CHINESE NEW YEAR 2015 (The Year of the Sheep) 

Chief Executive of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, CY Leung and Mrs Leung, delivered a Lunar New Year's message from Government House on 18th February 2015 wishing everyone good health, great happiness and a harmonious family life

Detailed below is information which visitors may find useful in relation to events, tourist attractions, public transport, shopping, museums, public libraries, leisure venues and postal services during the Chinese New Year period.



The grand finale of last year's Chinese New Year Night Parade was the HKTB float “New Year Party @ World City”, a bejewelled carnival train, symbolising the beginning of a vibrant and joyous journey in Hong Kong. Image: Hong Kong Tourism Board



The Hong Kong “king” and “queen” of clowns, both champions in the World Clown Competition, were joined by local professional clowns to entertain spectators along last year's parade route. Image: Hong Kong Tourism Board
 

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Hong Kong for the Year of the Sheep run from 13th February 2015 to 5th March 2015. Special events include;

LUNAR NEW YEAR FAIR (FLOWER MARKETS) of which the largest and most popular are at Victoria Park, Causeway Bay and Fa Hui Park, Mongkok. About half the stalls at these fairs sell colourful flowers and plants, whilst other stalls sell decorations, foods and gadgets. The fairs operate from 13th to 18th February 2015 from noon to midnight each day and until about 5am on Lunar New Year's Day, 19th February 2015. Admission is free. Shops at the year-round Mong Kok flower market, a popular tourist attraction at Prince Edward Road West and Flower Market Road open 24 hours a day on the two days immediately before Lunar New Year's Day.

CATHAY PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL CHINESE NEW YEAR NIGHT PARADE on Chinese New Year's Day, 19th February 2015, the highlight of Lunar New Year's celebrations, takes place through the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, starting at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza at 8pm then passing Star Ferry Pier Bus Terminus then travelling along Canton Road, Haiphong Road, Nathan Road and Salisbury Road before arriving at the finish at Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers at about 9-45pm, with the last float reaching the finish at about 10-30pm. The Night Parade, first held in 1996, is sponsored by Cathay Pacific for the 17th consecutive year. The parade features thirteen elaborately decorated themed floats with colourful lighting, international performing groups from France, Russia, Korea, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, The Philippines, USA, Taiwan and St Lucia as well as eleven local performing groups, and twelve street performing groups with thousands of musicians in marching bands, cheerleaders, costumed characters, traditional cultural performances, dances and dragon and lion dancers. Prior to the parade, starting from 6-30pm, spectators along the route will be entertained a line-up of performers, including jugglers, dancers, cosplayers and a marching band. 

In order to allow more spectators to view the parade there are no spectator stands along the route, other than at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, where the parade starts. Sound and lighting effects for the parade have been enhanced since 2013.

There will be two performance zones along the parade route, both being near the start of the parade at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza and on Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade near the Clock Tower.  

Viewing along the parade route is free and the parade is expected to be watched by about 150,000 spectators. Paid seating is available in spectator stands at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. Approximately 2,700 seats are available in the spectator stands. Tickets, priced at HK$300, HK$450 and HK$480, are on sale on a first-come, first-served basis (maximum 4 tickets per person) from Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centre at Star Ferry Pier Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui from 8am on Saturday 7th February 2015. HKTB Visitor Centre is open from 8am to 8pm daily. However, it should be noted that tickets usually sell out on the first day of ticket sales. 


Spectator stands open for ticket holders at 7pm. 

Standing spectator viewing areas are along Canton Road, Haiphong Road and Nathan Road (marked in yellow on the above map). Best vantage points are the area in the vicinity of Gateway Hong Kong Hotel, Harbour City on Canton Road and the section of Nathan Road between its junctions with Mody Road and Middle Road (outside Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong Hotel and Chungking Mansions).

There will be road closures and special traffic and transport arrangements in Kowloon to facilitate the holding of the parade and details can be found below under "SPECIAL TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS".

From 20th February 2015 until 1st March 2015 some of the floats from the parade will be put on display at the Lam Tsuen Wishing Square during the Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival (see below) and various venues in Hong Kong to allow the public an opportunity to see the floats close-up (further details to be advised). 


HONG KONG WELL-WISHING FESTIVAL 2015 takes place during 10th to 23rd February at Lam Tsuen near Tai Po in the New Territories. This is the location of the famous Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees where visitors can make a wish and enjoy the festivities. The festival will include;

International Float Exhibition - a display of some of the floats from the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade (see above).

Food Carnival with local snacks, seafood specialities and traditional Hakka food.

