Chinese Lantern Festival in Hong Kong

Celebrations for the Spring Lantern Festival 2017

Chinese Lantern Festival Hong Kong
The Chinese Lantern Festival is celebrated on the first Full Moon of the Lunar Year.

The Spring Lantern Festival as it is also known, heralds the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations and in Hong Kong, this day or rather night, will be lit with hundreds of colorful lanterns which will adorn the markets, store fronts, restaurants and hotels and just about anywhere you go.

One of the main celebrations in Hong Kong which is easy for visitors to enjoy takes place in Tsim Sha Tsui at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. It is sponsored by the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the displays and activities are free to the public.

The "Lantern Festival" in Hong Kong actually consists of several events:

One common question we get is if you can see the lanterns over the harbour. No, the lanterns during the festival are not the kind you release into the sky. The lantern festival in Hong Kong consists of lantern displays as well as cultural activities for the entire family but no sky lanterns.

Lantern Exhibition and Displays

The LCSD sets up an amazing Lantern Exhibition in the grounds of the HK Cultural Centre just steps from the Kowloon Star Ferry Pier. The exhibition is part of the Chinese New Year Celebrations and runs for about a month.

The displays are lit every evening and the public is free to roam around the beautiful displays.

This is not your typical red Chinese Lantern, the displays are quite colorful and can take just about any size, shape and form you can imagine. In the Year of the Dragon for example, you can expect that Dragon Lanterns will be showcased front and center...

Chinese Lantern Festival Hong Kong

The themes vary from year to year. Auspicious Chinese symbols will make a presence, for example the Goldfish which is believed to bring abundance and prosperity... or the pomegranate fruit which with the many seeds symbolizes fertility and prolific offspring...

Chinese Lantern Festival Hong Kong Goldfish Lantern
Chinese Lantern Festival Hong Kong Pomegranate Lantern

Chinese Zodiac Animals are also a popular theme...

Chinese Lantern Festival Hong Kong - Chinese Zodiac Ox

2017 Lantern Displays

When? January 20 - February 19, 2017 lit-up time from 6:00pm to 11:00pm Thursday through Sunday

Where? The Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza by the Water Pools in front of the Clocktower, Tsim Sha Tsui.

How Much? Free!

Other Lantern Displays in the New Territories will also take place:

New Territories West

When? Thursday to Sunday February 9 - 12, 2017 - 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Where? Sha Tsui Road Playground, Tsuen Wan

How Much? Free!

New Territories East

When? Thursday to Sunday February 9 - 12, 2017 - 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Where? North District Park

How Much? Free!

The Spring Lantern Carnival

The Urban Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival also sponsored by the LCSD, takes place on the day of the Chinese Lantern Festival, that is, the 15th day of the new year in the Lunar calendar.

The carnival takes place in the same grounds of the Lantern Exhibition at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza and consists of a series of events and performances by different guest groups.

The performances and the groups vary from year to year and may include folk song and dances, instrument performances, acrobatic shows, dragon and lion dances, etc.

Hong Kong Lantern festival Folk Performances
Folk Dance

Hong Kong Lantern festival Dragon Making
Dragon Making

Hong Kong Lantern festival Craft Demos
Painting Crafts Demos

Also at the Carnival there are many kinds of folk craft and heritage exhibitions on topics such as lantern making, dragon or lion making, Chinese painting, paper cutting, etc.

Urban Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival 2017

Colorful Lanterns at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza lit for Spring Lantern Festival

When? Youth Night on Friday February 10, 2017 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Carnival Night on Saturday February 11, 2017 from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm

Where? The Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui.

How Much? Free

Lantern Carnivals also taking place at several venues throughout the territory at Sha Tsui Road Playground in Tsue Wan and at the North District Park.

Other Art, Craft, Cultural Exhibitions

As part of the Hong Kong Intangible Heritage Programme, there are exhibitions of Craftmanship on Lantern Making, normally over the weekend.

When? February 9-14, 2017 from 6:00pm to 11:00pm

Where? The Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza

How Much? Free!

For more information on this year's Chinese Lantern Festival, Lantern Displays, Carnival programme, and other festival venues in the New Territories, check out the official site of the Hong Kong Leisure and and Cultural Services Department at

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