The New Year time is the best time of the year to experience traditional Chinese culture because there are various celebrations in the street. To help you choose the best places to celebrate an authentic Chinese New Year, here are five of the biggest celebrations that will help you get into the spirit of Chinese New Year.
Temple fair is one of the most important celebration activities during the Spring Festival. This traditional cultural event integrates religious worship and entertainment, and features almost all kinds of Chinese folk art. Temple fairs in Beijing have a long history, and the origin can be traced back to the Liao Dynasty (907 – 1125). The fairs are held at various ancient temples regularly or during festivals, so they are called "temple fairs". China Highlights' Beijing New Year tour include a chance to visit a new year temple fair.
For foreigners, visiting a temple fair is definitely a cultural experience. You may enjoy the reenactment of the ceremony of worship to Earth and Heaven. Folk performances like dragon and lion dances, demonstration of traditional arts and crafts, and fun games are all part and parcel of temple fairs. You can also taste numerous Beijing snacks, court dishes and delicacies.
Guangzhou is known as the "Flower City" in China for its blooming flowers all year round. Bustling flower fairs are held annually during the Spring Festivals. The flower fairs usually start three days ahead of the Spring Festival, and reach the climax on the Eve. There will be various folk performances, and local artists also demonstrate and sell their paintings and calligraphy works in the fair.
Kumquat trees, peach blossoms and peony are the most sought-after ones at the flower fairs. Kumquat, or "Jin Qian Ju" in Chinese, has a similar pronunciation to many auspicious words. "Jin" is similar to gold, "Qian" to money, and "Ju" to luck. Peach, in Chinese culture, is a symbol of longevity and is regarded as the strongest defense against the evil. Peony enjoys high prestige among the Chinese people, being "the flower of richness and honor". Among their many colors, the bright red ones are particularly auspicious, bringing good luck and prosperity.
In Hong Kong, the Spring Festival is also joyously celebrated as people in Mainland China do, difference in activities exit though. It is one of the most important events on Hong Kong's festival calendar. People mark the occasion with a unique fusion of modern fun and ancient customs. A magnificent annual fireworks display and an exciting night parade are included in the celebrations.
Harbin is the most popular winter destinations among Chinese travelers, expats in China and foreign winter travelers, in terms of specific winter activities. Harbin's bone-chilling winters provide the proper climate for the city’s most prominent claim to fame, an annual Ice Lantern Festival. In addition, Harbin’s frozen winter has resulted in various ski resorts in the region, including one of China's best ski resorts: Yabuli Ski Resort.