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Published on : Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Chinese New Year is one of the biggest annual events in the entire world. Shanghai has the ability to combine heritage and history with a generous dose of fun and joy, and there’s nowhere better to see Chinese culture while experiencing the heartbeat of the country, in its most modern and open city. If, at Spring Festival, one is fortunate enough to be in the country that holds it dearest, then take the opportunity to immerse in the ancient, traditional cultures of this special Chinese celebration.
1. Pray for loved ones at Longhua Temple
A visit to the temples in Shanghai can be a culturally rewarding experience – though it comes with a warning to visit outside the main Chinese New Year week, or one will experience levels of physical intimacy with strangers they may never before thought possible. But visiting the temples on the first few days after the 8th has its benefits: the New Year’s Eve bell ringing at Longhua Temple began in 1911, and the first 108 people to get tickets get to ring the bell.
The City God Temple at Yu Gardens is another venue that sees every nook, cranny and square inch packed with monkey-enthused revellers, and is thus a must-try for anyone seeking the natural highs of new year fever.
2. Cycle the City
Local Shanghainese will tell visitors that they can see the “real Shanghai” during Chinese New Year, as most of the migrant population returns home.Cycle China has worked with National Geographic and the Discovery Channel running an astounding variety of cycle tours. They have a French Concession tour and a two-day visit to nearby water village Xitang. Their guides have inside knowledge of the tour areas and long-standing relationships with the community and its neighbours, meaning that they can guide riders with fascinating stories and the real history of Shanghai.
3. Wear a tailor-made qi pao from Changle Road
The qi pao is a truly timeless item. The quality, workmanship and dedication to the art of qi pao tailoring is one of the few artisanal pieces of clothing left in the world. New Year’s revellers can wrap themselves in Shanghainese history by having an exquisite qi pao tailor-made by one of the city’s experts. Step into the hottest Spring Festival party showing off in style with an enchanting qi pao. Ligulong is a famous high-end qi pao custom-tailoring boutique at 205 Changle Road.
4. Enjoy an authentic Chinese reunion dinner at Shàng-Xí
Chinese New Year is the untouchable moment of benevolence, kind-heartedness and reunion for all Chinese people. All the stresses, pettiness and troubles of the year are laid aside, and revelry, fun and some serious eating are celebrated. The New Year’s Eve dinner is the most glorious, special meal of the year for all of China, with no-holds-barred, hearty feasts served around the table, on which all are encouraged to partake and indulge upon.
For the best experience for loved ones, enjoy a reunion dinner at Shàng-Xí, which was ranked the highest Chinese restaurant by Forbes Travel Guide in mainland China. The exquisitely designed dining spaces and private dining rooms set the scene for absolute top-quality Chinese ingredients, cooking expertise and an unforgettable experience of the best.