Hong Kong: Shopping Malls Cancel Countdown Parties

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Shopping malls on both sides of Victoria Harbour cancel Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve countdown parties but claim that political tensions in Hong Kong have nothing to do with the break in tradition.

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Fireworks light up the skies over Victoria Harbour on New Year's Eve 2014. Photo Credit: Discover Hong Kong.


One of Hong Kong's most popular shopping malls has cancelled its annual New Year's Eve countdown party, but it had nothing to do with the pro-Democracy protests that have rocked the city, a spokeswoman for the mall claims.

Crowds traditionally line both sides of Victoria Harbour for the annual fireworks displays, which light up the skies over Hong Kong at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.

But they also fill the streets of several neighborhoods on Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories.

One of the most popular spots to usher in the New Year is the plaza in front of the Times Square shopping mall in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island.

For the first time in 2 decades, the ball will not drop at the entrance to Times Square when the clock strikes 12. A series of 4 concerts, which began on 28 December 2014, is being held instead. There will also be a rock concert on New Year's Eve.

A similar countdown party, which is traditionally held on Christmas Eve on Canton Road in Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui district, was also cancelled by Harbour City, a sprawling shopping complex that fronts the street.

Instead of the traditional Christmas Eve countdown, events within the mall were held instead.

Maybe the 2 countdown parties were going to be cancelled anyway. But it does seem like a bit of a coincidence.

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