As we close the chapter on an eventful year and gear up for the new one, a quarter of the world’s population will be decking out their homes and businesses with red and gold decor, filling red envelopes with lucky money and planning gourmet feasts for a 15-day Spring Festival to honour and welcome the Lunar New Year.
Historically, Lunar New Year signified the time to gather and pray to the harvest gods for a fruitful new year of healthy crops, whilst also honouring heavenly deities and ancestors. Now, the focus has shifted to gathering with family on New Year’s Eve for a ‘reunion dinner’ featuring a delicious feast of traditional dishes that signify wealth, health and success for the new year. Before returning home, many will visit local markets, shopping districts and sweet shops to purchase goods such as peanut brittle, almond biscuits, fish skin peanuts, sugar biscuits and fruit as offerings for their ancestors to enjoy. As the clock ticks over to the new year, the festivities begin with visits to and from extended family and friends, gift-giving, lion dancing, temple hopping, lighting lanterns and of course launching or watching fireworks.
In 2022, it’s the Year of the Tiger, a year all about big changes, risk-taking and adventure. Why not get inspired for your next escapade and read on for our top five places to celebrate Lunar New Year!
Our Top 5 Places to Celebrate Lunar New Year in 2022
Home to the biggest Lunar New Year festival in Europe, London’s bubbly Chinatown attracts thousands of people. The streets are lined with beautiful red lanterns, bustling food stalls and traditional trinkets. Celebration highlights are the stage performances in Trafalgar Square and the exciting dragon parade that weaves through the main strip to the sounds of traditional drums, cymbals, gongs and animated cheering.
Living up to its reputation as a leading party destination in Australia, Sydney celebrates the Lunar New Year in spectacular style! Locals and visitors alike are treated to daily street parades, lion dancing, pop up markets, delicious food and firework displays. In recent years, the Harbour Bridge has also hosted live karaoke, cultural performances and variety shows, whilst Darling Harbour transforms into a buzzing hub for competitive dragon boat racing and remarkable 15-metre tall lanterns of the 12 zodiac animals.
The capital city of Thailand is renowned worldwide for being home to the largest solid gold Buddha, located in Chinatown’s Wat Traimit Temple. Visitation skyrockets over the Lunar New Year as many visit the Golden Buddha to pay their respects and pray for a successful year ahead. With the influx of visitors, locals pride themselves on transforming every street and alley into a stunning display of red lanterns, lights and mythical creatures. As the new year approaches, main roads are closed off in preparation for a lively parade featuring an array of cultural performances, traditional dragon dancing, acrobatic shows and colourful light displays.
2. Hong Kong
Those who have travelled to Hong Kong will know that on a regular day, the city beams with vibrancy, but every year it raises itself to the next level for the Lunar New Year. The streets and shopping districts are filled with locals getting their final festive goods as businesses prepare to shut down for the break. The most notable celebratory event is the world-famous Tsim Sha Tsui Night Parade featuring stunning bright floats, musical skits, traditional dragon dancing and a colourful fireworks show. For those looking for a more relaxing activity, take a trip up to Victoria Peak to observe beautiful panoramic views of the city as the fireworks show lights up the night sky.
Coming in at number one is Beijing! As expected, the city is buzzing with locals travelling back to their hometowns in time for their reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day, locals travel back to the city as it comes to life with a string of festivals, carnivals, worshipping ceremonies and temple events. One of the most popular events is hosted at the Temple of Heaven located in the south-eastern part of central Beijing. Locals and travellers will visit to pay their respects to the heavenly gods, make their wishes for the new year before enjoying the lion dancing, folk performances, fireworks, parades and the wide variety of local food and delicacies.
Want to experience these top five destinations for yourself? Talk to your local Travellers Choice agent
- we’ll help you discover the best activities for your next Lunar New Year getaway!