Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year’s date is based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The event takes place between the 5th of February and the 19th of February.
The Chinese New Year was originally held in China. In time, smaller communities formed from immigrants, but not only, come together all over the world and celebrate the New Year. In big cities such as New York, London, Paris, Bangkok big crowds gather in the street to watch and enjoy the special events taking place during this time of the year.
Setting off the fireworks. First, smaller firecrackers are set off, followed by three big firecrackers. These are believed to be the sounding out and sounding in of the new year. The more powerful and loud the fireworks are, the better and luckier the new year is believed to be.
The Lantern Festival is the end of the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year’s Festival). This means that all the taboos about the New Year are no longer in effect and all the decorations are taken down.
The highlight of the Lantern Festival is the Dragon dance. Young boys carry a long, colorful dragon made of silk, paper and bamboo while they dance on the streets.
A bit of history
The legend says, that in ancient times Buddha asked all the animals to go meet him on the Chinese New Year. Only twelve came so Buddha named a year after each. He announced that the people born in those years will have some of that animal’s characteristics.
The Chinese celebrate the New Year through the festival to wish for a lucky, prosperous coming year and to feast with the family the year that is left behind. It is believed that a good start of the year will lead to a lucky year.
The tradition is to gather for a reunion dinner with the family. During the dinner, they eat “lucky food” and give away red envelopes with “lucky money”. Also, people decorate their house red and dress in red on New Year’s Eve to be lucky all year.
The streets are also decorated with red, the color which is believed to be auspicious. Fireworks are believed to drive away bad spirits. In ancient times they would light up bamboo stalks to scare the evil.
Tours and activities
This tour is perfect for first-time visitors. You will stop at the Lama Temple (Yonghegong), Summer Palace and the Beijing Zoo to see the giant pandas.
On this full-day tour, you will explore Shanghai’s highlights such as the Shanghai Museum, the Jade Buddha Temple, the Yuyuan Garden and the Bund.
Learn about Hong Kong’s rich history while you explore the city’s highlights, such as the Possession Point, the Fringe Club and the Blooming Bauhinia Sculpture.
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