Published on : Tuesday, January 24, 2017
The most unique attribute of this holiday is that no country celebrates it quite the same way. Cities with significant Chinese populations tend to celebrate the biggest and visitors from all over the world come to celebrate along with them. From places that offer over three weeks of celebrations to cities with extreme computer controlled fireworks displays; Chinese New Year should be celebrated in style.
Starting form 28th January, the colourful celebrations to welcome in the year of the rooster will continue for around two weeks, ending on 2nd February.
Usher in a year of good luck by celebrating Chinese New Year in one of the top destinations:
The mother of all Chinese New Year celebrations happens in Beijing, China. Although the city is packed full of carnival like activities, festivals, firecrackers and parades here in Beijing they put a special emphasis on family and historical tradition. Families work hard at the end of the year to prepare their household for the celebration by decorating and cleaning, and use the first two days of the festival to visit with family. A lot of time is devoted to prayer and honoring their ancestors. Chinese folk art, lion and dragon dancers and authentic food stalls are all part of the fairs.
Cambodia celebrates their version of Chinese New Year or Tet as it’s known locally, with decorations of red and yellow, offering of flowers and fruit, and fireworks. On New Year’s eve, people make their way to the local pagoda to place their offering, before spending the night dancing and eating street food. Phnom Penh sees the biggest of these celebrations, with revelers heading to the city’s Buddhist Wat Phnom. Siem Reap, the gateway to the famous Angkor temples, is also a great place to join in the festivities.
Chinese New Year is known as Imlek in Indonesia, and was declared an official public holiday in 2002 due to the country’s large Chinese population. People exchange gifts such as flowers, and the streets are filled with dancers in costumes, including the famous dragon dance. The occasion is also regarded locally as a spring festival, and the biggest celebrations are in the cities of Java and Semarang.
The nation of Singapore is comprised primarily of Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian ethnic groups and when the Chinese New Year rolls around, the entire country joins in the celebrations. The most fascinating part of the Chinese New Year in Singapore is the mixing of old and new traditions as well as the influence that comes from many different cultures. Since 1987 residents and visitors have been gathering at the River Hongbao for the liveliest of festivals. From giant lanterns to traditional song and dance to spreads of exotic delicacies to spectacular firework display, this event celebrates everything Chinese.
Thailand’s biggest celebration of the Chinese New Year takes place in Bangkok; home of the largest Chinatown in Thailand. There are normally three days of celebrations in this city with most of the excitement happening on the actual New Year day; and most Chinese taking the day off work to celebrate. Opening the festivities is the Thai Princess and she can be seen throughout the celebrations partaking in the fun. During the day temples are full of visitors and the parades start to fill the streets around noon. Expect plenty of dancers, floats, lanterns and drummers taking part in these parades.