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Because you can't spend all day every day journeying around IgoUgo, editors round up the highlights: members' notable trips, newest reviews, favorite destinations, contests, and more. Have a question or idea? Let us know!

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World's Best Chinese New Year Celebrations

World's Best Chinese New Year Celebrations Photo

Photo by Seaotter71

Posted on February 7, 2008 in Trip Ideas

If you’ve already forgotten your original New Year’s resolutions, take heart: you can start your projects anew today at a Lunar New Year celebration. No matter where you are in the world, there’s a party near you. Better get (fire)cracking.

1. Beijing
John Lamb says: “Being in Beijing during the Chinese New Year is nice because of the decorations. There are a lot of red lanterns around and a festive mood in the air. There are fairs held at a couple of temples: the Lamaist Yonghe Gong and the Taoist Baiyunguan Si. We passed Ditan Park and there seemed to be some events going on there as well. I have also heard that Longtan Park has a daytime fair.”

2. San Francisco
Grendelb says: “San Francisco is a destination that will never disappoint. It doesn't really matter what time of the year you go; you'll always find something going on. But if you want an incredibly fun and interesting cultural experience, go during the Chinese New Year Festival. And consider going towards the end of the festival to take in the parade. Running at about 2.5 hours and featuring more firecrackers and colorful banners, lanterns, and dragons than you thought possible, it's definitely a reason to check out the city during Chinese New Year.”

3. Hong Kong
travelwisdom says: “Everyone loves a parade. Jovial crowds shouting greetings of ‘Kung Hei Fat Choy’ (Wishing you a happy New Year) line the streets. It is more of a performance than a parade. Over several hours, dragon and lion dancers, acrobats, marching bands, and performers of all ages from around the world stop in front of the VIP seats to entertain the audience. Tip: VIP seats are a must for unobstructed views and comfort.”

4. Vancouver
Re Carroll says: “This is one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. Lots of restaurants—pick one for dim sum. February is a wonderful time to visit and enjoy the celebrations of Chinese New Year. The parade is colorful, noisy, and lots of fun.”

5. Penang
neamman says: “If you can visit Penang, Malaysia, during the first day of Chinese New Year, at around midnight start visiting the large temples...you will be struck by the spirituality of the adherents, something you usually don't see on a daily basis.”

6. Chicago
cls223 says: “Like Chinese communities the world over, Chinatown in Chicago has a big celebration to welcome in the New Year. Go early, and stake out a good vantage point. You can get a good view of the parade from the platform of the Red Line elevated train, although you won't be close enough to hear the commentary.”

7. Dali
Lauren T says: “While I hadn't planned on spending the holiday in beautiful, sunny Dali, I believe that being ‘stuck’ in Dali provided a much more memorable experience than I would have had in any of the places I would have chosen. While walking through the village during the days immediately preceding the new year, you are likely to find people buzzing about, cleaning their homes and their clothes, putting up decorations, and preparing a holiday feast. What's more, on New Year's Eve and New Year’s Day you are likely to find the villagers in their traditional garments singing, dancing, and parading up and down the streets with dragons.”

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