Things may be going to the dogs starting Feb. 16, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar, but New Year’s festivities across the Asian world are colourful and spectacular and should be experienced at least once by everybody. I had that pleasure a number of years ago and, while I recall otherworldly fireworks and a vibrant parade, complete with traditional Chinese dragons, it’s the flowers I remember most: so many flowers!
 
Nobody does Chinese New Year – also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival – better than Hong Kong and this year is no different, though the fireworks have been cancelled in honour of 19 victims of a horrific bus crash in the city on Feb. 10
 
Nevertheless, festivities will carry on for weeks with The Hong Kong Tourist Board noting that “with the dog symbolizing adventure, excitement and playfulness, the celebration of the Year of the Dog will be especially vibrant, exciting and engaging. Visitors can expect a flurry of colourful festivities and enticing events, from dazzling fireworks to flower markets, and from parades to enormous outdoor carnivals, for a joyful month of celebrations that mark this momentous changing of the guard.” Noteworthy annual highlights include the International Chinese New Year Night Parade and Chinese New Year Raceday.
 
Meanwhile, Travelchinaguide.com offers the following horoscope for this year’s lucky dogs: “People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive according to Chinese zodiac analysis. They are not afraid of difficulties in daily life. These shining characteristics make them have harmonious relationship with people around."
 
• Unlucky Numbers: 1, 6, 7
• Unlucky Colors: blue, white, golden
• Unlucky Direction: north, west
 
Other dogs include those born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006. Based on a 12-year cycle the next Year of the Dog will be in 2030, while next year will be a Year of the Pig, starting Feb. 5.
 
Kung hei fat choy (happy new year)!
 
 
Chinese New Year parade hong kong

The Chinese calendar turns over to the year of the dog on Feb. 16.

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