Top spots to bring in the Chinese New Year
The Year Of The Horse is nearly upon us and where ever you are in the world, there's sure to be a celebration.
From fireworks to parades and spectacular displays, travel website wotif.co.nz has listed their top destinations to bring in the Chinese New Year.
"From the 31st January (New Years Day) through to the Lantern Festival on the 15th February, there's events celebrating the Chinese New Year in destinations as diverse as San Francisco, Singapore and here in New Zealand," says Wotif's New Zealand Product Manager, Renee Piggott.
Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is China's most important holiday. In Beijing, the New Year is kicked off on the 30th January with a fireworks display to rival any New Year's Eve celebrations. The locals join in with their own fireworks creating a spectacular display of bright lights across the city.
Often listed as one of the world's most iconic events, the three-day long festivities in Hong Kong include a street parade, fireworks and this year horse races on the 2nd of February. There are also nightly light and sound displays, which are the largest in the World.
San Francisco, USA
San Fran boasts the largest celebration outside of Asia (hotly contested by London) which has been running since the 1860's. The parade includes over 100 floats, which will be themed with this year's Chinese Zodiac sign, the horse.
Chinatown is the place to celebrate in Singapore where fire-eaters and dancers light up the streets with outdoor performances.
From now until mid-February, the city is alive with the sounds of traditional music, lion dancers, picturesque red lanterns and tantalising smells.
Chinatown is a focal point for festivities with a stunning Street Light-Up starring 88 majestic, horse-shaped lanterns and a Festive Street Bazaar featuring over 500 stalls with festive goodies.
A centrepiece of the festivities is the Chingay Parade (7th - 8th Feb), a grand carnival-like street parade with dazzling floats and thrilling dancing spectacles.
Another annual crowd favourite is River Hongbao (29th Jan - 8th Feb) held on the Marina Bay Floating Platform - a lively festival with larger-than-life lantern displays, intricate handicrafts and cultural performances.
There are numerous celebrations around Australia but the biggest and possibly best is held in Sydney's Chinatown each year.
The celebration runs from the 24th to the 9th February and includes numerous events to celebrate Chinese culture including markets, a twilight parade and dragon boat races.
Auckland, New Zealand
Not to be out done, New Zealand will also be busy with a number of Chinese New Year celebrations. In Auckland, it is the 14th to the 16th of February that will see the city lit up with a lantern festival on the waterfront.
The event will include outdoor movies, Chinese dance performances and martial arts as well as of course the must-see fireworks extravaganza finale.
"Wherever you go, don't forget to wish everyone a 'Gong Xi Fa Cai' (Happy New Year in Mandarin)".