White lions dance for the crowd during the 2012 Chinese New Year Parade in… (Hong Kong Tourism Board )
If you missed the international party Monday night, you'll have another chance to ring out the old and ring in the new next month when Chinese New Year celebrations kick off around the globe.
One of the liveliest places to mark the Lunar New Year is Hong Kong, which prides itself on being "the epicenter of the world's largest and internationally televised Chinese New Year celebration," according to tourism officials.
Preparations begin Feb. 4, when Hong Kong undergoes its annual city-wide transformation for the beginning of the Year of the Snake celebration, which kicks off Feb. 10.
Month-long festivities include Cathay Pacific's International Chinese New Parade in Kowloon, fireworks displays over Victoria Harbour, the annual Flower Market, which features displays of rare flora and lucky fauna throughout the city, and the Chinese New Year Race, a cultural tradition that draws international and local sports fans to the Sha Tin Racecourse.
The largest event, the Cathay Pacific parade, slithers across Hong Kong beginning at 8 p.m. Feb. 10, bringing the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront to life with performers, floats, singers and dancers.
During the 2013 Lunar New Year festivities, celebrants will welcome the Year of the Snake -- the sixth sign in the Chinese Zodiac-- by lighting incense in temples to pay respect to ancestors. They will also decorate doors and windows with symbols that portend happiness, prosperity and longevity.
Besides attending scheduled activities, visitors can join with locals to give thanks for the last 12 months -- and pray for good fortune for the new year -- at several popular Hong Kong locations:
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