Lantern Lighting ceremonies to celebrate new born babies

Traditional Joss Paper throwing. Wishes are written on small placards which are attached to oranges and tossed into a wishing tree. According to tradition only wishes which hang on the branches without falling off come true.

Wishing Lanterns Lighting Ceremony. Based on traditional custom, people write their wishes on wishing lanterns and float them onto a wishing pool hoping for best fortune in the forth-coming years.

Dawn Market, every Saturday and Sunday with home grown agricultural products for sale

Wish Locks. To symbolize a love commitment towards each other, lovers write their names on padlocks which are affixed to fences or bridges in Europe, Japan, Korea and many other countries. Lam Tsuen Wishing Square presents wooden wish locks where people can write messages of love to relatives, friends and lovers.

Well-Wishing Festival Celebration Night on 5th March 2015 with meal and stage performances by Hong Kong artists.


For further details see the Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival 2015 website;

http://www.lamtsuen.com/wishingfestival2015.htm




2015 LUNAR NEW YEAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY on the second day of Chinese New Year, 20th February 2015 in the Western calendar, will take place at 8pm on Victoria Harbour between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. The spectacular event is expected to be watched by about 300,000 spectators. A total of 23,888 firing shells will be discharged from three barges in a 23-minute display consisting of nine scenes. Highlights will include the display of the Chinese character "Spring" in red in the first scene, marking the start of the Chinese New Year. The second scene will feature the red Chinese character "Goat" to symbolise an auspicious year for Hong Kong. The seventh scene will display the lucky number 8 together with the Chinese character "Harmony". The fireworks display will reach its climax in the last scene with colourful fireworks moving across the sky from east to west, to be followed by the fast and rhythmic firing of shells in vivid colours for 30 seconds, celebrating the new year.

Suitable viewing points are Tsim Sha Tsui, Hung Hom Bypass, Central District (New Central Harbourfront, Tamar Park and the area around Central Piers), Wan Chai, Mid-Levels and Causeway Bay. Spectators can tune to Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) Radio Four (FM 97.6 - 98.9) for synchronised music during the display.

For details of road closures and special traffic and transport arrangements see "SPECIAL TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS" below. 

The event is sponsored by Lee and Man Paper Manufacturing Limited.



Scene 7 will display the lucky number 8 together with the Chinese character "Harmony"

 

Scene from a previous years display


CHINESE NEW YEAR RACE DAY - On 21st February 2015, the third day of Chinese New Year racing fans can try and get the new year off to a prosperous start amidst the frenetic atmosphere of Chinese New Year Race Day at Shatin Racecourse, where an attendance of about 85,000 is expected. Admission is from 10-30am, with racing from 12-30pm to 6pm. Bona-fide tourists can obtain a Tourist Badge for HK$100 allowing entry to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Members' Enclosure. Entertainment includes a spectacular opening variety show in the parade ring with performances by popular local TV stars, a Fortune Tips Forum with a fung shui master and lion and dragon dance performances. A Lunar New Year gift of a mobile phone stand will be given free to all spectators on entry to the racecourse. In addition to normal public transport, free shuttle buses will operate to the racecourse from Ching Tak Street, Wong Tai Sin (Wong Tai Sin MTR Station Exit D2) from 10-15am to 2-45pm.

HONG KONG PULSE 3D LIGHT SHOW

Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show, organised by Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), is to be shown four times each evening from 14th February 2015 until 5th March 2015 (excluding 19th February, the first day of Chinese New Year).

Produced by Spinifex Group, a prestigious Australian overseas production team, the spectacle is created by images projected on to the façade of Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Clock Tower and is based on the theme of Hong Kong as a vibrant, cosmopolitan city, and shows how it evolved through the years into the major world city it is today through striking visuals, including uniquely local buildings. Spinifex Group’s Head of Creative, Richard Lindsay, has over 20 years’ experience in the design industry and has been involved in numerous international creative media shows, including the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, in which he collaborated with famed Chinese film director Zhang Yimou; the 2010 Shanghai World Expo; the 2010Vancouver Winter Olympics; and the 2013 edition of the Sydney Opera House light show in “Vivid Sydney”.

The show lasts about 15 minutes and takes place at 8-30pm, 9pm, 9-30pm and 10pm during the periods indicated above at the`Open Piazza, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The show features a theme song, which will be played during the show at the venue and on a number of radio channels, namely FM103.4 MHz, FM106.8 MHz, and FM107.9 MHz.

Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show made its first appearance during the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival from 29th October 2014 to 16th November 2014 and also operated during HKTB's Hong Kong WinterFest from 17th December 2014 to 29th December 2014.

