Best Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year Around the World

Fireworks over the harbour in Hong Kong

It’s the year of the Rooster and we’ve got some of the best ways to celebrate Chinese New Year around the world. And, after the year of the Monkey – and boy, was 2016 a year of so much of the world monkeying around, we’re glad to herald the king of henhouse!

But 2017 is not just the year of any old Rooster, it is the year of the Fire Rooster. There will be a greater emphasis on moving forward, as the rooster is responsible for waking up the world every morning!

With that, we celebrate the year of the Rooster as one of moving forward with our travel plans and bucket lists. We start off the New Year in Hong Kong, where, like the city itself, are steeped in tradition with a modern twist and a forward-thinking attitude.

Click through for more ways to celebrate Chinese New Year around the world.

 

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Hong Kong

No matter what animal sign you might be in the Chinese Zodiac, lucky is the visitor who is in Hong Kong during Chinese New Year, the city’s biggest and most colourful festival! From 22 January to 12 February it will be impossible not to be caught up in the excitement and the traditions, say our friends at the Hong Kong Tourism Board. On the big night itself, this year falling on January 28, there’s the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade followed by one of the world’s most spectacular fireworks displays. For sports enthusiasts and horse-lovers, Hong Kong’s racetracks will be a flurry of hoof-pounding action. And then, of course, there’s the food. Hong Kong is a gourmet and street food lover’s delight.

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Stay: Cordis Hong Kong at Langham Place. The hotel itself is a Chinese art gallery – with a collection of sculptures and paintings that would rival the local art museum – and home away from home all in one.

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Eat: Celebrate the Cantonese way: Book a table at the hotel’s two-Michelin starred Ming Court, where there will be a selection of New Year delicacies, such as Chinese New Year puddings like the Rose Petal, Dark Brown Sugar, Wolfberry (goji) and Water Chestnut Pudding, above – that’s dessert to you and me – as well as a series of special feast menus that include classic Cantonese cuisine, delicious dim sum and dumplings and innovative taste treats. www.cordishotels.com/en/hongkong

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Sautéed Prawns Asparagus Walnuts Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, Tang Court Cantonese Restaurant, Hong Kong

Or go all out and have the brilliant concierge at the Cordis make a reservation at the hotel’s sister property, The Langham Hong Kong‘s T’ang Court. Here, three-star Michelin cuisine is also healthy! Executive chef Kwong Wai Keung is ringing in the new year with nutritious selections, using superfoods such as goji berries, which is packed with anti-oxidants and is also a rich, red colour – the perfect hue to celebrate Chinese New Year. langhamhotels.com/hongkong

 

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England

London: 29 January 2017

The Chinese New Year festivities in Central London are free to attend and take place in Trafalgar Square, above, Chinatown and across the West End. Celebrate the Year of the Rooster in London, with the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people descend on the West End to wish each other “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or “San Nin Faai Lok” (in Cantonese). If you miss it, the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House and Gardens runs to 26 February 2017 with spectacular light installations and hand-made lanterns in the shape of animals and plants, on an enchanting walk through Chiswick House’s famous gardens. www.visitlondon.com

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Stay: The May Fair, located in the historic London neighbourhood of Mayfair, and which is an easy stroll to Chinatown near SoHo, a brisk walk to the West End and a quick tube ride to Trafalgar Square. Experience the innovative cuisine of the May Fair Kitchen, where chef has created a tapas style menu where Spanish and Italian small plates make for Mediterranean fare for all palates and tastes.

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The newly revamped room is airy with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Stratton Street and the Mayfair neighbourhood’s hustle and bustle. The oversized communal table, above, has an almost Canadiana feel to it, with two rough-hewn slabs of tree-trunk sized wood as the centrepiece to the whole space. www.themayfairhotel.co.uk

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Manchester: Dragon Parade and Fireworks, 26 – 29 January 2017.

To commemorate the Year of the Rooster, the Dragon Parade will take to the streets of Manchester to celebrate Chinese New Year. See the parade, led by a spectacular 50-foot dragon, as it makes its way to Chinatown, where you’ll find traditional Chinese entertainment, more than 6,000 lanterns adorning the streets, lion dances, street food villages and a firework finale. Additionally, this year will also see the acclaimed international art exhibition ‘Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors’, which will be heading to Manchester for the celebrations.

Where: Taking place throughout Manchester city centre. Manchester is in the north-west of England, and is an hour train journey from Leeds, and a two-hour train journey from London. www.visitmanchester.com

www.visitbritain.com

 

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Toronto

In Toronto, citizens have the good fortune of not one, not two, but at least three Chinatowns in the core of the city and around the GTA. www.seetorontonow.com

But, if gala-going or the theatre is your thing, why not get tickets for the CNTV Chinese New Year Gala 2017: It’s the largest and the costliest extravaganza for the Chinese Community and with the blessings from the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic Of China in Toronto, we are able to gather together over eight hundreds of elite artists from Mainland China and Canada to perform in this most preeminent social networking event of the Chinese community in the year.

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Eat: The Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, where they celebrate in an oh-so-civilized manner with Chinese New Year High Tea. Enjoy an afternoon in the newly revamped Lobby Lounge of the hotel, where people watching, relaxing to mellow live music and tea have become a local favourite way to spend the day in the city. And you can’t have afternoon tea without bubbles, of course, and the Shangri-La pours a glass of Prosecco to accompany the premium loose-leaf teas for sipping. For the occasion, the Lobby Lounge will be decked in out New Year’s celebration regalia and the menu will highlight various famous tea regions in China. Don’t miss January 28, as a traditional Chinese dragon dance will be held at 3:30, a Chinese Harp Musician will be filling the space with his music, playing from 2:30pm-5pm. The best part? Each guest will receive a Shangri-la chocolate dipped fortune cookie & lucky red envelope per setting. Happy New Year!

Chinese New Year High Tea will be offered from Sunday January 22nd to Sunday February 5th every day from 2pm-5pm. www.shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila/

 

Lunar New Year Parade, Chinatown, Manhattan
Lunar New Year Parade, Chinatown, Manhattan

New York

“With the largest Chinese population in the United States, New York City offers no shortage of authentic and celebratory experiences in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens,” said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company president and CEO. “From festive fireworks and parades, to some of the world’s best dim sum, to a multitude of cultural organizations, NYC is the ideal place to celebrate this Lunar New Year.”

In Manhattan, experience why so many New Yorkers and visitors head to Chinatown. From 11am-3:30pm on January 28, Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival takes place in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

The 18th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival takes place on February 5, with the parade kicking off at 1pm. Jing Fong is a traditional Cantonese restaurant offering dim sum; Joe’s Shanghai’s extensive menu includes their famed soup dumplings; and Nom Wah Tea Parlor is NYC’s oldest dim sum parlor.

While in Chinatown, stock up on Chinese medicine at Kamwo Herbal Pharmacy, one of the oldest and largest herbal pharmacies in the country, or Chinese sweets and savories at Aji Ichiban. nycgo.com/articles/lunar-new-year-events-nyc

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Stay: The Dream Downtown NYC, a boutique property in a historic building filled with modern art, and for the fabulous, all-season view from the PH-D rooftop lounge, above, the glass-bottom swimming pool with its own beach! – and for the location in the trendy Meatpacking District, just a short stroll from the HighLine, NYC’s elevated park and pathway. Don’t miss its underground. Two picks score high: The Electric Room, where anglophiles and all things Brit-wit meet for cocktails and conversation, while Megu serves up fresh twists on classic Japanese cuisine. http://www.dreamhotels.com/downtown/