Top 18 Cities to Celebrate Chinese New Year 2018
With Chinese New Year 2018 just around the corner, chances are that you’re either busy spring-cleaning, preparing angbaos, shopping for new clothes or deciding where to go during the long weekend. In recent years, the Chinese New Year period has seen increasing popularity as a peak travel season due to the 4-day long weekend. This year, the Singapore government has declared 16 Feb and 17 Feb as Public Holidays, so if you typically don’t work on Saturdays, then you’ll get 19 Feb off as a off-in-lieu as well. Most employers also allow their employees a half day off on the eve of Chinese New Year, which this year falls on 15 Feb. Adding a few extra days of leave will allow you the chance to take a truly extended getaway to recharge you for the year ahead.
CheapTickets.sg has prepared a guide of the best 18 cities to celebrate CNY 2018.
1. Jakarta, Indonesia
In Jakarta, the tradition of Yu Sheng is very popular with the Indonesian-Chinese community, so Singaporeans will feel right and home and can join in the festive celebrations at many hotels and chinese restaurants. Some malls even feature Lion Dance, or Barongsai as it’s known in Jakarta. Be sure to visit Glodok, which is the Chinatown area of Jakarta to see the auspicious banners, lanterns and of course delicious street food and dessert stands. You can also visit one of the Chinese temples in the area, like Lei Tek Kwai to pray for blessings in the New Year.
2. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Though CNY is not a public holiday in Cambodia, it is widely celebrated by the Cambodian-Chinese community. They celebrate with houses dressed up with bright yellow flowers, and with Lion and Dragon dancers parading along the streets.
3. Hanoi, Vietnam
CNY is known as TET in Vietnam and is celebrated with many similar practices like returning home for family gatherings, giving angbaos, buying new clothes and praying at temples. While in Hanoi, you should visit Quang An flower market which is hectic during this period. These flowers are culturally significant for the Vietnamese who use it to decorate their house and give it as gifts to close friends and family members.
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Chinese New Year 2018 is a great time to visit KL since the locals will be on public holiday too and everyone will be in a festive mood. You should visit the Thean Hou temple to witness the elaborate decorations and architecture.
5. Cebu, Philippines
Cebu is a great beach destination where you can relax at a luxury resort like the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, while partaking in the many festivities like the traditional lion dance in the hotel lobby, firecrackers and a prosperity toss to usher in the New Year. Tea of Spring, the hotel’s Chinese restaurant will also have a special menu so you and your family can partake in the Yu Sheng for good luck.
6. Hong Kong
When it comes to celebrating CNY, few cities do it bigger than Hong Kong. With street parades, delicious dim-sum, stunning flower decorations, prayers at temples and a grand fireworks show at Victoria Harbor, you’ll be sure to usher in the New Year with a wonderful festive mood.
7. Melbourne, Australia
Known for its coffee and street art scene, Melbourne is a great spot for your Chinese New Year holiday. Join the Chinese community at Chinatown for the Dragon’s Awakening Ceremony 2018 on Sunday 18 February which promises a whole day affair with the key attraction being the epic Dragon dance, followed by Lion dances, street performers and other activities to welcome the Year of the Dog.
8. Bangkok, Thailand
No list of weekend getaway spots for Singaporeans is ever complete without including Bangkok and no visit to Bangkok is complete without going to Yaowarat, their Chinatown for yummy street food, fresh seafood and delicious desserts. Going there during CNY, you’ll get to see the Thai-Chinese community decked out in their festive clothes like cheongsams and you can visit temples to pray for good luck. The main road will be closed off to traffic and many stalls will be set up selling festive goodies.
9. Taipei, Taiwan
Can’t get enough of your favorite Taiwanese delicacies? CNY 2018 is a great time to visit the city, there will be less crowds and shorter queues for popular food stalls, as many Taiwanese who are not from Taipei will return to their hometowns. Don’t miss the epic fireworks display and street parade which have become annual traditions there.
What better way to celebrate the Chinese New Year than making the most out of your luck? Macau’s casinos attract many travelers during this festive season with special buffet menus, attractive jackpot prizes and glitzy shows. There will also be a grand fireworks display near Macau Tower and a street parade at historic Senado Square to welcome the Year of the Dog.
11. Tokyo, Japan
Every year in Japan, during the Lunar New Year, the streets of Chinatown are adorned with illuminated lanterns. This year, a Dragon lantern, measuring 80 meters long is the star attraction. There will also be a grand countdown to the New Year on Feb 15, so don’t miss it!
12. Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas is home to one of the younger Chinatowns in the world. Chinatown Centre was set up in 2006 to celebrate the culture and cuisine of the small but growing Chinese population in the city. Join in for a whole week’s worth of fun activities during the Year of the Dog Celebrations, ranging from martial art displays to firecrackers and Lion dances.
13. Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg has not one, but two Chinatowns. Old Chinatown on Commissioner Street celebrates CNY with a stunning fireworks display, a bustling street food scene and traditional performances. A couple of days later, New Chinatown at Cyrildene, will celebrate with a lively street parade, with a Lion dance and Dragon dance troupe.
14. Toronto, Canada
With 6 Chinatowns, we’re pretty sure celebrating Chinese New Year in Toronto takes on a whole new level of epic! There’s a whole host of events lined up like the annual CNTV CNY Gala, annual CNY Countdown at Pacific Mall, Toronto Chinese New Year Ball and a special festive performance by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
15. Liverpool, UK
Liverpool is home to Europe’s oldest Chinatown, and the city will have a 3-day celebration to usher in the Year of the Dog. Blending the best of old-world culture with new-world art, you’ll get to see both traditional performances alongside dazzling light projections and a special pyrotechnic display. Chinese New Year 2018 also begins a 9-month long celebration of Chinese art & culture in the city of Liverpool.
16. Amsterdam, Netherlands
The key attraction of Amsterdam’s Chinatown is the He Hua Temple, which is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Europe. Celebrations will be held at Nieuwmarkt Square, where you can join the locals in the singing and dancing along to festive music.
17. Lima, Peru
Lima’s Chinatown is of great cultural significance as the country has the biggest Chinese population in all of Latin America (at present) and is right at the heart of the city’s historic area. Believe it or not, some restaurants there claim to have been around since 1901. Come here to experience the old-world traditions coming to life during Chinese New Year as Lima is said to have the most exciting celebrations in Latin America!
18. Havana, Cuba
Want to experience Chinese New Year somewhere no one would expect you to? Head over to Havana, Cuba and visit it’s Chinatown, which at one point in time, was the biggest in all of Latin America. You’ll get to join in the celebrations and watch exciting martial arts performances alongside the traditional dragon dance.