Pulse 3D Light Show projected onto the façade of Hong Kong Cultural Centre returns for the Chinese New Year Period

TOURIST MARKETS;

The following tourist markets remain open throughout Chinese New Year although some shops/stalls will be closed for between one and three days or may operate reduced hours during the first three days of Chinese New Year;

Apliu Street Flea Market
Mong Kok Flower Market (7am to 7pm)
Gold Fish Market (10-30am to 10pm)
Jade Market (10am to 5pm)
Temple Street Night Market (4pm to midnight)
Ladies Market (Noon - 11-30pm)
Jardine's Bazaar and Jardine's Crescent
Li Yuen Street East and Li Yuen Street West ("The Lanes of Central")
Western Market (10am to midnight)
Stanley Market


SHOPS

Major shopping malls, department stores and shops, convenience stores and supermarkets remain open remain open throughout the Chinese New Year period. Some malls, including Times Square, will operate extended shopping hours on the first two days of Chinese New Year and all major shopping malls have festive decorations. Some shops may open later than usual on Chinese New Year's Day. However, many small local shops close on Chinese New Year's Day and some also close on the following two days. 
 



SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS - On 18th and 19th February, the nightly light and sound show "A Symphony of Lights" will take place as usual at 8pm. However there will be no background music or narration in the area outside Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Hong Kong Museum of Art in view of rehearsals for the Chinese New Year Night Parade taking place on 18th February and the parade itself on 19th February. Background music and narration will continue to be broadcast at the Avenue of Stars and in the area around Golden Bauhinia Square at Wan Chai. On 20th February, "A Symphony of Light"s will take place as usual at 8pm whilst the Lunar New Year Fireworks Display, which also commences at 8pm, takes place but there will be no Symphony of Lights background music or narration. There will, however, be live background music related to the fireworks display.



HONG KONG DISNEYLAND - Hong Kong Disneyland's Chinese New Year Celebrations include seasonal gifts, festive menus at its dining establishments and special Chinese New Year room decoration packages at its hotels.

Hong Kong Disneyland's opening hours during Chinese New Year - to be announced. 

Tickets - normal admission tickets are valid except on 21st & 22nd February 2015 (the third and fourth days of Chinese New Year) which are "Designated Days" and only Designated Day Tickets are valid for admission to the park on these days. 

During Chinese New Year on 12th February 2013, a new daily attendance record was set at Hong Kong Disneyland when 44,872 visitors visited the park.


OCEAN PARK - to be advised (opening hours during Chinese New Year in 2014 were 10-30am to 6-30pm on Chinese New Year's Eve and 10am to 9pm on each of the first four days of Chinese New Year).

Note - Ocean Park may suspend ticket sales at certain times if the attendance inside the park at any one time is near to the park's 36,600 capacity.


NGONG PING 360 - Cable car operating hours will be extended during the Chinese New Year period. From 19th February to 22nd February, operating hours are 9am to 8pm and from 23rd February operating hours are 9-30am to 6pm. In order to shorten ticketing and boarding queues additional mobile e-ticketing counters for same day tickets will be available at Tung Chung MTR Station and at the ground floor entrance to Tung Chung cable car terminal. E- vouchers for Crystal Cabin Round Trip Cable Car tickets, Ngong Ping Stage Pass, Ngong Ping Walk n Motion Pass and 360 Sky-Land-Sea Pass will be available at over 900 7-11 convenience stores throughout Hong Kong. The e-vouchers can be redeemed for tickets at the dedicated fast lane counter at the Tung Chung cable car terminal ticketing office. In addition the period for online ticket booking has been extended from 7 to 14 days prior to day of visit. Visitors who purchase Ngong Ping Stage Pass or Ngong Ping Walk n Motion Pass can book boarding times in advance of their return journey, on arrival at Ngong Ping Village, at the Ngong Ping Information Centre and return to the Ngong Ping cable car terminal at the booked time to save queuing time. Chinese New Year lion dance performances will take place at certain ties from 19th to 26th February.


LUNAR NEW YEAR CUP 2015 - South China v New York Cosmos. Hong Kong Football Association's popular Lunar New Year tournament, dating back to the 1950's takes place on the first day of Lunar New Year, 19th February 2015 at Happy Valley Stadium with 3-15pm kick off. For ticketing arrangements see;

https://www.hkfa.com/en/load_page/317 


SKY100 HONG KONG OBSERVATION DECK - normal opening hours apply (10-00 to 21-00 with last entry 20-00) except on 20th February 2015 (the second day of Chinese New Year) when opening hours are 10-00 to 17-00 with last entry at 16-00. However, on 20th February a special Lunar New Year Fireworks Display Ticket is available (whilst stocks last) at HK$248 enabling access to a fireworks viewing area of the observation deck from 18-00 to 21-00 (last entry 20-00). See website for details;

http://sky100.com.hk/en/what-is-on/special-offer/all/20150126-lunar-new-year-fireworks-display

