NEW YEAR, NEW PARTIES

Just when you thought it was safe to stop partying. Two to try in Asia:

HONG KONG: Here, the New Year’s party starts February 1, when the city kicks off three days of CHINESE NEW YEAR celebrations. The city’s towering skyscrapers are bedecked with vibrant neon lights, fireworks brighten the sky, parades stream through the streets, and crowds take to the track for traditional New Year’s horse racing events. (800) 282-4582, www.discoverhongkong.com/USA

SAPPORO: 2003 marks the 54th year of Japan’s SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL. An estimated two million people will visit this year’s festivities, to be held February 5-11, at which hundreds of giant ice and snow sculptures will stretch for a mile through the city, a day trip from Tokyo. Fabulous life-size sculptures (up to 60 feet tall) are featured in the show, like an amazing reproduction of the Brussels stock exchange building. Talk about a winter wonderland. 011-81-11-211-2377, www.snowfes.com/english/index_e.html — Jan Collmer