Celebrate the Chinese New Year Across Our Destinations
Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) is the most important and longest national holiday in the Chinese calendar and it is widely celebrated throughout the world. 2017 is the year of the tenth Chinese zodiac, the rooster. This includes people who were born in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005. This is the year of the fire rooster, people who were born in 1957 and 2017. Fire roosters are trustworthy, responsible and popular in crowds. Their lucky numbers are 5, 7, 8 and lucky colours are gold, brown and yellow. They are recommended to avoid the colour red and their unlucky numbers are one, three and nine.
The celebrations of Chinese New Year can last a few weeks. Many celebrations include parades, dragons, dances, reunions and dinners. Red clothing is essential as it is said to scare off the mythical monster Nian. Children sleep with red envelopes filled with money under their pillows to bring them luck with wealth. On the final day of Chinese New Year, the 15th day, red Chinese Lanterns are released into the sky. London, San Francisco and Sydney claim to have the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of China. Here is a list of 2017 Chinese New Year Celebrations across iVenture Card destinations:
Singapore – There are plenty of Chinese New Year celebrations on in Singapore! Enjoy parades, markets, lion dances and feast on special dishes. Head into Chinatown for its lively markets and festive atmosphere. Lion dancers and fire-eaters light up Chinatown Street when they perform at Kreta Ayer Square. The Chingay Parade at the Formula One Pit Building by the Marina Bay Waterfront is like the Chinese version of the Brazilian Mardi Gras. There are glittering floats, acrobats, jugglers, percussionists and dancers. The River Honbo on the Marina Bay Floating Platform and the Esplanade Waterfront Promenade provide the chance to taste Chinese delicacies, enjoy opera performances, try Chinese art, and admire the Chinese lanterns on display. For more information on what to see and do in Singapore during Chinese New Year, visit: http://www.yoursingapore.com
Hong Kong & Macau - Hong Kong is such an exciting place to be during the Chinese New Year. The city’s biggest and most colourful festival is impossible to miss. Squeeze into crowded temples to pray for good fortune, browse the festive markets and admire the red lanterns that adorn the city. There will be a fabulous parade of floats, international and local performers, stunning fireworks over the harbor and much more! Hong Kong also has made note of the lucky spot in the city for those who were born in the year of the rooster and that is Victoria’s Peak. For more information on Hong Kong’s Chinese New Year: http://www.discoverhongkong.com Macau has a special tradition of decorating the city with flowers during the CYN as they believe flowers stand for good fortune, positivity, hope, luck and courage. You will also find many parties and performances throughout Macau. For more information: http://macaunewyearseve.com/chinese-new-year/
San Francisco – The Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Festival and Parade is named one of the top ten parades in the world and is one of the few remaining night illuminated parades. It will take place on February 11, 2017. You will see gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, fireworks and the “Golden Dragon.” Many activities take place in Chinatown. There will also be plenty of noise such as firecrackers and beating drums to drive away the evil spirits. There will be flower market fairs, the Miss Chinatown USA Competition, Chinese Community Street Fair and a 5/10K YMCA Chinese New Year Run. The Asian Art Museum will ring in the new year with dancers, musicians and storytellers. Admission is free with purchase of the museum entrance, which you can use your iVenture card for. For more information and more things to do in San Francisco during the 2017 Chinese New Year, visit: http://www.sftravel.com.
Honolulu – The Hawaiians celebrate the Chinese New Year for a few weeks. Chinese New Year celebrations in Honolulu are based on the Hawaiian traditions. Chinese roots in Hawaiian culture are very deep and therefore, the Chinese New Year in Hawaii is a spectacular event every year. There will be a New Year parade with a lion and dragon dance, Kung fu, colourful lanterns and performances by musicians. You’ll find parties, fireworks, music, Chinese food, drinks, music and fun on the beach during the celebrations. Chinatown is a great place to be during this time and many hotels offer special rates. For more information about the Chinese New Year Celebrations in Honolulu, visit: http://hawaii-nye.com/cny/.
Mexico City – Mexico City’s Chinatown, Barrio Chino, celebrates the Chinese New Year with hanging ornaments, dances, martial arts activities, lion and dragon dances. You can also enjoy exhibitions in different museums and shopping malls. For more information, visit: http://www.barriochino.com.mx. The Chinese embassy in Mexico is promoting some exhibitions in different museums and shopping malls. Museo Nacional de las Culturas del Mundo has an exhibit dedicated to the descendants of Chinese in Mexico and their influence on history and culture. The exhibit runs until February 12th. Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso is holding an exhibition showcasing the National Museum of Art of China which runs until February 19th. The Chinese New Year will be celebrated at this exhibit on February 4th 11:00 am – 6:00 pm. There will be lion and dragon dances, workshops of Chinese culture and much more. The Plaza Loreto Shopping Mall will have a Photographic Exhibition titled "Happy Chinese New Year” from January 25 to February 13th.
