The Chinese New Year involves major celebrations all over the Asia-Pacific region. Each region has brought its own special touch to the festivities. We bring you some of the best places to usher in the Year of the Fire Rooster.
Festivities in Singapore start three weeks early, with the Chinatown Street Light Up, the Chingay Parade, plus several colorful processions, seasonal markets, and riotous lion dances.
Food is a big part of the celebrations with buttery pineapple tarts, rich prune lapis (spiced cake), crisp love letters (rolled egg biscuits), kueh bangkit (coconut cookies), spicy shrimp rolls, bak kwa (sweet pork jerky) and the traditional yusheng– where a raw fish salad is tossed with family and friends for prosperity.
The Chinese New Year is celebrated in grand style in Hong Kong. The celebrations include an amazing fireworks display at the Victoria Harbor, a special New Year Race, and a grand Night Parade featuring spectacular floats and international performers. Do include a visit to the special New Year Flower Market known for its exotic blooms.
Take time to feast on auspicious New Year foods such as poon choi (“Chinese casserole in a basin”), black moss, dried oysters, braised pig’s trotter, steamed rice cakes and tongyuen (sweet rice balls).
Where to stay: Hong Kong is a great family destination. Enjoy this great city in all its glory during the Chinese New Year.
Taiwan ushers in Chinese New Year with an array of festivals including the popular Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival in Tainan and the Sky Lantern Festival in Taipei where giant lanterns with wishes inside them are lit to welcome a spirit of peace, prosperity and joy.
Dumplings, which resemble gold nuggets and fish and chicken which sound similar to ‘surplus’ and ‘luck’ are eaten symbolically to bring good luck.
The temple of Thean Hou, in KL, draws huge crowds where people light joss sticks and burn paper-cuts for their ancestors.
Singles especially enjoy celebrating Chap Goh Mei– the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year. Women toss Mandarin oranges into the water with their telephone numbers on them, and men in boats row over and fish out the oranges hoping to find true love.