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Welcome The Year Of The Rat And Join The Chinese New Year Festivities At These Cities Around The World

Planning to join the festivities? Or curious where next to travel for Chinese New Year? Here’s a look at the Lunar New Year celebrations in key cities around the world.

The festivities of the New Year are not over just yet! On January 25, the whole world will be setting fireworks again to welcome the Chinese New Year. For 2020, we will be celebrating the Year of the Rat.


While it began as a traditional Chinese custom, Chinese New Year is now being celebrated all over the world, especially in cities with significant Chinese populations. Here is a look at some of the Chinese New Year celebrations in different cities across the globe and what to expect if you’re planning to join the festivities.

 



Singapore

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is a huge holiday celebration in Singapore, mainly because of the country and the people’s Chinese roots. This year, the celebrations will take place from January 25 to February 8, and the whole city will be lit up with big parades and festivals. But the biggest festivities will happen, of course, in Chinatown itself.


From January 4 to February 22, handmade sculptured lanterns shaped as the Rat and other 11 Chinese Zodiac Animals will be lit up along the streets of Chinatown. From January 3 to 24, there will be a Street Bazaar where you can feast on mouthwatering New Year delicacies and stock up on your lucky charms.



Make sure to catch the huge Countdown Party at the New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street, where there will be lively performances and a firecrackers display to usher in the Lunar New Year.


If you don’t want to join the crowd in Chinatown, you can hold out and join the Chingay Parade on January 31 to February 1. It is one of the oldest events happening in Singapore during the Chinese New Year, which was first held in 1973. Now, it continues to be a must-attend event by tourists and locals for dazzling floats, night carnival, pyrotechnics display, street performers, and fireworks.



After partying in Chinatown, you can also celebrate at the Esplanade Theaters on the Bay where they will hold Huayi, Chinese Festival of Arts 2020. Huayi will feature an exciting lineup of theater, dance, and musical programs from January 31 to February 9.




Of course, you can’t miss the festivities happening at Resorts World Sentosa, from January 11 to February 9, where, on top of enjoying rides and destinations, you can join an Auspicious Dragon Trail featuring your favorite characters all around the park.



Hong Kong

Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is spectacular—big, lively, and one of the most colorful celebrations of Chinese New Year outside of mainland China. But due to the political unrest that the country and its people are currently facing, there will be a couple of changes that will be adapted to its yearly affair.


After more than two decades of the Lunar New Year parade, for this year, the Hong Kong Tourism Board announced that the parade will be replaced with a 4-day carnival. The carnival that will take place from January 25 to 28 will still feature local and international performers, food stalls, and booth games.



Unlike its previous years, the countdown from New Year’s Eve will also be a bit smaller with no performances along Canton Road.


Some Chinese New Year customs, however, will still remain. There will be flower markets at Victoria Park from January 19 to 25 to stock up on auspicious flowers. Locals and visitors can also visit the Lam Tsuen well-wishing festival from January 25 to February 9, where villagers would write their wishes on a mandarin fruit and throw it onto the wishing trees. The Chinese New Year Race Day hosted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club will also push through on January 27.


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Sydney

Australia is home to a growing and healthy Asian community, including Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean cultures. This is why there’s also an abundance of Chinese New Year events happening around the city as early as the second week of January.


One of the first areas to celebrate is Hurstville with their annual Lunar New Year Festival happening on January 18. Up to 50,000 residents and visitors flock the Forest Road during the festival for a whole day of Chinese traditional performances, stalls offering Chinese delicacies, and even a cameo from Hello Kitty!



If you miss the 18th at Hurstville, Chatswood is home to one of the longest CNY celebrations in Sydney, spanning almost three weeks from January 20 to February 8. Visit the Golden Market and browse through more than 35 stalls offering a variety of delicacies and goods. There will be lion dancing, calligraphy workshops, art exhibitions, and a jumbo mahjong played with giant red and gold tiles.


The official Chinese New Year Celebration Day will be held on February 1 at the Chatswood Mall and Concourse, where the annual party will be bursting with events and performances like dragon and lion dancing, face-changing, magic show, Chinese folk dance, Chinese musical instruments ensemble, Cantonese opera singing, and more.



A week after, by February 8, the fun still has not subsided as thousands of spectators line the streets to witness the traditional New Year street parade. After the parade at 6:30 p.m., head to your favorite Chinese restaurants in the vicinity curated by Masterchef Adam Liaw himself, all offering their own Chinese fares.


If you’re looking for some Instagrammable spots, you just have to walk along Circular Quay for the Lunar Lanterns that will be on display from January 31 to February 9. One of the highlights of the installations will be Claudia Chan Shaw's tower of nine gold metallic, animatronic rats located at the First Fleet Park.


