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Chinese New Year Guide: what do locals do in Hong Kong

Chinese New Year is considered as the first 15 days in the first month of lunar calendar. Usually Chinese people in Hong Kong have the "CNY" mode in the first week. What would they usually do the spend the days?

1. Bai Lin

That means visit homes of relatives & friends.

2. Give/ receive (which means exchange) red pockets & gifts

When you are visiting your relatives and friends, make sure you have prepared gifts. If you are married, you are supposed to give red pockets to those who are not married, or sometimes elderly. If you are not married, make sure you receive red pockets with both hands. Receiving gifts or red pockets with single hands is considered impolite in Chinese culture.

Not only relatives and friends, people will need to give red pockets to their colleagues, neighbour, security of the apartment... people they know.

3. Eat

Traditional New Year Food. Photo: Hong Kong MX

One of the best and worst parts of Chinese New Year is the big pile of food served in a CNY feast. Traditional “Lin go“and turnip cake are a must and dishes like fish, dried oyster and tong yuen (sweet dumplings) usually would also be served. You will be happy that you can eat so much on the first day, but after having multiple meals with relatives and friends you will probably feel guilty about eating so much...

4. Play mahjong

CNY is the time when you hang out with your dear friends (and relatives). Since the first three days are public holiday, people would play mahjong, kids would play games together for the whole day.

Some people may even wear red underwear to hope that they are as lucky as possible to win.


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