The World's Best Costume Parties
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Chinese New Year, Hong Kong
What it is: A blowout to celebrate the first day of the Chinese calendar (and, in this year's case, to party like it's 4705).
Party time: The day of the new moon in the first Chinese month—which usually falls between mid-January and mid-February. In 2007, the Year of the Pig—and the ensuing hullabaloo—begins February 18.
The getup: Unless you've been practicing for months as part of a team, you won't be able to participate in the dragon and lion dances—the showstoppers of the New Year parades. But watching the groups synchronize their movements inside the long, sinuous costumes—some of which fit as many as 40 people inside—is worth the transcontinental flight.
Where it's at: In Hong Kong's Wan Chai district (next to Causeway Bay)—and, on a smaller scale, in every other town and city in China. Stay at the Peninsula Hong Kong in Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui district; it's just a quick ferry ride away.
What goes down: A huge parade on the first night of New Year snakes along the Wan Chai waterfront. As well as dragon and lion dancers, there are illuminated floats, stilt-walkers, and marching bands from all over China. Bring earplugs: Locals set off zillions of firecrackers.
Peninsula Hong Kong
Tel: 852 2920 2888