CHINESE NEW YEAR 2016 (The Year of the Monkey)
Chief Executive of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, CY Leung and Mrs Leung (centre, third row from front) and over 40 Consuls General and performers at Government House on 7th February 2016. Mr Leung delivered a Lunar New Year message for the Year of the Monkey wishing everyone, regardless of age and nationality, a happy new year and urged all out efforts to maintain Hong Kong’s characteristics as a melting pot of Chinese and Western cultures, value traditional Chinese festivals and pass on Chinese culture and arts.
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.
Street performers entertain spectators during the 2016 Chinese New Year Night Parade. Image: Hong Kong Tourism Board
Cathay Pacific float, was one of 13 themed decorated floats in the 2016 Chinese New Year Night Parade. Image: Hong Kong Tourism Board
Chinese New Year Celebrations in Hong Kong for the Year of the Monkey run from 2nd February 2016 to 22nd February 2016.
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 2nd to 7th February 2016 from noon to midnight each day and from midnight to 6am on Lunar New Year's Day, 8th February 2016. 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, 8th February 2016, 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 18th consecutive year. The parade features thirteen elaborately decorated themed floats including floats featuring Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Hong Kong Tourism Board and Hong Kong Jockey Club, international performing groups including The Moscow Variety Show from Russia, Spark! Drummers from the UK, Sanrio Family from Japan and Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders and Blue from the USA as well as local performing groups including Future Star Dance Academy, Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association and Hong Kong Vigor Marching Band. Prior to the parade, starting from 6pm, spectators along the route will be entertained a line-up of roving performers, including movie and cartoon characters, street performing groups and local young musicians performances.
There will be two performance zones along the parade route on Canton Road and Nathan Road..
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. 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 30th January 2016. 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 9th February 2016 until 22nd February 2016 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 2016 takes place during 8th to 22nd 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 - from 9th to 22nd February from 9am to 7pm at Lam Tsuen Wishing Square - a display of eleven 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 with meal and stage performances by Hong Kong artists.
2016 LUNAR NEW YEAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY on the second day of Chinese New Year, 9th February 2016 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 of the display will include displays of the auspicious red number "8" in the first scene, "The Joyful Years", symbolising happiness, prosperity and wealth. The smiling monkey faces in the second scene, "Spirited Monkey", light up the sky, blessing the people of Hong Kong for a great Year of the Monkey. The seventh scene, "Caring Community", with the display of multi-coloured balls symbolising the diverse society of Hong Kong, shines across the harbour, while the display of red hearts shows care for others. The fireworks display reaches its climax in the last scene, "Appreciate Hong Kong", with fast and rhythmic firing of shells in vibrant colours for 30 seconds.
The display can be seen from many vantage points on both sides of the harbour, including Tsim Sha Tsui, the Mid-levels, Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, the Hung Hom Bypass and the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade.
To enhance enjoyment of the display, spectators can tune in to Radio Television Hong Kong Radio 4 (FM 97.6 to 98.9) for synchronised music.
For details of road closures and special traffic and transport arrangements see "SPECIAL TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS" below.
The event is co-ordinated by the Home Affairs Bureau and sponsored by The Chinese Manufacturers Association of Hong Kong..
The first scene "The Joyful Years"
The second scene "Spirited Monkey"
The 2016 Lunar New Year Fireworks Display was watched by an estimated 237,500 spectators in Kowloon and 52,500 spectators on Hong Kong Island.
CHINESE NEW YEAR RACE DAY - On 10th February 2016, 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 lucky ballpen and instant win card with the chance to pick up a gold plated ornament 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 10th February 2016 until 29th February 2016.
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 8-20pm, 8-45pm, 9-15pm and 9-45pm during the period 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 in October and November 2014 and also operated during HKTB's Hong Kong WinterFest in 2014 and 2015 and Summer Fun 2015 events..
Pulse 3D Light Show projected onto the façade of Hong Kong Cultural Centre returns for the Chinese New Year Period
The following tourist markets remain open throughout Chinese New Year although many shops/stalls will be closed for between one and three days and 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)
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 prior to and 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 7th and 8th 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. Background music and narration will continue to be broadcast in the area around Golden Bauhinia Square at Wan Chai. On 9th February, "A Symphony of Light" 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 - 9-30am to 8-30pm on 7th & 8th February, 9-30am to 9pm on 9th to 11th February
Tickets - Standard admission tickets are valid. Normal ticket prices apply.
