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Hong Kong celebrates Chinese New Year with special events, foods, shopping fireworks displays, flower markets, horseracing, a marathon and parade.

The Symphony of Lights illuminates more than 30 buildings on both sides of Hong Kong's harbor. The Guinness Book of World Records calls it the largest permanent sound and light show in the world.

The Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade features decorated floats, marchers and bands in colorful costumes, multicultural entertainers, skilled acrobats, dragon and lion dancers parade through the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong fireworks and flower markets

Lunar New Year fireworks illuminates Hong Kong with computer-controlled pyrotechnics reflected in the harbor and framed by mountains.

During Hong Kong's Chinese New Year celebrations, traditional flower markets sell lucky and auspicious flowers and plants for homes and offices. People make Chinese New Year pilgrimages to temples to give thanks for the past year and pray for good fortune in the new lunar year.

Horseracing fans predict their luck in the new lunar year on the first day of horseracing. Another popular sport event in Hong Kong is the Chinese New Year International Soccer Tournament.

According to tradition, Chinese New Year is a time to "throw out the old and bring in the new" so shops are busy in Hong Kong. Although eating out is always popular, during Chinese New Year, friends and families gather in restaurants to enjoy Chinese, Asian, European and fusion food.

Greatest Race on Earth marathon

In March, the Hong Kong Marathon attracts tens of thousands of local and overseas long-distance runners to Hong Kong's biggest outdoor sporting event. On the final leg of the Greatest Race on Earth, top marathoners compete for prize money totaling more than US$1 million. Up to 39,000 runners run the full marathon, the half marathon and the 10-kilometer courses.

The world's top rugby teams compete in the 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium at the Hong Kong Sevens.

The Hong Kong Arts Festival performances feature opera, theater, acrobatics, drama and musical concerts.