25th January 2023
Kung Hei Fat Choi or happy Chinese New Year #WednesdayWalk Community and to its founder @tattoodjay.
CNY is the most important event for Chinese people and we're done with the preparations that lasted for a half month, from cleaning the house, putting up decorations, shopping, offering prayers to ancestors, etc. It's now time for a long week of celebrations.
Of course, it isn't just Chinese people who are enjoying this special event, but also us foreign workers here in Hong Kong. This year, the beginning of the New Year falls on Sunday, the 22nd of the month, and the holiday will last until the 25th of this week. We are lucky to enjoy these 4 consecutive holidays, but Chinese residents are luckier because their work-off holiday is 2 weeks.
#HKCNYDay1: Spending 1st Day Of Lunar New Year at Tsim Sha Tsui
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Last Sunday, the 22nd, and the official first day of CNY, I visited Tsim Sha Tsui as I was hoping to catch the traditional dance that symbolizes good luck and prosperity, featuring a dragon and nine lions at the Peninsula hotel. Unfortunately, I seemed too late for it and it was done when I got there. This hotel, by the way, is one of the most luxurious hotels in HK.
This cherry blossom tree full of red decorations was one of the attractions in the hotel's lobby.
Outside of the hotel are hanging red lanterns, another auspicious thing for Chinese people that symbolizes good luck and fortune. As you walk along the streets of HK every CNY, you'll see red lanterns in all parts of different cities.
From the outside of the Peninsula, I could see the Space Museum. Can you see the semi-circle shape building? It's the Space Science And Astronomy Museum in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, it was closed for public viewing since it was a holiday. I would visit this place someday.
Tsim Sha Tsui isn't just a perfect place for luxury shopping and night gala, this is also a perfect place to visit if you want to see different Museums in HK. Another one just next to the Space Museum is the Hong Kong Museum of Art. This is the very first and main museum in HK that has several exhibitions and events.
Heading in the right direction is HK Cultural Center. It's a multi-purpose facility for leisure and cultural performances. There's an exhibition gallery too in this place, a grand studio theatre, and a concert hall.
So one can visit these three in one day on an ordinary day. There are a lot more museums and galleries in TST that are great to explore next time after the holidays.
And here comes the main attraction in TST this CNY, the different bunny lanterns in different parts along the harbor.
Along the famous Clock Tower on the water fountain are different lanterns in bunny designs.
This forty-four meters Clock Tower in red bricks and granite is one of the popular landmarks in TST and the only remnant from the original Kowloon Railway Station. Its bell tower chimed hourly from 8 in the morning until midnight. It was opened for public viewing recently but is currently closed for maintenance.
Walking a little further from the tower to the promenade are more bunny statuses in different colors.
Bunnies are indeed everywhere because along the Victoria Harbor before the Harbor City are more bunny statuses. There were small bunnies that kids can hop in, and three giant bunnies on both end sides.
I planned to wait until night as those lanterns illuminate in the dark. Besides, the symphony of lights is another attraction. The Avenue of Stars was a perfect place to have an afternoon walk along the promenade while waiting for dusk.
It offers a stunning view of the Central and outlying islands. This is also a perfect spot to watch the symphony of lights at night. It also has a wide platform which is a perfect spot for jogging and some exercises.
The night came and different lanterns on different sides of TST start to illuminate along with the lights from different buildings.
The Clock Tower
According to the information plaque, these lanterns were made by Mr. Hu Kai Hung, a master of paper crafting. These lanterns were creatively made from tissue paper and fabric, bamboo strips using the traditional methods of paper crafting. Aside from paper crafting, Mr. Hung is also fascinated with lion dance and kung fu.
And more colorful bunnies on the bridge along the promenade.
The whole place glowed in different lights that created illuminated paths in the water. This is my favorite part of staying along the waterfront at night. Despite the bustling crowd on the shore, the water scenery is relaxing, especially when watching the colorful lights' reflection in the water.
As the clock chimed at eight in the evening, people readied their phones and cameras to capture the special time for the Symphony of Lights. The photo below is just one of the screenshots from my video which will be posted one of these days.
Lights from different buildings synchronized with the music which lasted for more or less 10 minutes, and visitors along the promenade had fun jiving with the music and lights. It seemed like there was a Festival of Lights in the place.
That's how I spent the first day of the Chinese New Year. I hope you like them and I wish you a prosperous new year.
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