LUNAR NEW YEAR LANTERN DISPLAYS AND CARNIVALS

The Lunar New Year lantern display "Double Happiness" is on show at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza from 12th February 2015 until 22nd March 2015 from 6pm to 11pm each day. Admission is free. With this year's theme "Double Happiness", the display showcases the traditional wedding customs of various Asian countries and regions including Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. To celebrate the Year of the Sheep, cartoon-style sheep-themed lanterns have been designed to add even greater colour to the festive display. Standing on the piazza is a lianli tree with intertwined branches spreading across two pools to form a giant gate. Pairs of decorative sheep lanterns dressed in a variety of ethnic Asian wedding costumes greet visitors in front of Asian country landmarks such as Bali's Diamond Chapel (Indonesia), Vietnam's Notre Dame Cathedral, a castle in Uzbekistan and Turkey's Galata Tower. Lantern displays also take place at North District Park, Fanling and Tung Chung Man Chung Road Park (see below).

 
Pairs of decorative sheep lanterns dressed in a variety of ethnic Asian wedding costumes at the lantern display "Double Happiness" at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza

Lunar New Year Carnivals featuring song and dance, Cantonese Opera extracts, dragon dances and Chinese folk craft demonstrations take place in various locations on the following dates;

Urban Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2015 - Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui - Carnival Night Thursday 5th March 2015, 7-30pm to 10pm. Youth Night Friday 6th March 2015, 7-30pm to 9-30pm.

New Territories East Lunar New Year Carnival 2015 - North District Park, Fanling - Carnival Night Friday 6th March 2015, 7-30pm to 10pm. Youth Night Saturday 7th March 2015, 7-30pm to 9-30pm. Lantern Display 5th to 8th March 2015 6pm to 11pm.

New Territories West Lunar New Year Carnival 2015 - Tung Chung Man Chung Road Park, Tung Chung - Carnival Night Saturday 7th March 2015 7-30pm to 10pm. Youth Night Sunday 8th March 2015 7-30pm to 9-30pm. Lantern Display 5th to 8th March 2015 6pm to 11pm.

Admission to all carnivals and lantern displays is free.

For full carnivals programmes see;

http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/eo/territoryevents/lunarnewyearlantern/lunarnewyearlantern2015.html

TEMPLES

Large numbers of worshippers are expected at temples throughout the territory during the Lunar New Year Period. At two of the busiest temples, Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple and Che Kung Temple special crowd control and traffic measures will be implemented. Details of opening hours at popular tourist temples are;

SIK SIK YUEN WONG TAI SIN TEMPLE (except the Tai Shui Yuenchen Hall) is open from 7am on Chinese New Year's Eve, 18th February 2015 until 5-30pm when it will close until 9pm. When it reopens at 9pm it will remain open throughout the night and close at 6-30pm on Chinese New Year's Day, 19th February. Visitors wishing to be present at the beginning of the Year of the Sheep will be able to wait in the space in front of the temple's main altar, which can accommodate 1,000 people, for two worshipping slots at 11pm and midnight. However, the usual areas for shaking fortune sticks, kneeling and leaving offerings will be closed. On 20th and 21st February 2015, the temple opening hours will be 7am to 6-30pm. Crowd safety management measures will be put into force from 9pm on February 18 to 7pm the following day, and daily between 7am and 7pm from February 20 to March 1 as well as March 5 to facilitate worshippers visiting the temple during the Lunar New Year period. Police will set up queuing areas at Wong Tai Sin Temple Court, Wong Tai Sin Square, and northern pavement of Lung Cheung Road. Should the temple be overcrowded, a ‘tidal flow’ system will be carried out and Police officers will direct worshippers to enter the temple in groups. Worshippers are urged to follow the advice given by Police officers and take extra care of their personal belongings as well as their young children and elderly companions and in handling joss sticks.

The Tai Shui Yuenchen Hall at Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is closed on 18th & 19th February but will open from 8am to 5pm on 20th & 21st February. 

CHE KUNG TEMPLE will open from 7am on 18th February, until to 6pm, when it will close until 11pm. The temple will reopen at 11pm and remain open until 6pm on 19th February. On 20th February the temple will open at 7am until 6pm and reopen from 11pm through to 6pm on 21st February. On 22nd February, opening hours are 7am to 5-30pm.

MAN MO TEMPLE on Hollywood Road will open at 7am on Chinese New Year's Eve, 18th February and remain open until 7pm on 19th February. On 20th and 21st February, the temple will open from 7am to 6pm.



