Enjoy an authentic Chinese New Year experience only with Cebu Pacific
Every year, we are accustomed to greeting the New Year with a bang – fireworks, beating of pots and pans, toy trumpets, and many more. We gather around a bonfire and sing with the karaoke to our heart’s content. It is our belief that the New Year is to be celebrated, and whatever you are doing on New Year’s Eve will be your fate for the whole year. Hence, we become luxurious and extravagant, anyway it will be for one night only.
However, as opposed to our usual practice, the Chinese celebrate theirs in a more cultural way. For them, they follow their lunar calendar in determining the New Year. This February 9, 2016 will be the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Red Fire Monkey. There will be dragon dances and fireworks, and other rituals and activities deeply rooted in their long history and tradition.
New Year Tradition
In some parts of Asia, like in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, their celebration of the Chinese New Year has a particular significance and meaning. It is not merely a celebration and community gathering where they will eat delicious food and have fun. The Chinese New Year Festival is a reflection of their history, their identity, and their culture.
Chinese New Year involves annual visit to sacred temples for blessings of good fortune and prosperity. Of course, there will be dragon dances and vibrant decorations in red, orange, yellow and many more light colors that are considered lucky. Chinese are tradition loving people, and they don’t miss out their responsibilities to follow tradition. Usually, celebration of the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, will last up to 15 days or until full moon. However, in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, their celebrations last up to almost a month.
Hong Kong-style New Year
In Hong Kong, the Chinese New Year is celebrated extravagantly. The annual Chinese Parade is a must-see, as it transforms the city roads into a play of bright lights and upbeat sounds. Hong Kong is known for its busy streets and countless sights as well as high-end stores. On Chinese New Year, the ambiance becomes twice as majestic as on usual days. Chinese Temples become crowded not only with Chinese people but with other races as well.
Not only are the streets, temples, and stores are busy, but Hong Kong also becomes an attraction of activities and sights. Local and international events happen here and there, like the famous Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light show. This is a live performance of an array of lights projected on the buildings of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
Another attraction is the Lam Tsuen Wishing Square near the Tin Hau Temple in Fong Ma Po Village. You can write on colored papers your wishes and hang them on the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees. You may either write words of gratitude or ask for something to be granted to you. The best attraction will be the Parade of Floats featuring 30 grand boats of various participants. The event will be matched with performing groups, lion dances, and fireworks.
If tired from all the Chinese New Year celebration activities, travelers can also visit other Hong Kong destinations such as Lan Kwai Fong which the country’s famous party hotspot. They may also drop by Temple Street Night Market where they can find exotic finds and delicious grub, while the famous Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland can add up to an unforgettable visit.
A Visit to Taiwan
One of the four tigers of Asia, Taiwan does not only boast of its industrial industry but is also a great place for tourists to explore. Aside from Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, there are also other places to visit in this island.
On the northern part of Taiwan is Pingxi district. During the Yuanxiao Festival, the holds the famous Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival— “Sky lanterns in the north, beehive fireworks in the south.” The Sky Lantern Festival symbolizes the hopes and dreams of the people as they slowly lift up towards the heavens. Moreover, according to folklore, each lantern represents the people’s prayers and the purification of their souls, promoting the spirit of the country. The event was proclaimed by Discovery Channel as the second biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in the whole world.
On the opposite side of the map, the Yanshui’s Beehive Fireworks Festival is held at Yanshuei District at the same time with the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. The Beehive Fireworks Festival is performed by letting thousands of fireworks go off at the same time to resemble thousands of bees streaming out of hives. The festival was done before as a prayer to Guan Di, the god of war, to bring to an end the cholera epidemic at that time. Now, it became a tradition of cleansing and purifying the souls of those who are present during the festival.
These festivals are some of Taiwan’s highlights during the Chinese New Year celebration. Not only is the sight of thousand of lanterns and fireworks in the sky glamorous, but their significance and impact are the reason why many people attend these events.
For a different itinerary, Taiwan offers so many interesting options for tourists such as the Miaokau Night Market, the National Palace Museum, and the Longshan Temple. They are cultural and economic spots in the country.
New Year in China
Dubbed as the most watched television show in the world for having the largest audience, the CCTV’s China’s Lunar New Year Gala Night is a new way to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Gala Night is broadcasted through TV, and it features a variety show of singers, artists, dancers, and many more. It offers flying acrobats, professional orchestra singers, musicians, and alluring dancers exhibiting traditional performances, among others. The Gala Night began in 1983, where a stage is set up in Beijing and the performances are made live while being broadcasted on TV.
Though a bit different from the traditional way of celebrating New Year, CCTV’s China’s Lunar New Year Gala Night still speaks of tradition. Comedic acts featuring real-life issues, traditional music as well as modern songs, and Chinese opera are usually performed. The show reflects China’s tradition and culture.
A visit to China is not complete when one does not drop by the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. Another destination is the Panjiayuan Antique Market for the artifact aficionado.
This Chinese New Year, explore and discover the different experiences that only Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China can offer, only with Cebu Pacific. For more information and flight bookings, visit www.cebupacificair.com.