Chinese New Year

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Date: January 30, 2018
The Chinese New Year is also popularly known as the Spring Festival, it is celebrated annually in China. It is the most widely celebrated holiday in China and invites one to experience the culture and tradition. Each New Year is marked by characteristics of one of the twelve zodiac animals.  It takes place for seven days, which are observed as public holidays. This year Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 16th of February.

The New Year offers lots to do and see for visitors. This festival period is a symbolic time to honour family and ancestors, and brings the families together for traditional meals, with symbolic foods such as - long noodles for long life and round dumplings symbolic of a united family and perfection. For some time leading up to the festival, various ceremonies are performed in its preparation. There are various traditions observed.  Homes are cleaned and are decorated with red lanterns. During the festival, it is also customary to spend time with family during this time, and many people reunite with their relatives.  Many people also dress in new clothes and take part in traditional activities that you may witness in the streets such as: striking gongs, beating drums and dragon dances. Sacrifices of food are often made to ancestors and messages are also placed on household doors or gates for good fortune in the upcoming year. On the eve of the festival, fireworks are also lit and visible to all in the cities in order to welcome the festival and bring good luck for upcoming the year.

The New Year is an ideal time to explore the temples, where you may witness the locals making offerings to their ancestors. You may also find numerous vendors selling traditional snacks or souvenirs. The alleyways of Beijing, also known as “hutongs”, offer an experience to view the streets lined with red lanterns and be immersed into the New Year’s traditions.
Thompsons invites you to come and explore this festival - truly one of the best ways to be immersed in Chinese culture and tradition.