“Gong Xi Fa Cai” means ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese. Chinese New Year is considered the biggest festival celebrated by the Chinese community. It is due to its tradition tied with the lunar calendar and the age old zodiac animals which make the celebration slightly different each year. It is more interesting to note that no two countries are found welcoming the New Year in the same style. Usually Chinese New Year falls in the midst of February and is celebrated for the next 15 days till the first new moon appears in the sky. During these 15 days, cities celebrating it are decorated with red lanterns and look amazing. The first day of the festival is celebrated with the crowd marching up to the temple to offer prayer to God and their ancestors.
Celebrate CNY living up to traditional styles
The myth associated with the Chinese New Year and the rituals followed have been attracting tourists since ages. If you are willing to explore 2017 CNY but can’t make your way to China, then you can visit any of these following South East Asian countries known for their way of celebrating the festival.
Singapore enjoys a mixed population comprising of Chinese, Malaysians, and Indians however when it comes to Chinese New Year, people from all community come together to celebrate this festival with grandeur. In this country, both new and old traditions are followed making the celebrating more enticing. Residents gather at River Hongbao to celebrate the festival. From traditional song, dance and giant lanterns, fireworks and authentic Chinese delicacies, all enhance the celebratory ambience of Singapore. Apart from these, Chingay parade is another interesting event you would explore visiting Singapore during the Chinese New Year.
George Town, Penang-Malaysia
George Town in Penang mostly attracts visitors with its New Year delicacies. During the celebration of Chinese New Year, people gather at the Kek Lok Si Temple to offer prayer and admire its beauty which looks gorgeous being decorated with myriads of red lanterns. This temple is also recognized as the largest of all Buddhist temples in South-east Asia. People belonging to the Chinese community here also observe the tradition of “Clan Houses” where friends and family members gather for food and games. Visitors coming here also get to explore the Hokkien New year which is celebrated here on the 8th day of the Chinese New Year.
Though Malaysia is mostly a Muslim country, but a significant part of it is dominated by the Chinese community who celebrated the Chinese New Year amazingly. The ambience is comfortable enough for foreign visitors to visit and enjoy the festival. Though the locals here celebrate the festival in an intimate way, but there is a spark in it which you will surely love exploring. They wear only cheerful clothes-specially the red ones and have traditional Chinese delicacies. Do not miss having “Yee Sang” in group and visiting the Thean How Temple on the last day of the festival.
Explore the beauty of Chinese New Year visiting any of these countries. But do make sure that you get your hotel booking as well as transportation arrangements done before hand.