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New York

The winter chill will not stop the partying and festivities happening around New York for the Lunar New Year.


For a more traditional celebration, the 21st Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival at Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Grand Street on January 25 and the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival in Lower Manhattan on February 9 are two of the key and biggest CNY events in New York. They feature the usual Chinese New Year fanfare like lion dances, food booths, and fireworks.



But if you’re looking for more modern celebrations and events, New York is also offering a variety of fresh new takes on the Lunar New Year. There’s the first annual Asian Comedy Festival happening at the Peoples Improv Theater and Underground from January 25 to 26. Comedy acts all over the world are coming together for two days of laughter and cheer.



If you’re more into arts, come to the Abrons Art Center for their Second Annual Lunar New Year Celebration. The party will feature a traditional lion and dragon dance, karaoke, plus DJ sets by HU DAT, Ushka, OHYUNG, and Yasmin Adele Majeed.


After the festivities, drop by some of the best Chinese restaurants in and out of Chinatown. For classic and authentic Chinese, some of Vogue’s recommended restaurants are Nom Wa Tea Parlor, New York’s first dim sum house that opened in 1920; Savour Sichuan in West Manhattan for mouth-tingling Sichuan specialties like Mapo tofu; Western Yunnan Crossing Bridge Noodle, home to the classic hot pot soup served in a stone bowl; and Decoy for the best peking duck by Chef Joe Ng.



Las Vegas

If New York is a bit more modern and sophisticated, Las Vegas celebrates the Chinese New Year in their signature over-the-top and decadent ways.


Don’t miss the biggest CNY highlight that happens in Sin City: The annual Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade, where the most extravagant floats and vibrant street dance walk down the Main Street. It will happen on the day of the Chinese New Year on January 25.



Hotel casinos in Las Vegas also have their own offerings and attractions. Caesars Palace will welcome back the 22-foot-long good-luck dragon adorned with 30,000 flickering lights. At the Bellagio, the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens will be transformed with the prosperous Year of the Rat theme from golden rats, a gold staircase, and 20-foot gold coin trees. At The Venetian Resort, Chinese New Year décor take over the atrium and a ceremonial lion dance rings in the New Year on January 25. At the Palazzo, the waterfall will feature an 18-foot tall golden rat sculpture surrounded by a garden of colorful flowers.




Taipei

The Lunar New Year, which is also known as Spring Festival, is the longest public holiday in Taiwan. The first five days are declared a public holiday for the locals to visit their family, pay respects at the temples, and go about their traditional ceremonies.


Leading to the New Year, Taipei’s traditional markets get packed with locals buying decorations and ingredients for their New Year feasts. If you can handle the crowd, join the fanfare at Dihua Street, the oldest street in Taipei, to shop for food, goods, and delicacies.



Chinese New Year in Taiwan is very much centered in the locals’ homes, that’s why many businesses and attractions are closed during the holidays. The city almost turns into a ghost town as locals go to the provinces to spend time with their extended families.


But if you must visit Taipei during this time, there’s the Dragon and Lion Dance at the lobby of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which kicks off with an explosion of firecrackers and wild drums. The Taipei 101, Taipei Zoo, Maokong Gondola, National Palace Museum, and Beitou Hot Springs are also open.



You can also visit the temples which is more in tune with the locals’ celebrations since they are paying respects at the temples as well. If you’re lucky, you might catch some cherry blossoms at Tianyuan Temple in Danshui.




Macau

What is Chinese New Year like in the world’s biggest gambling resort destination? It’s vibrant, colorful, and just partying ’round-the-clock! In Macau, January 25 to 27 are declared public holidays, and the region is packed with locals who want to unwind and celebrate.


One of the highlights of the New Year is the fireworks at Macau Tower, which is usually at the evening of January 25. The best vantage points to watch the fireworks are near the tower itself or along the Taipa shore.


Senado Square in Macau | Image from @Xinhua by Cheong Kam Ka


You also won’t miss the biggest Chinese New Year parade, which will start at Senado Square, bringing a 200-meter-long dragon, decorated floats, and dancing lions across the streets of Macau.


Locals also love to decorate Macau in flowers, especially during events like the Chinese New Year because they believe flowers stand for good fortune, positivity, lucky, and courage. Drop by the Flower Market Tap Seac Square to join their appreciation for flowers, and look for traditional New Year gifts and goods.




Spending Chinese New Year in Macau is fun, lively, and full of activities—but be sure to book your hotels early because it’s one of the region’s busiest season.



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