Best Places to Go for Chinese New Year
Maybe one has heard of the horrific Spring Festival Rush in China, referred to as the largest annual human migration in the world. During the period around Chinese New Year, everyone struggles to return to their respective hometowns to reunite with their families. It is a time when the whole country faces extremely high traffic load and terrible travel condition. There are also shortages of air, train and bus tickets. To some extent, the it is not only a festival, but also a challenge for tourists coming to China. It is thus best to avoid coming to China during this period.
However, if you have already planned your itinerary, well-prepared and eager to witness China celebrating its greatest festival, take it easy! You will certainly have an exceptional experience during your travel since with her large territory. China has many distinctive landscapes and interesting festive customs in many parts of the country.
|Beijing Local Snacks in Temple Fairs|
Following are some top recommended destinations during the auspicious festival and to enjoy the authentic holiday culture to the fullest!
The most outstanding character of Beijing during the Chinese New Year can be found in the many parks in the city where various temple fairs display their different themes. One would get to enjoy the local customs and imperial cultures, as well as a chance to purchase cultural products and a taste of local snacks. They are the best destinations to enjoy traditional Beijing culture.
Beijing Travel Guide
With a long history, Xian pays more attention on this traditional festival. Well before the holiday begins, the Xian City Wall would be well decorated with all kinds of lanterns.
|Xian City Wall Lantern Fair|
Combining traditional custom and modern technology, it will definitely impress any visitor. The best time to go there would be in the evening. If folk culture is what you are looking for, then head to the Tang West Market and Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Lion dance, paper-cutting, sugar figurine making and other cultural heritage shows can be seen there.
Xian Travel Guide
It is very distinctive to spend the festival in Harbin, a city covered with ice and snow during this time of the year. Enjoy both the local customs and the outstanding ice and snow shows. The Central Street is the best choice if you want to learn Chinese culture. Visit Harbin Ice and Snow World and the Ice Lantern Garden Party to enjoy the city’s profound ice culture. Alternatively, enjoy an exciting experience by getting close to the Siberian tigers at the Siberian Tiger Park.
|Shehuo Performance in Pingyao|
The old town of Pingyao is decorated with red lanterns everywhere during the festival, just like having Christmas trees on Christmas Day. Red lanterns not only decorate houses, but also the cold and dark nights. Shehuo is a famous local activity and is the essence of Chinese traditional culture during the New Year celebration. It is thus a must see activity if you plan to go there. Staying in smalls inns operated by the local people, and spending the holiday with the locals would be a fantastic experience for foreign visitors.
Pingyao Travel Guide
Guangzhou, also called the Flower City, has the Chinese New Year Flower Fair attracting worldwide attention. On the Festival's Eve, almost all streets and lanes are filled with flowers and bonsais.
|Flower Fair in Guangzhou|
People sell and buy flowers along the streets until midnight or early morning on the first day of the New Year. The Cantonese pay a lot of attention on the red envelopes, given to visitors when they come during the celebration. It is their local etiquette to do so. Even shopping malls decorate their kumquat trees with many of them. They are strategically placed in front of their malls to wish everyone good luck.
Guangzhou Travel Guide
If time permits, travel to Hong Kong or Macau. The Chinese New Year Flower Fair in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, is a good place to find all kinds of flowers. Fancy decorated vehicle parade is the highlight on the festival's first day. Horse Racing is also worth going. Macau attracts many people too because of the casinos. Even officials are able to gamble during the festival.
Tips for Visitors coming to China during the Lunar New Year
|Spring Festival Rush|
1. Transportation becomes a serious problem, especially on the railway services. Plane tickets are also hard to buy, but not as bad since they are more expensive and discount hard to get. Please thus make advance preparation, including hotel reservation.
2. Spending the festival with local families is the most wonderful experience, because the local home is the best place to learn the authentic culture of Chinese New Year. So ask your Chinese friends for a chance to celebrate this holiday with their family members. If you are alone in some big cities of the country, you can choose to go to some parties held by some communities to enjoy the interesting festival.
Destinations Abroad for the Festival
|Celebration in Chinatown|
Alternatively, you may choose to go to Chinatown in your countries to enjoy the festive season. There are many Chinatowns in countries like Britain, USA, Singapore, Italy, Mexico and so on. The number is growing because of the increasing number of Chinese people going abroad. There are about 70 Chinatowns in America alone!
The Chinese communities in America usually hold performances, including art performance and writing couplets. There are dragon and lion dances in San Francisco Chinatown. In Washington, activities normally happen in a local shopping centre, attracting many local shoppers.
The Paris City Hall Plaza is usually decorated with red lanterns and you can also enjoy a Chinese style parade in Paris. Go to Chinatown in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, which is the earliest Chinese settlement. Since 1989, make-up parade held by Chinese organizations attracted more than 100 thousand people annually.
Finally, the Chinatown in Vancouver has the famous Chinese restaurants from around the world and you may join in the fun by having a reunion dinner there.