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 - Ocean Park's "Lunar Lucky Fiesta" runs from 6th to 21st February 2016 and during this period the park closing time is extended to 8pm on 6th February, 9pm from 7th to 14th February and 8pm from 15th to 21st February.
Special events include an energetic tribe of monkeys performing Blissful Monkey Drum Troupe on stage at the Waterfront Plaza. The troupe will be drumming strong beats and performing with Kung-fu sticks and somersaults. A variety of Chinese New Year inspired shows will take place at various spots throughout the Park including Lucky Monkey Street Feats, Rising Fortune Lions and Dazzling Dragon Dances, spreading festive cheer. Ocean Park is also bringing back the much-anticipated fantastical ice-skating show Kaleidoscope Ice Spectacular at Applause Pavilion produced by a world-class production team. This grand circus on the ice combines a 3D projection mapping background with an art ensemble of elegant ice-skating and stunning acrobatic aerial acts choreographed by the Winter Olympic Games team. Ocean Park will receive a festive makeover, with Chinese New Year decorations throughout the park. Close to Waterfront Plaza, there will be a large mirror installation at House of New Year Fortune and a Peach Blossom Path with attractive blossoms along the trail. In Old Hong Kong, gigantic Chinese New Year decorations such as the Sichuan Golden Snub-nosed Monkey themed parade car, Fai Chun and windmills will be on display to enable visitors to capture moments with family and friends. The park will also have special Lunar New Year activities for kids. Whiskers Harbour will hold a Lucky Drums Kids Workshop where children will learn to play drums from the famous Monkey Drum King.
Ocean Park will be offering a special festive Year of the Monkey set menu at Neptune's Restaurant and is launching a series of special Chinese New Year souvenirs including personalised T-shirts, red packets and tote bags at the Rainbow Gallery.
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. On 8th to 10th February operating hours will be 9am to 8pm and on 11th and 12th February the cable car will operate from 9-30am to 6pm.
SKY100 HONG KONG OBSERVATION DECK - normal opening hours apply, 10am to 9pm with last entry 8pm, except 9th February when daytime opening hours are 10am to 5pm with last entry 4pm. A 2016 Lunar New Year Fireworks Display Ticket is available for 9th February 6pm to 9pm with last entry 8pm. See website for details.
LUNAR NEW YEAR LANTERN DISPLAYS AND CARNIVALS
The Lunar New Year lantern display "Kingdom of Vigorous Monkeys" is on show at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza from 4th to 28th February 2016 from 6pm to 11pm each day. Admission is free. Lantern displays also take place at Tseung Kwan O Po Tsui Park and Tuen Mun Park (see below).
The Lunar New Year Lantern Display "Kingdom of the Vigorous Monkeys" runs at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza until 28th February 2016
An Exhibition "Hong Kong Intangible Cultural Heritage - Exhibition on Traditional Craftsmanship of Lantern Making" also takes place at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza from 19th to 24th February 2016 from 6pm to 11pm.
Lunar New Year Carnivals featuring Chinese ethnic song and dance performances by Tibet Arts Troupe, demonstrations of Guangdong and Hong Kong folk crafts including Foshan Qiuse Artefacts Making, Nanhai Rattan Weaving, Wood Carving and Lion Head Crafting, Mobile Puppet Show, Origami Workshop, Golden Dragon Dance Parade by Kwok's Kung Fu and Dragon Lion Dance Team, Lantern Riddle Quix and performances by roving artists. Youth Nights feature a Circus Performance by Hong Kong Circus and a music concert by Hong Kong String Orchestra.
Carnivals take place at the following venues;
Urban Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2016 - Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui - Carnival Night Monday 22nd February 2016, 7-30pm to 10pm. Youth Night Sunday 21st February 2016, 7-30pm to 9-30pm.
New Territories East Lunar New Year Carnival 2016 - Tseung Kwan O Po Tsui Park- Carnival Night Sunday 21st February 2016, 7-30pm to 10pm. Youth Night Saturday 20th February 2016, 7-30pm to 9-30pm. Lantern Display 19th to 22nd February 2016. 6pm to 11pm.
