Love and the Lunar New Year

Love and the Lunar New Year

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may tse
The house of loving kindness at Ocean Park. Photo: May Tse

Ocean Park is celebrating the first day of the Year of the Tiger and Valentine's Day, which coincide this year, writes Zoe Mak

The tiger is crouching just around the corner waiting to bring good fortune this Lunar New Year - and there's love in the air, too!

The Western Valentine's Day and Eastern Lunar New Year's Day both fall on this Sunday.

Hong Kong's homegrown theme park is celebrating both festive seasons, with bird shows, ice skating performances, great photo opportunities, and a chance to whisper 'kung hei fat choi' to the resident pandas.

The park has brought in a few special birds to meet visitors in the bird show Emperors of the Sky. They include the steppes eagle, lanner falcon, striated caracara, turkey vulture, trumpeter hornbill and bar-pouched wreathed hornbill.

The birds appear in a show which brings with it an important message about conservation. Unlike the popular shows at Ocean Theatre, where the audience sits at a distance from the dolphins and sea lions, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with the birds as they fly around the theatre.

Visitors can then drop by next door to see the giant pandas and the red pandas, and take a look at the beautiful goldfishes.

Just a few steps away is the new Double Happiness Garden. It has 99 peach trees, an eight-metre Chinese lantern, a giant Wishing Tree and romantic photo spots.

Around the corner is another new attraction for the Lunar New Year - the House of Loving Kindness. It highlights the themes of romance, friendship and family. The garden is full of fun games to play and riddles to solve, as well as offering plenty of photo opportunities.

In the friendship zone, digital photo booths have been set up so you can take wacky, fun-filled photos. Just step in and say cheese with your friends and family, then e-mail the memories of this rare day to yourself at zero cost.

On the other side of the park in Tai Shue Wan Plaza, the world-class cast from Spellbound on Ice bring their magnificent ice skating show to visitors. It includes figure skating, aerial acts, rhythmic dancing and illusions. The God of Prosperity will also be around to celebrate with visitors.

Two other main attractions in Tai Shue Wan Plaza are the Turbo Snow Tubing - a U-shaped slope with a low-friction surface so visitors can experience a thrilling slide - and The Lucky Maze, where parents can hunt for luck with their children in mini-maze.

Be sure to pack spare batteries and and an extra memory card for your camera so you won't miss out on photos of the giant golden tiger sculpture, the God of Prosperity and the auspicious animal dance, with its exquisite lion and dragon routine.



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