Crowned the Year of the Horse, the Chinese New Year for 2014 is set to be one of the most exciting yet. While our New Year is well and truly over, the Chinese New Year is just beginning as many prepare to celebrate this special occasion over a number of weeks. From traditional music and dance performances to spirited street parties, all topped off with sensational fireworks displays, Chinese New Year celebrations are not to be missed.
For a unique cultural adventure, consider heading to Asia and see in the Chinese New Year at one of the popular festivals below.
Celebrate the New Year in China’s most populous city, Shanghai. This vibrant metropolis will burst to life with an array of colourful displays and lively performances. The city streets will be packed as you watch brilliant street performers, sample goodies from market stalls and stand in awe at the spectacular fireworks displays. Many head to the Longua Temple for the traditional bell striking ceremony or visit the Yu Yuan Old Town Bazaar to admire the enchanting paper and wood lanterns on display.
Thailand’s dynamic capital, Bangkok joins in the festivities with its own Chinese themed fanfare for the New Year. Yaowaraj, the official Chinatown of Bangkok, will be covered in beautiful red decorations and will host many entertaining parades featuring dragon dancers and Chinese firecrackers. Many gather to feast on sumptuous Chinese banquets, while Chinese residents will gift their children with money in red envelopes as per tradition. Take time to visit the city’s popular shopping malls which are often lavishly decorated and themed for the Chinese New Year.
Believed to be one of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in Southeast Asia, Singapore certainly comes to the party with its Lunar Festivities. Many red lanterns will adorn the city streets with dragon and lion dances occurring all over the city. Head to Chinatown for the famous Chinatown Street Light Up, where fire eaters, lion dancers and female dance troupes entertain the crowds with their mesmerising performances. If you can’t get enough of the colourful celebrations, attend the Chingay Parade, a massive procession featuring magnificent floats, clowns, dancers, acrobats and more.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia is also not without its own Chinese New Year excitement, especially in Kuala Lumpur. The city’s giant shopping malls go to town with brightly coloured and extravagant decorations. Be sure to visit the Central Market for fantastic Chinese New Year celebrations including traditional lion dances and parades, while Chinatown will be a sea of red as vendors proudly acknowledge this special time of year.
Not one to shy away from a good time, Hong Kong also joins in the fun of the Chinese New Year. One of the city’s biggest celebrations, the streets of Hong Kong comes alive with a giant street party, known as the International Chinese New Year Night Parade. The whole city gathers down at the waterfront to celebrate with a dazzling display of performances. You’ll also notice a number of flower markets popping up all over town during this time, the most popular can be found at Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island or Fa Hui Park in Kowloon.