Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

06/12/2019 Off By Peigi MacVicar

Ever thought about travelling to celebrate Chinese New Year? You will now. It’s the time of year where you’ll be amazed by beautiful lights, relax with friends or family and eat some tasty food!

Chinese Lanterns

What you need to know

What do you know about Chinese New Year? If it’s a trip to China you have in mind for the start of the year here are some essentials you need to know. First of all, when is it? In 2020 New Years Day is on the 25th of January but it can be any day from the 21st of January to the 20th of February as it’s based on a lunar cycle which differs every year. Harvest is at the heart of Chinese New Year celebrations even in the megacities and another name for the celebration is ‘The Spring Festival’.

Woman with umbrella in Chinese countryside


As well as plenty of celebration, there come taboos too! If celebrating Chinese New Year then you daren’t shower on New Year’s Day! Sweeping or taking the bins out is also forbidden in case it results in luck being swept out of the home. If you’re needing a haircut around this time, you’d better wait until after February the 2nd! Other things that aren’t allowed are using scissors, knives or other sharp things; arguing or swearing and don’t mention death or sickness as they are unlucky words! Be very careful of everything you touch as if you break ANYTHING you’ll be doomed to bad luck, you’ll be kept on your toes, to say the least.

Chinese dragon lit up

Where to go!

Now for the travel part! Where is best to celebrate? Well, China obviously. Here are the top 3 destinations for this time of year.

  • I know I just said China was the best place to celebrate, however, the second-best place is Singapore! Singapore has a blend of cultures which gives a slightly different kick to the celebrations with a mixture of Indian, Chinese and Malaysian ethnicities. This means the celebrations hold to old traditions as well as bringing in a hint of modern to add to the excitement! Check out the Chingay Parade that involves plenty of dragons, magic and all sorts!
  • Now for Hong Kong, where you’ll see red lanterns everywhere! Fireworks, parades and markets are not to be missed as they really capture the essence of Chinese New Year. Even Mickey Mouse celebrates here as he is dressed in traditional Chinese attire at Hong Kong Disney.
  • And the mother of all, Beijing. Carnivals and Chinese folk art show off how amazing the celebrations can be. Qing-Style sacred ceremony at the Ditan Temple is one of the highlights that can’t be missed. There are lights, lanterns et al in pretty much all parks and even in lakes. Everywhere you look you won’t forget what time of year it is!
Red Chinese lantern hanging from a tree

How to celebrate!

Over 20% of the world celebrate Chinese New Year! So, how is it done? Well, one of the best ways to do so is to eat dumplings for every meal EVERY DAY! These are the rules and I’d be happy to stick to this but most people save them for New Year’s Eve as it possibly becomes a bit much to eat them for every meal. Another way the Chinese celebrate is by handing red pockets of money to their children or grandchildren, even bosses gift them to their employees sometimes! This is a way of passing on their inheritance throughout their lives and comes down to sharing the wealth. One of the main things you need to do is to catch up with your family and friends so make sure you’ve done this! Brightening thing up with colour, clearing out colour and watching a traditional dance or firework shows are must-dos too!

Chinese dragon head figures dancing

Are you tempted? How couldn’t you be? Amazing food, lights, colour, tradition and dragons! There’s nowhere else to be for this time of year.