Happy Chinese New Year! The official date was yesterday and we are now in the Year of the Rabbit. Babies born this year are projected to be ambitious, talented, articulate, and reserved – in short, successful but a bit shy! Not at all a bad thing to be.
While this year’s New Year has passed, why not choose to celebrate the Chinese New Year with an Asian holiday? If you’d like to head over next year, the Year of the Dragon will begin on January 23rd. Now is the perfect time to plan! The New Year is celebrated in Singapore, Thailand, and in Hong Kong, which are the three destinations I’m going to mention here. It’s also celebrated around the world in places with large populations of Chinese, like certain cities in the US and Canada.
Hong Kong is an exhilarating place to enjoy the Chinese New Year. The city has fairs, a fireworks display, a parade at night, and even a race day. Visiting during this time can be an excellent opportunity to view Hong Kong’s culture for yourself. You can even spring for a Fireworks Display Harbour Cruise – arguably the best way to enjoy the fireworks in the evening. The celebrations tend to extend out beyond just the day, so you can easily see everything there is to do without stressing yourself too much. You can spend the rest of your stay exploring the city, viewing the many decorations, and shopping in traditional small markets as well as in the large shopping districts. With a wide selection of truly luxurious hotels, this may well be the Chinese New Year holiday for you.
Singapore similarly goes out to celebrate the Chinese New Year, especially in Chinatown. This year, the city had amazing performances at Marina Bay on the River Hongbao, fireworks and street decorations in Chinatown, a parade, and even a flower show. The Chingay Parade Singapore features 88 metre long dragons-in-the-sky, dancers, street floats, and displays of talent from Singapore’s main three ethnic groups as well as international guests. Tiger Beer has sponsored a celebratory ‘Lunar Food Extravaganza’ due to take place on February 11th. This means that, like Hong Kong, Lunar New Year celebrations are spread out over the course of a week or two, celebrating spring and giving you plenty of time to see all that there is to see and really enjoy yourself.
For obvious reasons, it’s not quite as easy to pinpoint a location in Thailand to celebrate the Chinese New Year; celebrations take place across the country. Bangkok is a great stop; Chinatown there has the biggest celebrations, but you can also enjoy yourself in Ayyuthaya, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and other cities. Bangkok lights up with red and gold lanterns everywhere, and in Chinatown you’ll spot people offering food to their dead ancestors and burning paper in their memory. A popular street sector has been closed for the festival and is the centrepiece of the celebrations there.
Are you considering heading to one of these great countries for 2012’s Chinese New Year? Contact us to start planning your trip today.