors to the parade a spectacular and convenient location in which to enjoy the festivities.

And when it’s all over … well, it’s not all over! The HKTB is arranging for the floats to be on display and for performances by the local and international troupes to take place in Tsim Sha Tsui, Sha Tin and Tai Po from the second to the eighth day of the Lunar New Year.

For more on visiting Hong Kong, go to: www.discoverhongkong.com/canada.

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