MUSEUMS

All the following museums and venues, operated by the Hong Kong Government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will close at 5pm on Chinese New Year's Eve, 18th February 2015 and will be closed on the first two days of Chinese New Year, 19th & 20th February 2015;

Hong Kong Museum of Art
Hong Kong Museum of History
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Hong Kong Science Museum
Hong Kong Space Museum
Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum
Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence
Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware
Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
Law Uk Folk Museum
Hong Kong Railway Museum
Sam Tung Uk Museum
Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre
Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery cum Heritage Trail Visitors Centre
Hong Kong Film Archive
Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre*

* Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre will also remain closed on the third day of Chinese New Year, 21st February 2015. 



PUBLIC LIBRARIES

All public libraries will close at 5pm on Lunar New Year's Eve, Wednesday 18th February with exception of North Lamma Public Library which will close at 4-30pm and South Lamma Public Library which is always closed on Wednesdays. All public libraries will remain closed during the first three days of Chinese New Year, 19th to 21st February 2015.



VISITOR SERVICES

On 19th and 20th February 2015, the operating hours of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Visitor Hotline (852) 2508 1234 will be extended from 6pm to 9pm (services during the extended operating hours are available in Cantonese, English and Putonghua only).

During the Chinese New Year holiday, the following HKTB Visitor Centres will continue to operate normal hours;

Buffer Halls A and B, Arrivals Level, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport – 8am to 9pm daily

Lo Wu Arrival Hall, 2/F, Lo Wu Terminal Building – 8am to 4pm daily

Star Ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui – 8am to 8pm daily

The Peak Piazza – 9am to 9pm daily



PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND TRAFFIC ARRANGEMENTS

Public transport generally (MTR, buses, trams, ferries) operates to public holiday timetables, providing a greater frequency of service than on normal weekdays on many routes although a few services are suspended or frequencies reduced (mainly early morning services). Extensive road closures and traffic diversions will take place on 18th and 19th February 2015, affecting public transport on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon for the Chinese New Year Night Parade and Lunar New Year Fireworks Display. Special traffic and transport arrangements also apply in the vicinity of Mongkok and Victoria Park flower markets, Wong Tai Sin Temple and Che Kung Temple at Sha Tin, and at Lam Tsuen (wishing trees), near Tai Po, where large crowds are expected.

All MTR lines (except Airport Express, Disneyland Resort Line) and certain Light Rail routes will operate overnight on Lunar New Year’s Eve (18th February) to enable people to attend the flower markets. As weekends prior to Chinese New Year (CNY) are usually very busy for shopping and pre-CNY gatherings, MTR will operate an additional 1,661 train journeys on four consecutive weekends prior to CNY and over the holiday period. On Sundays extra services will be added on the Island Line to enable a train frequency of 3 to 3.5 minutes to be maintained for most of the day and the Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan Lines frequency will be enhanced to about 4 minutes on Sunday evenings. rains will also run more frequently on the Friday immediately prior to the Lunar New Year. For the traditional CNY fireworks display on the second night of the Lunar New Year (20th February 2015), MTR service on the Kwun Tong Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Island Line, West Island Line, Tseung Kwan O Line, Tung Chung Line and West Rail Line will be strengthened. Passengers are advised to use Octopus cards when travelling on the MTR during the CNY holidays. Single Journey Ticket users are advised to purchase two tickets at their originating station, keeping one ticket for their return journey to avoid long queues.

On the second and third days of Chinese New Year (20th and 21st February) Adult Octopus Card holders will benefit from a 50% discount on all journeys on the MTR network. Eligible passengers holding Child Octopus, Elder Octopus and Octopus with Student or Persons with Disability status will enjoy a concessionary fare of HK$1 per journey. The concessions exclude journeys on Airport Express Line, East Rail Line journeys terminating or starting at the mainland border stations of Lo Wo and Lok Ma Chau and first class travel on East Rail Line.

 

SPECIAL TRAFFIC/TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS;

Special traffic and public transport arrangements will apply for the following events;


CHINESE NEW YEAR NIGHT PARADE - Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui) - 19th February;

Special traffic and transport arrangements will be implemented in Tsim Sha Tsui to facilitate the 2015 International Chinese New Year Night Parade.

The parade will start at 8pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and travel via Canton Road, Haiphong Road, Nathan Road and Salisbury Road to the outside of Sheraton Hotel.

To make way for the parade, a series of special traffic and transport arrangements will be implemented in phases in the Tsim Sha Tsui area from 4-30pm, subject to the actual traffic and crowd conditions. The arrangements are as follows:

* Road closures and traffic diversions will be implemented in the Tsim Sha Tsui area south of Austin Road. Additional road closures may be implemented depending on the crowd situation. Motorists are advised to pay attention to traffic signs and police directions.

