HAPPY YEAR OF THE ROOSTER!
Shenzhen is completely empty at the moment. During the Chinese New Year (CNY), everyone returns home to be with their families - to share a huge family-style feast, make dumplings ("bao jiaozi" 包饺子), and exchange red envelopes with money ("hong bao" 红包)...These are just a few typical CNY traditions. Given that Shenzhen is such a new city and very few people are actually from Shenzhen, the city becomes a ghost town for about two weeks. Literally. Everything is shut down.
Shenzhen is not exactly the best place to come if you're looking to participate in CNY festivities. Therefore, I crossed the border to Hong Kong for a bit more action and excitement. Not only did I get to see fireworks with my friends at Victoria Harbor, but I also got to see my mom's cousin Robin and her husband John for some afternoon tea in Mongkok (the heart of Kowloon in Hong Kong). Nothing beats seeing family on my side of the world! It was such a fantastic treat to see them both.
If you haven't yet gotten the chance to celebrate the CNY, it's not too late to eat some dumplings and wish your Chinese friends "xin nian kuai le!" 新年快乐 ("Happy New Year" in Mandarin). Bonus points if you give them a red envelope.