New Territories West Lunar New Year Carnival 2016 - Tuen Mun Park - Carnival Night Saturday 20th February 2016. 7-30pm to 10pm. Youth Night Friday 19th February 2016 7-30pm to 9-30pm. Lantern Display 19th to 22nd February 2016, 6pm to 11pm.
Admission to all carnivals and lantern displays is free.
The Lantern Carnivals feature Chinese folk crafts including Nanhai rattan weaving
For full carnivals programmes see;
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, 7th February 2016 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, 8th February. Visitors wishing to be present at the beginning of the Year of the Monkey 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 9th and 10th February 2016, the temple opening hours will be 7am to 6-30pm.
The Tai Shui Yuenchen Hall at Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is closed on 7th & 8th February but will open from 8am to 5pm on 9th & 10th February.
Police will implement crowd safety management and special traffic arrangements from 7th to 22nd February to facilitate worshippers visiting the Wong Tai Sin Temple during the Lunar New Year period. Crowd safety management measures will be put into force from 9pm on 7th February to 7pm the following day, and daily between 7am and 7pm from 9th February to 14th February as well as 20th to 22nd February. 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 implemented and Police officers will direct worshippers to enter the temple in groups.
CHE KUNG TEMPLE will open from 7am on 7th February, until to 6pm, when it will close until 11pm. The temple will reopen at 11pm and remain open until 6pm on 8th February. On 9th February the temple will open at 7am until 6pm and reopen from 11pm through to 6pm on 10th February. On 11th February, opening hours are 7am to 5-30pm.
MAN MO TEMPLE on Hollywood Road will open at 7am on Chinese New Year's Eve, 7th February and remain open until 7pm on 8th February. On 9th and 10th February, the temple will open from 7am to 6pm.
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, 7th February 2016 and will be closed on the first two days of Chinese New Year, 8th & 9th February 2016;
Hong Kong Museum of Art (closed for renovation)
Hong Kong Museum of History
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Hong Kong Science Museum
Hong Kong Space Museum (closed for renovation)
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
Sheung Yiu Folk 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***
* closes at 7pm on Chinese New Year's Eve, 7th February
** closes at 6pm on Chinese New Year's Eve, 7th February
*** Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre will also remain closed on the third day of Chinese New Year, 10th February 2016.
All the above museums will reopen on 10th February except Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum, Law Uk Folk Museum and Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre which will be closed for the whole day as it will be their weekly closing day and Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Space Museum, which are closed for renovation.
Hong Kong Maritime Museum is closed on 8th and 9th February, the first two days of Chinese New Year. It closes at 4pm on Chinese New Year's Eve, 7th February and is open from 9-30am to 5-30pm on 10th and 11th February.
The following museums/galleries are closed on the first three days of Chinese New Year, 8th to 10th February;
Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (also closed 7th and 11th February)
Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum
Lantau Link Visitor Centre & Exhibition Centre (The Lantau Link View Point is open from 7-30am to 10-30pm on 7th & 11th February and from 7am to 1-30am the following day on 8th, 9th &10th February)
Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences (open 1pm to 3pm on 7th February)
Airport Core Programme Exhibition Centre
Hong Kong Housing Authority Exhibition Centre (also closed 7th February)
Hong Kong Arts Centre Pao Galleries (open 1pm to 6pm on 7th February)
Hong Kong Racing Museum is open as usual throughout the Chinese New Year period.
All public libraries will close at 5pm* on Lunar New Year's Eve, Sunday 7th February and will remain closed during the first three days of Chinese New Year, 8th to 10th February 2016.
* except Butterfly Estate, Lek Yuen, Sha Tau Kok, Shek Wai Kok, Tai O and Tin Shui Wai North public libraries, which will close at 1pm on Lunar New Year's Eve
On 8th and 9th February 2016, 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 8th and 9th February 2016, 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 (7th 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. Trains 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 (9th February 2016), 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 (9th and 10th 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) - 8th February 2016;
Special traffic and transport arrangements will be implemented in Tsim Sha Tsui to facilitate the 2016 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;
LUNAR NEW YEAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY - Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui) and Hong Kong Island (Central & Wanchai) - 9th February 2016;
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 1pm at the Lower Peak Tram Station, and from 6-30pm in Wan Chai and Central, on the Peak and at the Island Eastern Corridor westbound between Victoria Park Road and Man Hong Street. In Kowloon, road closures and traffic diversions will take place in phases in Tsim Sha Tsui and Jordan from 6pm.in Kowloon
The above traffic arrangements will be maintained 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
The Island Line service will be strengthened to a 3-minute headway from 6pm to 10-30pm. Tsuen Wan Line and Kwun Tong Line services will also be strengthened to a 3-minute headway from 8-30pm to 10-30pm. Tseung Kwan O Line services will be strengthened to a four-minute headway from 8pm to 10-30pm. In addition, West Rail Line services will be strengthened to a headway of four minutes from 8.30pm to 11.30pm.