* Regarding public transport services, about 38 bus routes and seven green minibus routes will be temporarily diverted. The public transport operators concerned will put up notices to inform passengers of the arrangements.

* All bus stops, green minibus stands, taxi stands, roadside parking spaces and car parks affected by the road closures will be temporarily suspended.

Members of the public planning to go to the affected area should avoid driving but use public transport services as far as possible and pay attention to the arrangements for route diversions and suspension of stops. They should also plan their journey early and allow more travelling time to cater for unexpected delays. Motorists should exercise tolerance and patience in case of traffic congestion and take heed of police instructions.

The Transport Department and Police will closely monitor the traffic situation, and implement appropriate measures as necessary.

Full details of the special traffic and transport arrangements are available on the TD's website;

http://www.td.gov.hk/en/home/index.html 
 

LUNAR NEW YEAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY - Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui) and Hong Kong Island (Central & Wanchai) - 20th February;

Special traffic and transport arrangements will be implemented on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon for the Lunar New Year Fireworks Display. The arrangements will mainly include:

(A) Traffic arrangements
------------------------

Road closures and traffic diversions will be implemented in phases on Hong Kong Island from 4pm at Lower Peak Tram Station, Wan Chai, Central, the Peak and Island Eastern Corridor westbound between Victoria Park Road and Man Hong Street, and from 6pm in Tsim Sha Tsui and Jordan in Kowloon until the crowd disperses and road closures are lifted.

(B) Public transport services arrangements
------------------------------------------

(1) Bus and green minibus (GMB) services

In connection with the road closures, some bus and GMB stops will be suspended or relocated. Bus and GMB routes operating in the road closure areas will be diverted. The services of some bus routes will be strengthened.

(2) MTR services

From 6pm to 11pm, the Island Line, Tsuen Wan Line and Kwun Tong Line services will be strengthened to a three-minute headway; and Tseung Kwan O Line services will be strengthened to a four-minute headway. In addition, West Rail Line services will be strengthened to a headway of four minutes and East Rail Line services will be strengthened to a headway of three minutes from 8.30pm to 11.30pm.

(3) Tramways service

Normal holiday service will be operated and frequency of the tram service will be strengthened to meet passenger demand if necessary.

(4) Peak Tram service

The Peak Tram service will be strengthened to an eight-minute headway to meet passenger demand if necessary.

(5) Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System

The service of Central to Mid-levels Escalator and Walkway System will be extended to 2am on February 21.

(6) Cross-boundary coach services

The terminus of the cross-boundary coach services between Wan Chai and Huanggang at the Wan Chai Ferry Bus Terminus will be suspended from 6.30 pm until the road closure is lifted. The terminating point of the service will be relocated to Hennessy Road eastbound under the O’Brien Road footbridge.

(7) Ferry services

Special marine traffic controls and restrictions will be implemented in Victoria Harbour with exclusion zones for marine traffic. Between about 6-45pm and 9pm most ferry sailings between Central Piers and outlying islands and some cross-harbour routes will be cancelled or retimed. For details see;

First Ferry services between Central, Cheung Chau and Mui Wo and cross-harbour services between North Point, Kowloon City and Hung Hom;

http://www.nwff.com.hk/eng/whatsnew/?id=231 

HKKF services between Central, Yung Shue Wan, Sok Kwu Wan, Hei Ling Chau and Peng Chau;

http://www.hkkf.com.hk/index.php?op=frontend_news_detail&id=28&style=en 

Star Ferry cross-harbour service between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui will be suspended from 6-50pm until 9-15pm or later if necessary. 

 
Due to extensive road closures, the Transport Department (TD) anticipates that the traffic in the vicinity of the affected areas will be significantly congested on that day. Motorists are advised to avoid driving to the affected areas. In case of traffic congestion, motorists should exercise tolerance and patience, and follow the instructions of the Police. Members of the public who plan to go to the affected areas are advised to use public transport services.

The TD and the Police will closely monitor the traffic situation and implement appropriate measures whenever necessary. Motorists and the public are advised to stay alert to the latest traffic news on radio and television.

Full details of the special traffic and transport arrangements are available at TD's website;

http://www.td.gov.hk/en/home/index.html





Local bus operators traditionally decorate one or two buses in festive livery to celebrate Chinese New Year. Above is one of KMB's "Year of the Snake" buses from 2013


CROSS-BOUNDARY PASSENGER TRAFFIC ARRANGEMENTS

It is estimated that around 7.88 million passengers will pass through Hong Kong's sea, land and air control points during the Lunar New Year festive period (from February 17th to 25th), representing an increase of about 7.7 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Among them, about 72.4 per cent or around 5.70 million passengers will pass through land boundary control points. The number of outbound passengers using land boundary control points will reach its peak on February 17th (Tuesday) with around 362,000 passengers departing Hong Kong, while the number of inbound passengers will be at its highest on February 22nd (Sunday) with around 432,000 passengers arriving in Hong Kong.

