13 Joyous Places For Chinese New Year Preparations

13 Joyous Places For Chinese New Year Preparations
| 4 min read

This year, towards the end of January, Chinese communities will light up in red with a dazzling display of firecrackers and fireworks. The Chinese New Year season is upon us, and everyone is stoked for the energetic celebrations. We’ve rounded up the top joyous places for Chinese New Year preparations!

1. London, UK

China Town, London, England
Source: Photo by Flickr user cattan2011 used under CC BY 2.0

Who says you can’t ring in the Chinese New Year elsewhere? One of the major cities in the world that celebrates this season just as proudly as the others is London. Free events are held all over Chinatown and the West End. There’s even a parade that you can join in, as well as lion dances. The iconic Trafalgar Square also adds to the fun with free live performances and holiday events. Of course, you can’t forget about the food. The streets of London are filled with tasty Chinese street food all throughout the festivities.

Tip from Content Creator




Photo of London's Chinatown shared by content creator from Spain, Laura.

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2. Paris, France

Chinese New Year Parade Paris
Source: Photo by Flickr user ErasmusOfParis used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another wonderful place in Europe where Chinese New Year is heavily celebrated is Paris in France. If you’re curious just how lively the people of Paris commemorate this occasion, head to the City of Love this year! The parades feature spirited dragon and lion dances, and the beautiful Parisian streets and Chinese neighborhoods are lined with bright lanterns and firecrackers. These festivities light up the city with colorful costumes and vibrant banners. As opposed to China’s month-long celebration, the Chinese New Year festivities normally lasts for about two weeks in Paris.

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3. Yokohama, Japan

the lunar New Year in Yokohama.
Source: Photo by Flickr user skyseeker used under CC BY 2.0

With Yokohama having one of the biggest Chinatowns globally, you can expect the Chinese New Year celebrations to be exponential. Various events are held in town, with over 500 dining options to choose from. Shopping is also going to be one of the fun things to do during this Spring Festival in Yokohama. Traditional performances and parades, along with frenzied dragon dances, fill the streets of Chinatown. If you’re in Japan during this season, pay a visit to Yokohama and witness one of the best preparations for the Lunar New Year!

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4. Penang, Georgetown, Malaysia

During the Chinese New Year season, quaint and artsy Georgetown blooms brightly at night. Its famous, sprawling old temple, the Kek Lok Si Temple, has a nighttime light display that gives an incredibly cheerful glow to the dark. Penang’s well-known Clan Jetties hold their own unique and have particularly loud and festive celebrations. Spend your preparations for Chinese New Year at this vibrant Malaysian state!

Kek Lok Si Temple

Address: 1000-L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Price: from 0.45 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am-6 pm

Access: take bus #203 or #204 from the Komtar Bus Terminal in Georgetown

Contact: +60 19-750 2139

Nearby Food: There are many options.

Website: Kek Lok Si Temple

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5. Guangzhou, China

Source: Photo by user micmac9a used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Chinese New Year period coincides with the Spring Festival Flower Fair in Guangzhou — a city where it’s customary and commonplace to give flowers during the season. Many of these blooms have their own little meanings. For example, show your gratitude and goodwill with a bouquet of peonies.

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6. Shanghai, China

Are you curious about what do people do on Chinese New Year? Shanghai is the best place to go to if you want to experience both a modern and a traditional setting for the festival. The hyper-commercialized, neon-lit setting of Nanjing Road offers insight into how the tech-savvy, metropolitan Chinese mainlanders enjoy a modern reincarnation of the old celebration. The scenic, watery Yu Gardens gives you an idea of how the festival looked in ancient times.

Yu Gardens

Address: 218 Anren St, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200010

Access: Take Subway Line 10 and get off at Yuyuan Station. Leave from Exit 1.

Contact: ++86 21 6326 0830

Website: Yu Gardens

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7. Singapore

Don’t know what to do on Chinese New Year? Singapore is a great place to experience Chinese New Year if you enjoy a great deal of shopping discounts right before the season starts! There’s also the annual Chingay Parade, a kaleidoscopic experience of performances in every colour of the rainbow, which never fails to excite watchers young and old.

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8. Harbin, China

第十一届哈尔滨氷雪大世界 Ice Snow World IMG 0046
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 李吉秋 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This really cool city is the ice castle fairytale of the Chinese New Year season. If you thought magical crystalline structures that pop up during festive periods was just a Western thing, you’d be wrong. In Harbin, China, the festive season coincides with the Ice and Snow Festival, which is bigger than the festivals in Sapporo, Norway, and Quebec.

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Address: No.3 Jingbei Road, Sun Island Scenic Area, Songbei District, Harbin

Price: from 17.50 USD

Opening Hours: 11:00-22:00

Contact: ++86 773-2675596

Nearby Food: There are many options for food nearby.

Website: Harbin Ice Festival

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9. San Francisco, US

San Francisco Chinatown
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mh used under CC BY-SA 2.0

San Francisco is always an exciting city, and the crowded, bustling streets of Chinatown are even busier during this period of time. During the Chinese New Year, streets are filled with pageants, festivals, and parades of all sorts. It’s one of the biggest and baddest celebrations of Chinese New Year on this side of the world.

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10. Pingxi, Taipei, Taiwan

Pingxi is usually a town of serene scenery, cute snack shops built into hills and rainbow waterfalls, but during Chinese New Year, at night, something magical happens. A custom of writing your wishes on a lantern and releasing them into the night sky makes for a breathtaking picture right out of a Disney movie.

Taiwan Lantern Festival

Address: Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 226

Access: From Taipei Main Station, take a northbound train (except Keelung-bound trains) towards Ruifang Station. Transfer to the Pingxi Line (平溪線) and purchase a One Day Ticket for the Pingxi Line, 52 TWD. From MRT Muzha Station (木柵, Brown Line 1), take bus 1076 towards Pingxi (平溪)

Website: Taiwan Lantern Festival

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11. Sydney, Australia

Sydney has a large Chinese population as well, so the celebrations here are as wild and riveting as they are anywhere else. During this period, the city lights up in red — even the iconic Sydney Opera House. Throughout the city, 12 contemporary lunar lanterns are displayed, which are shaped as the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. They are colourful and playful interpretations of old legends.

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12. Macau, China

Macau | Lunar New Year 2014 Lion Dance
Source: Photo by user travel oriented used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Macau is a luxurious destination that prides itself on its sprawling casinos, sparkling malls and interesting architecture — truly worthy of the title Vegas of the East. Experience a unique Chinese New Year in a city with interestingly Mediterranean-style architecture. Watch as long dragon puppets snake through cobbled streets and past colonial mansions.

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13. Hong Kong, China

If you love bustling streets, creative floats, and fireworks late into the night, come to Hong Kong for a cityscape that’ll be lit in red when the Chinese New Year celebrations kick in. While public services like government offices and banks will be closed, many malls actually extend their hours, so you can bask in the joyous atmosphere, shopping late into the night.

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More than just good food and loud fireworks

At the heart of the Chinese New Year festivities is the spirit of coming home to your family, wishing each other peace and a good year ahead. We hope that this list of places will provide memorable vacations with your family as you usher in the Chinese New Year!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Kimberlyn is an avid writer and traveler captivated by intriguing stories and unique locales. Her penchant for memorizing facts and histories complements her creative pursuits. In addition to her...Read more

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