If you thought the New Year’s revelry was over, think again. The Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year or Spring Festival), which falls on Saturday, 10th February in 2024, is set to ignite celebrations across the globe.
2024 is the Year of the Dragon. In Chinese culture, the sign of the dragon symbolises good luck, strength and health, and people born in the year of the dragon are believed to be ambitious, confident and charismatic.
Whether this is your Chinese zodiac sign year, or you’re just after an excuse to extend the new year’s celebrations a little longer, here’s where to celebrate Lunar New Year around the world.
In Beijing, they really know how to paint the town red. This is the biggest holiday of the year in Beijing, so the Chinese capital is one of the ultimate places to experience Lunar New Year.
Lunar New Year is a prime time to visit if you want to experience the local culture. A temple fair is where you’ll be able to observe many traditional cultural experiences such as dragon and lion dances, arts and crafts and auspicious foods, while locals setting off firecrackers and fireworks are a constant nightly occurrence.
When it comes to Lunar New Year celebrations, Kuala Lumpur is a lot more reserved than most. Mostly, celebrators will head to the temples to pay their respects to the gods, light joss sticks and burn papercuts. These temples are usually meticulously decorated in lanterns making it a great destination to visit to admire the beautiful decorations of such a colourful and vibrant celebration.
Sydney is no slouch when it comes to celebrating the Lunar New Year. The festivities seem to get bigger every year, with Sydney’s Lunar Festival now considered one of the biggest celebrations outside of Asia. This year, the festival comes alive in the laneways of Haymarket from 10th-25th February. Expect lion dancers, live entertainment, roving performers, market stalls and food trucks. Sydney truly is an unforgettable place to celebrate!
The Lunar New Year is one of the major events in Singapore’s annual calendar. With a population primarily made up of Chinese, Indian and Malaysian ethnic groups, new year’s celebrations offer a unique blend of cultures and traditions.
One of the best places to experience the festivities is the River Hongbao. Here you can welcome the Year of the Rabbit with a range of epic experiences including giant lanterns, live performances and even amusement rides.
With the largest Chinatown in North America, Lunar New Year celebrations in San Francisco are among the biggest worldwide. The main ticket is the annual Lunar New Year Parade, where more than three million people line the streets to watch over 100 parade entries. Don’t miss the 8.3-metre-long Golden Dragon float, which requires 100 people to operate, as it makes it way down the route from the corner of 2nd and Market Street to the corner of Jackson and Kearny. While you are here, keep an eye out for the intricately designed tiger statues placed across the city as part of the celebrations.
The multicultural city of Vancouver turns it on for the Lunar New Year with heaps of food banquets, cultural fairs and festivals. The Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade brings the energy, colour and pageantry to the streets of Chinatown with Canada’s largest troupe of lion dancers plus cultural dance performances, marching bands and martial arts displays.
Bangkok is home to Thailand’s largest Chinatown, so of course they throw the biggest Lunar New Year Party in Thailand. Lanterns, banners and a colourful procession turns the city into a sea of red. While it is not an official holiday in Thailand, the areas' Chinese community take the day off to pay respects to the gods and ancestors, crack fireworks and admire the colourful dancers and dragons.
When thinking of places to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Paris probably isn’t high on the list – but it definitely should be. When it comes to the Lunar New Year, the capital of France really knows how to party. The two-week celebration kicks off with the ‘opening of the dragon’s eye,’ followed by a procession of dancers, drummers and, of course, plenty of dragons. All this takes place around the Champs-Elysées, which makes for a truly magical backdrop.
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