Lo Wu will be the busiest control point and it is estimated that there will be around 2.25 million passengers, with a daily average of about 250,000 passengers, travelling via this control point during the festive period. The passenger traffic at the Lok Ma Chau, Lok Ma Chau Spur Line and Shenzhen Bay control points will also be heavy, with daily average forecasts of about 79,000, 155,000 and 114,000 passengers respectively.

To cope with the anticipated heavy traffic during the festive period, the Immigration Department has redeployed additional staff to reinforce various control points and has minimised leave for front-line officers for flexible deployment and operating extra clearance counters and kiosks. Additional security guards will also be deployed to provide crowd management support. The Immigration Department, the Police, the Customs and Excise Department and the MTR Corporation will set up a joint command centre at Lo Wu Control Point to make necessary arrangements. The Immigration Department will also establish close communication with the Mainland frontier inspection authorities. To ensure smooth passenger traffic flow, passenger conditions will be closely monitored and appropriate traffic diversion plans will be adopted when necessary.

To avoid congestion and a longer waiting time for immigration clearance than usual, the Immigration Department advises all cross-boundary passengers to plan in advance and avoid making their journeys during busy periods, and to keep track of radio and TV broadcasts on traffic conditions at various control points. The expected busy times at land boundary control points are available on the website of the Immigration Department at www.immd.gov.hk. Furthermore, Hong Kong residents and visitors may also check the estimated waiting times of all land boundary control points at any time or place via the Immigration Mobile Application (ImmD Mobile App). They can then plan their trips effectively and save time queuing up at control points. The ImmD Mobile App can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store (supports iOS version 4.3 or above) or Google Play (supports Android version 2.2 or above). The links for downloading can also be found on the Immigration Department website;

 http://www.immd.gov.hk/en/home.html.

In addition, information on public transport services to and from various control points is available on the Transport Department website at;

http://www.td.gov.hk/en/home/index.html 

The Immigration Department will upload daily passenger statistics for the above festive period on its website at for public reference (see link above). 

For travellers making their journeys to the Mainland, the Immigration Department reminds them to carry their proof of identity and valid travel documents for crossing the boundary. Hong Kong residents should also check the validity of their Home Visit Permits. Non-permanent residents must carry their valid smart identity card as well as their Document of Identity for Visa Purposes or valid travel document.

Holders of the acknowledgement receipt issued due to reported loss or replacement of their Hong Kong identity cards, or children under 11 years old who hold Hong Kong identity cards, should carry a valid travel document or Re-entry Permit.

Over 400 e-Channels have been installed at various control points. Hong Kong residents enrolled for the Express e-Channel should re-enrol if they have been issued with a new identity card. Furthermore, re-enrolment is required for Mainland visitors who have renewed their booklet-type Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao or their exit endorsement. Eligible holders of the electronic Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (e-EEP) can enrol for the e-Channel service by using their e-EEP and undergoing the enrolment process at a traditional entry counter on their first visit to Hong Kong. Eligible Mainland visitors who have renewed their e-EEP have to go through the aforesaid enrolment process again before they can use the e-Channel.

Hong Kong residents who require assistance while travelling outside Hong Kong may call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Immigration Department at (852) 1868.




POSTAL SERVICES

All post offices will be closed on the first four days of Chinese New Year from February 19th to 22nd 2015, with the exception of the General Post Office at Connaught Place, Central and Airport Post Office, which will open from February 20th to 22nd. The business hours of these two post offices will be from 9am to 5pm and 8am to 5pm respectively.

On February 19th, the first day of the Chinese New Year, one mail collection will be made for the posting boxes of the General Post Office, International Mail Centre Post Office, Kowloon Central Post Office and Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office. On February 20th and 21st, one mail collection will be made for the posting boxes of the General Post Office and Airport Post Office. On February 22nd, one mail collection will be made from street posting boxes in accordance with public holiday collection arrangements advertised on the boxes.



PUBLIC PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS

All Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) parks and playgrounds will remain open during the Lunar New Year holiday period (February 19th to 21st). Leisure Link Internet and telephone reservation services will also operate as usual throughout the holidays.