(3) Hong Kong 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 10th February.
(6) Cross-boundary coach services
The terminus of the cross-boundary coach services between Wan Chai and Huanggang at the Wan Chai North 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 will be adjusted and suspended during the fireworks display
HKKF services between Central, Yung Shue Wan, Sok Kwu Wan, Hei Ling Chau and Peng Chau will be adjusted and suspended during the fireworks display.
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;
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 8.32 million passengers will pass through Hong Kong's sea, land and air control points during the Lunar New Year festive period (from February 5th to 14th), representing an increase of about 2.3 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Among them, about 70 per cent or around 5.84 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 6th (Saturday) with around 346,000 passengers departing Hong Kong, while the number of inbound passengers will be at its highest on February 10th (Wednesday) with around 399,000 passengers arriving in Hong Kong.
Lo Wu will be the busiest control point and it is estimated that there will be around 2.35 million passengers, with a daily average of about 235,000 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 78,000, 128,000 and 109,000 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;
In addition, information on public transport services to and from various control points is available on the Transport Department website at;
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.
All post offices will be closed on the first three days of Chinese New Year from February 8th to 10th 2016, with the exception of the General Post Office at Connaught Place, Central and Airport Post Office, which will open on February 9th and 10th. The business hours of these two post offices will be from 9am to 5pm and 8am to 5pm respectively.
On February 8th, the first day of the Chinese New Year, one mail collection will be made for the posting boxes of the General Post Office, Kowloon Central Post Office and Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office. On February 9th and 10th one mail collection will be made for the posting boxes of the General Post Office and Airport Post Office.
PUBLIC PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS
All Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) parks and playgrounds will remain open during the Lunar New Year holiday. 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, 8th February 2016 to 10th February 2016. 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 10th)
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, 7th February 2016.
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 7th (Lunar New Year's Eve)
Hong Kong City Hall, 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, 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 their URBTIX outlets will close at 5.30pm.
Tuen Mun Town Hall will open from 9am to 6pm and its URBTIX outlet will open from 10am to 5.30pm.
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza will be partially closed for rehearsal of the Chinese New Year Night Parade.
The URBTIX outlet at Youth Square will open as usual. The outlets at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre and all Tom Lee branches will close at 4pm and 4.30pm respectively. The outlets at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity and AsiaWorld-Expo will be closed for the day.
FEBRUARY 8th (The first day of 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.
The URBTIX outlet at Youth Square will open as usual. The outlets at all Tom Lee branches, AsiaWorld-Expo, the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre will be closed for the day.
FEBRUARY 9th (The second day of 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 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.
The URBTIX outlet at Youth Square will open as usual. The outlets at all Tom Lee branches, AsiaWorld-Expo, the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre will be closed for the day.
FEBRUARY 10th (The third day of Lunar New Year)
Hong Kong Coliseum, Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong City Hall Low Block, Sha Tin Town Hall, Yuen Long Theatre, Tuen Mun Town Hall and their URBTIX outlets will open as usual. Hong Kong City Hall High Block will open from 3pm to 10pm.
Ko Shan Theatre will open from 9am to 6pm and the URBTIX outlet will open from 10am to 6pm. The Ko Shan Theatre New Wing will open from 1pm to 6pm.
Other performance venues and their URBTIX outlets will be closed for the day.
The URBTIX outlets at all Tom Lee branches and Youth Square will open as usual, while the outlets at AsiaWorld-Expo, the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre will be closed for the day.
FEBRUARY 11th (The fourth day of Lunar New Year)
All venues and URBTIX outlets will resume normal opening hours.
The URBTIX Internet booking website and the mobile ticketing app (Android and iPhone/iPad versions) will maintain normal service, and both the credit card telephone booking hotline (852) 2111 5999 and the ticketing enquiries hotline (852) 3761 6661 will maintain normal service from 10am to 8pm daily throughout the holiday period from 7th to 11th February.