FS' speech at 2015 International Chinese New Year Night Parade (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the 2015 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui tonight (February 19):

     Good evening everyone.

     Welcome to the annual Chinese New Year Night Parade íV packed, as always, with friends, travellers and revellers from all over the world. Some 150 000 of you, I'm told, are lining the streets of the city tonight for one of the planet's great annual parades, created to celebrate one of the world's most important, hugely colourful and endlessly entertaining festivals.

     This year is the Year of the Sheep, or the Year of the Ram, or Goat. Whatever you want to call it, I promise you an unforgettable Chinese New Year parade. And I wish you all an equally memorable Hong Kong New Year.

     This year marks the 20th anniversary of the International Chinese New Year Night Parade. Over these two decades, it has become a highlight of our Chinese New Year celebrations. A big-bang tradition all by itself. Congratulations to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

     So, get set for luminous floats, flamboyant costumes, fireworks guaranteed to light your fire, and dance troupes, marching bands, theatrical performances and furry beasts from every corner, every culture, of the world.

     This event embodies the very essence of Hong Kong: multi-national multicultural, dazzling and often boisterous, but never less than remarkable. I know you will enjoy it. And I wish you all a delightful time here in Asia's World City. And a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

     I would like everyone here tonight to help me out and do a "Kung Hei Fat Choi" for everyone. So on three, one, two, three: "Kung Hei Fat Choi!"

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, February 19, 2015
Issued at HKT 21:06