GOVERNMENT RECREATION AND SPORTS FACILITIES

Sports centres, various fee-charging land-based facilities, swimming pools and water sports centres will be closed during the first three days of the Lunar New Year, 19th February 2015 to 21st February 2015. For public convenience, some sports centres, turf pitches, squash courts, tennis courts, the archery range at Ngau Chi Wan Park, the indoor bowling greens at Island East Sports Centre, the Green Education and Resources Centre at Kowloon Park and Tuen Mun Recreation and Sports Centre will reopen on the third day of the Lunar New Year (February 21st)

Services at gazetted beaches will be suspended. Stadia and all sports grounds will be closed unless advance bookings have been made.

Holiday camps will be closed during the first three days of the Lunar New Year and lodging will not be provided on Lunar New Year's Eve, 18th February 2015.

Leisure Link booking counters at venues will not operate when the venues are closed. For venues scheduled to reopen on the third day of the Lunar New Year, their Leisure Link booking counters will also resume operation from the same day.

 

OPENING HOURS OF LCSD PERFORMANCE VENUES AND URBTIX OUTLETS DURING CHINESE NEW YEAR

February 18th (Lunar New Year's Eve);

Hong Kong Coliseum and Queen Elizabeth Stadium (including the Leisure Link Booking Office) and their URBTIX outlets will open as usual.

Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong City Hall, Ko Shan Theatre and its New Wing, Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre, Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre, Yau Ma Tei Theatre, Sha Tin Town Hall, Tsuen Wan Town Hall, North District Town Hall, Kwai Tsing Theatre, Tai Po Civic Centre, Yuen Long Theatre and Tuen Mun Town Hall and their URBTIX outlets will be closed at 5-30pm.

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza will be partially closed for rehearsal of the Chinese New Year Night Parade.

URBTIX outlets at Happy Sound Music Ltd Mong Kok Branch and Youth Square will open as usual. The outlets at the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity and the Hong Kong Arts Centre will close at 3pm, the outlets at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre and AsiaWorld-Expo will close at 4pm, and the outlets at all Tom Lee branches will be closed at 6-30pm.

February 19th (the first day of the Lunar New Year);

Hong Kong Coliseum and its URBTIX outlet will open as usual.

Ko Shan Theatre and its New Wing will open from 6pm to 11pm and the URBTIX outlet will open from 6pm to 9-30pm.

Other performance venues and their URBTIX outlets will be closed for the day.

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza will be closed from noon for rehearsal and performance of the Chinese New Year Night Parade.

URBTIX outlets at all Tom Lee branches, AsiaWorld-Expo, the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, Happy Sound Music Ltd Mong Kok Branch, the Hong Kong Arts Centre, the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre and Youth Square will be closed for the day.

February 20th (the second day of the Lunar New Year);

Hong Kong Coliseum and Hong Kong City Hall Low Block and their URBTIX outlets will open as usual. Hong Kong City Hall High Block will be closed for the day.

Hong Kong Cultural Centre will open from 2pm to 11pm and its URBTIX outlet will open from 2pm to 9-30pm. Ko Shan Theatre and its New Wing will open from 9am to 6pm and the URBTIX outlet will open from 10am to 6pm.

Other performance venues and their URBTIX outlets will be closed for the day.

URBTIX outlets at all Tom Lee branches, AsiaWorld-Expo, the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, Happy Sound Music Ltd Mong Kok Branch, the Hong Kong Arts Centre, the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre and Youth Square will be closed for the day.

February 21st (the third day of the Lunar New Year);

Hong Kong Coliseum, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong City Hall Low Block, Ko Shan Theatre and its New Wing, Sha Tin Town Hall, Tuen Mun Town Hall, Kwai Tsing Theatre and Yuen Long Theatre and their URBTIX outlets will open as usual. Hong Kong City Hall High Block will be closed for the day.

Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre will open from 6pm to 11pm but its URBTIX outlet will be closed for the day.

Other performance venues and their URBTIX outlets will be closed for the day.

URBTIX outlets at all Tom Lee branches will open as usual while the outlets at Youth Square, AsiaWorld-Expo, the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, Happy Sound Music Ltd Mong Kok Branch, the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre will be closed for the day.

February 22nd (the fourth day of the Lunar New Year);

Performance venues of the LCSD and their URBTIX outlets will resume normal opening hours.

URBTIX outlets at all Tom Lee branches, the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Happy Sound Music Ltd Mong Kok Branch and Youth Square will open as usual. The outlets at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, AsiaWorld-Expo and the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity will be closed for the day.

URBTIX Internet booking website http://ticket.urbtix.hk/internet/en_US will maintain normal service, and both the credit card telephone booking hotline 2111 5999 and the enquiry hotline 3761 6661 will maintain normal service from 10am to 8pm daily throughout the holiday period from February 18th to 22nd.