The 19 th February will see the beginning of the year of the ram /goat. Without doubt, there is no better time to experience the rich heritage of traditional Chinese culture.
The population enjoys at least three days off, which they share with family, friends and take part in generations-old traditions, the most iconic being the traditional dragon dance.
Here at Zoomlite, we have the best three places to enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations:
1. Beijing for Temple worship.
As the former capital of the Yuan, Ming and Qing empires, Beijing's temples have hundreds of years of religious traditions and public entertainment. You can expect special entertainment such as martial arts displays or lion and dragon dances, special sales, and festival foods at the festival fairs at Ditan Temple, Longtan Temple and Dongyue Temple. China Highlights' Chinese New Year tour to Beijing includes a visit to a Chinese New Year temple fair. The fireworks, fairs and sports competitions are the Spring Festival highlights, but require special travel plans.
At the beautiful temples, locals will be praying and ringing bells for good luck in the coming year. People pay big money to ring the bell and burn "the first incense" at the strike of midnight.
2. Shanghai for multicultural live concerts.
Known as the Paris of the East, Shanghai celebrates the Spring Festival in many ways that reflect its mixed culture. Various entertainments are held to celebrate this week-long extravaganza. Besides the indoor activities, Shanghai folks, especially the younger generation, join in the New Year countdowns at squares or beside the Huangpu River.
During the Spring Festival, you can enjoy wonderful live performances of various genres will be on in many theatres, concert halls and arts centres by world-class masters. With something to suit every taste, the performances cover everything from classical chefs-d’oeuvre to Chinese folk music, from Rock & Roll to Jazz.
3. Hong Kong for huge parades, fireworks, and horse racing
In Hong Kong, the Spring Festival is the biggest holiday, and people celebrate differently than in the Mainland. People mark the occasion with a unique fusion of modern fun and ancient customs. The three days of Spring Festival activities often make it to the top of the lists of world festival events.
On the evening of Chinese New Year's Day, there is a carnival-like night parade and i nternational Spring Festival entertainment night with performing groups from many countries. After the parade, you can hang out and have fun in the streets afterwards.
On the second day of the Spring Festival, Victoria Harbor is the site of the magnificent Giant Fireworks Display.
The final day of the Spring Festival is mainly celebrated in Hong Kong with a day at the races. About 100,000 excited fans will crowd into Sha Tin Racecourse on the third day of the Spring Festival holidays. There is a full program of traditional and colourful festivities, and profits are donated to charities.