Gold Coast & Brisbane - The Gold Coast Chinatown on Young and Davenport Streets, Southport is set to come alive again with colour, cuisine and cultural entertainment for the annual Chinese New Year Celebration. On February 4th, from 4pm to 9pm. The celebration is a free event featuring an Asian-infused street food market, live music and cultural entertainment, interactive workshops , screening of Kung Fun Panda 3, pop up laneway bar and a fireworks display. For more information: http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au In Brisbane, on January 28th, bring the kids along to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in the Chinatown Mall. There will be activities such as lion dancers, fire shows, traditional music, cultural performances, Asian market stalls, interactive workshops, street performers and a special Chinese New Year Parade. For more information: https://www.brisbanekids.com.au
Sydney - In addition to the Sydney Opera House and bridge lighting up in red, more than a million visitors will enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia when the city comes alive for the 2017 Sydney Chinese New Year Festival. The festival stretches from Chinatown all the way to the Sydney Harbour. Follow the lantern trails around Circular Quay from the Sydney Opera House to Dawes Point. View the 12 large zodiac animal lanterns varying in size up to 10mm high. At Martin Place enjoy a canopy of red lanterns, food, drinks, DJs, entertainment and lion dances. The final weekend of the festival, from February 11-12th, will feature dragon boat races. For more information: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
Melbourne - Melbourne will hold a 17 day Chinese New Year event running from January 27 to February 12th. There will be lighting installations, cultural performances, cooking demonstrations, Tai Chi lessons and the opportunity for people to try dragon boating. The lighting displays will include peacocks at Docklands, colourful rooster at Queensbridge Square and mystical animals at Queen Victoria Market. For more information: http://www.cnymelbourne.com.au/home/
Tasmania – The Chinese Community Association of Tasmania will be holding the fifth annual Lunar New Year Festival on the lawns of Parliament House of Tasmania in Hobart on January 29th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Visitors will be able to enjoy festive foods, culture, market stalls, interactive children’s activities and nonstop performances, including Lion Dances, Dragon Dances and singers. For more information: http://www.ccat.asn.au
Africa and Middle East
Cape Town – An exhibition of one of the world’s greatest ancient discoveries is underway at the V&A Waterfront. The Terracotta Army and the First Emperor of China showcase which runs until February 12, coincides perfectly with the Chinese New Year. On January 28th, there will be a special exhibition to commemorate Chinese culture and visitors can expect dragon dancers and various other cultural festivities. View the original collection of the 8000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses that were buried with the first Chinese Emperor. For more information: http://www.capetownmagazine.com
Dubai – Dubai is known for its vibrant celebrations and the Chinese New Year is no exception. Head to Dubai’s Chinatown for the live music performances, red and gold decorations, lion and dragon dances. Head to the Dragon Mart where the entire market is decorate in hues of reds and in gold. You will find the red and yellow lanterns decorating every shop. Traditional Chinese cuisines also plays a major role and you will find its delicacies prepared by Chinese restaurants throughout the city. For more information on the best places to eat visit: http://whatson.ae/dubai
London - The London Chinese New Year Celebration is one of the largest outside of Asia. The main Chinese New Year festivities in London take place on January 29th and feature a colourful parade and performance in Trafalgar Square. Enjoy dragon dances, stage shows, lion dances. Head to Chinatown for lanterns, toys and other items that are meant to bring you good luck throughout the new year. In Chinese culture, “climb and gaze far” on New Years Day or the following days, brings good luck in business, career, study and fortune. Some recommended places with great vantage points include The London Eye, The Shard and the ArcelorMittal Orbit. For more information: http://www.visitlondon.com
Spain - The Catalans and Chinese enjoy a colourful New Year event with Barcelona’s Chinese New Year Parade each year. The parade goes right past the Sagrada Familia and includes lions, Chinese and Catalan dragons, martial arts, dances, music, human towers, giants, percussionists and more. The events combine the traditions of both cultures. The parade will be held on January 28th. For more information please visit: http://www.spainbuddy.com For the largest and best celebration around Spain, you should head to Madrid. Each year the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese Cultural Centre sponsor events such as craft fayres, parades and concerts. The parades will feature lions and dragons. You will see store fronts decorated with Chinese colours and memorabilia. A Chinese foodie route coincides with the Chinese New Year with 18 restaurants participating until February 12. For more information, visit: http://www.spainbuddy.com.