The Wondering Traveller

Where to celebrate the Lunar New Year Festival in 2017

 

Life can be good sometimes. Even though it’s only been a few weeks since we chased 2016 away, the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival, is already giving us another reason to get our party hats on again. And we’re not about to complain. 

All around the world, people are getting ready to celebrate with mooncakes, lion dances, and firecrackers for one of the most colorful celebrations in the world. If you want to join, here are some of the cities with the best Lunar New Year festival parades for you to enjoy. 

 

New York

Chinese Lunar New Year New York City

Few cities in the world do parades quite like New York, and the Lunar New Year’s is no different.

Festivities go on for two days in the city’s Chinatown ( Jan 28th, for the Lunar New Year Parade and February 5th for the Firecracker Festival). Expect drums, lion dances, firecrackers, dancers, and unique to New York, a performance by the New York Philarmonic at the David Geffen Hall to usher the in the Year of the Rooster with fanfare.

Visit the Official Site 

Sydney

Though it’s not in the habit of throwing parades quite as often as New York, Sydney, is home to the largest Chinese diaspora in the world, and for the Lunar Festival, it goes all out with days of celebrations to enjoy. 

Tai CHi Bunnies - Chinese Lunar New Year

Sydney Lunar New Year Festival – Feng Shui Bunnies.

From January 27-29, many of city’s landmark buildings – Sydney Town Hall, Capitol Theatre, the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the State Library – will be bathed in red to welcome the Year of the Rooster and chase away any misfortunes ahead of it.

There’s art all around as well, with colored lantern sculptures depicting the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac in various locations throughout the city.

CIty of Sydey Year of the tiger

Sydney Lunar New Year Festival – Signe of the Tiger.

Since its beginnings 21 years ago, the Lion Dance has been an integral part of Sydney’s lunar new year festival. Two performances per day will be held from January 27th-February 12 and are not to be missed. For the foodies, the Carriageworks night market is the place to go, with over 50 stalls of local producers and brands to discover from 5-10pm on January 28.

 Visit the official site

Hong Kong

If you’re in Hong Kong during the lunar new year festival, lucky you, you’re in for a treat.

Even if shops are closed for a while after the festival, and getting a table at a good restaurant requires superhuman skills (or a good concierge) the city’s Lunar New Year festival parade alone is worth the trip. 

Hong Kong Fireworks

Hong Kong Chinese Lunar New Year Festival – Victoria Bay

Because this is the city’s biggest event and no expenses are spared to make sure it’s a success. The Computer controlled fireworks display is the one of the best around – and if you’re staying at the Peninsula Hong Kong, you won’t even have to leave your room to see it – but for many, it’s the night parade on Tsim Sha Tsui that makes it worth the trip.

Performers from all over the world are invited to perform at the Night Parade on Tsim Sha Tsui’s main roads. From 8-9.45 pm, it’s an extravaganza involving over 30 floats and international performers (from Japan, Korea, USA, Germany and more). Even the characters from nearby Disney Land Hong Kong come to participate.  

Hong Kong - Lion Dance

Hong Kong Chinese Lunar New Year Festival – Lion Dance in Tsim Sha Tsui

 Visit the official site 

London

10 am, Charring Cross Road. If you’re in London, that’s where you want to be on Sunday January 29th for the start of the city’s Lunar New Year Festival Parade. Since this is the biggest new year festival outside of Asia, you better be sure you get there early. 

Chinese Lunar New Year London

London Lunar New Year Festival – Trafalgar Square

London’s parade is a grand spectacle involving pyrotechnics, acrobatics, music(including a performance from the London Chinese Philharmonic Choir) martial arts displays, and of course, a host of restaurants in Chinatown which you’d be extremely lucky to get a table in.

Lunar New Year festival - London

London Lunar New Year Festival – Trafalgar Square

There are also a number of events happening all around the city, at Barbican Centre, the Museum of London and Chiswick house and gardens among others. While you’re in town, be sure to look out for free roaming Chinese lions and the Lucky Money God who should be found around the Charing Cross Road area.

Visit the official site 

Paris

Le Quartier Chinois (China Town) and Le Marais are two of the best places to catch the lunar new year festival in Paris but many events are taking place in many of the city’s “arrondissements“. Since le Quartier Chinois will be holding its parade on February 5th, you can go its counterpart in Le Marais on January 28th for a smaller, but just as colorful and vibrant “apéritif” before the big show. 

Lunar New Year Paris

Paris Lunar New Year Festival

The city will celebrate Chinese culture from January 25th to February 11th.

If you’d like to discover a more luxurious side to the festival, the Peninsula Paris, and the Shangri-La Paris, have all prepared something special for the advent of the year of the Rooster.

At the Shangri-La, you can enjoy an eight-course menu specially prepared for the lunar new year festival in Paris’s only Michelin Star Chinese restaurant. At the Peninsula Paris, you’ll be able to jump into the hotel’s chauffeur-driven mini cooper, and get whisked to all the city’s auspicious spots to start the Year of the Rooster in the best way possible. The hotel’s Lili restaurant will also offer be serving a specially prepared menu for the occasion.

Visit the official website