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This post was posted by thehipmunk  on Hipmunk’s__Tailwind blog_ [2] on POSTED ON JANUARY 5, 2016

While much of the world celebrated the dawning of a new year on January 1, the global celebration of a new annum isn’t over yet. Communities around the world are gearing up for another giant annual celebration in the form of the Chinese New Year.

Otherwise known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year is celebrated according to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. This year’s celebration officially takes place on February 8, but expect the festivities to last for whole weekends, weeks, or even the entire month of February. (No two locales celebrate in exactly the same way.) Want to be witness to this global celebration? Here are eight of the best destinations for ushering in the Chinese New Year around the globe.

1. Bangkok, Thailand

Bustling Bangkok houses Thailand’s largest Chinatown as well as (not coincidentally) the country’s biggest Chinese New Year celebration, which draws millions of participants each year. Celebrants fill the streets to enjoy fireworks, red lantern displays, massive banquets, and dragon dancer performances.

2. Beijing, China

China’s capital goes all out in its new year celebrations, which have taken place in the city for hundreds of years. The main attractions, hands down, are the city’s Temple Fairs, which feature worship ceremonies, sports competitions, traditional crafts and snacks, cultural performances, colorful decorations, parties, and fireworks.

3. Hong Kong, China

The three-day Chinese New Year festival in Hong Kong mark the city’s largest annual celebration. The world-renowned festivities consist of a carnival-like nighttime parade, a massive fireworks display by Victoria Harbor, and a day of horse racing that also features traditional performances. All profits made during race day are donated to charities.

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4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Because celebrations in Kuala Lumpur are a bit tamer than in other areas of the world, this is the place to be if you’re slightly crowd-averse. Participants do much of their celebrating in ornate temples, where they pay respects to deities and burn papercuts of their ancestors. Decorations extend from inside the temples out into the streets, where celebrants mingle in open air markets and light fireworks.

5. London, United Kingdom

According to some sources, the annual Chinese New Year celebrations that take place in London’s Trafalgar Square are the largest outside of Asia. Hundreds of thousands of people participate in the festivities, which include decorations, good food, and traditional costumes and performances.

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6. San Francisco, United States

The Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco has been named one of the top 10 parades in the world, which explains why participants line up early in order to reserve a spot on the sidelines. The vibrant parade features floats, fireworks, acrobats, and a 201-foot Golden Dragon. Other area festivities include a flower fair and a 10k/5k run throughout San Francisco’s Chinatown.

7. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore’s Chinese New Year celebrations have gained world renown since 1987, when locals first started hosting vibrant festivals along the River Hongbao. Celebrants enjoy giant lantern displays, traditional song and dance performances, firework displays, tons of good food, and the Chingay Parade, Asia’s largest street and float parade.

8. Sydney, Australia

Sydney vies with London for the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia, and for good reason: The city’s festivities take place over three weeks, starting on February 1. The celebrations include Chinatown markets, lantern displays, a giant parade, and a Dragon Boat Race, which features more than a hundred boats paddled to the beat of a drum.

No matter which of these vibrant celebrations you choose to attend, you won’t be disappointed. And the icing on the cake? If you’ve already slipped up on your new year’s resolutions, celebrating Chinese New Year gives you another clean slate


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