This post is part of the Chinese Blog Hop organized by Two American sin China. Find a link to all the other participants’ posts at the end of the post.
One of the main reasons I fell in love with China is its unique culture and fondness for tradition. I was lucky to have spent two Chinese New Years in China and experience this especially important holiday first hand. Now that I live in South Korea, though they also celebrate the Lunar New Year, I do miss spending the special time of the year in China. I’m also giving away a special gift for New Year’s to one lucky reader (more information at the end of the post)!
Here are my most memorable moments of spending Chinese New Year in China:
Eating until your Belly Bursts
Similar to holidays in the west, food seems to be a big part of Chinese New Year. Even if you aren’t celebrating with locals, you will see street vendors and local restaurants offer seasonal products all over the place. My favorite foods during Chinese New Year are the yummy dumplings, which the entire family makes together traditionally, as well as Tang Yuan, sweet balls made from glutinous rice flour. They have all kinds of different fillings, but traditionally, they come with black sesame paste filling.
Seeing Cherry Blossoms for the first time
Mastering Total Chaos and Masses of People
Contrary to many recommendations, I took it upon myself to travel along the east coast of China (Qingdao – Nanjing – Suzhou – Hangzhou) during Chinese New Year last year. This time of the year is infamous for the masses of people traveling from A to B and nearly trampling each other half dead. However, I do not regret traveling during Lunar New Year at all.
I booked my flights rather early and got great deals on hotels. However, I did experience crowds of local tourists when I was in Suzhou and Hangzhou, which was still bearable. I can honestly say that Chinese New Year is not necessarily a travel obstacle – depending on where you go.
The Chinese are famous for their grand fireworks shows but also excel in decorating their cities and towns with the most creative and over-the-top decorations I have ever seen. The key decoration element is the animal of the zodiac of the new year. 2016 is the year of the monkey and you can see monkey-themed decorations all over the country. It almost seems as if cities compete with each other about the title of the most glamorous pieces of décor – all according to the motto “bigger, brighter, louder”.
Besides the decorations all over the city, people also go crazy decorating their homes and hanging up new lucky banners and red decorations on their doors and windows. This was also one of my favorite things to do during Lunar New Year in China.
Watching a Traditional Dragon Dance
Buying Cute Red Envelopes
Anxiously Awaiting Korean Lunar New Year…
This year, I am celebrating my first Lunar New Year in South Korea! I will spend the holidays with Jeongsu and his family and will write a detailed post about my experience after the holidays.
Lunar New Year Giveaway
This post was part of a Chinese New Year blog hop organized by Two Americans in China. Please check out the other blog hop writers’ Chinese New Year related posts: