Lunar New Year isn't just about partying and getting drunk. It is one of the biggest celebrations in Asia, where family and friends come together for feasting and festivities. As one of the most important holidays in Asia, Lunar New Year attracts travelers with promises of great festivals, food, games, parades, and visual displays. It is an experiential travel that many people don’t want to miss!
If you plan to travel to Asia during Lunar New Year, you want to save up your money since you will be spending money on many things. Traveling to Asia, you will see how each country is celebrated differently, meaning you can experience different traditions and cultures.
What is Lunar New Year?
Lunar New Year is a special and important celebration in Asian countries – China, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. It is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of the new year, where people would spend time feasting with family and friends and honoring household, heavenly deities, and ancestors. The name Lunar New Year refers to the first day of the lunar calendar, which is the first new moon of the year.
This isn't just a one-day holiday but a several days celebration of a fresh start to the new year. The celebration of the Lunar New Year starts on the first day of the full moon of the lunar calendar and 15 days after that.
Countries to Visit to Celebrate Lunar New Year
Within China, there are numerous destinations to choose from: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Whichever city you go to, the streets will be decorated in red and gold with lanterns, fireworks, and parades to welcome a new year of good luck and prosperity. You don’t want to miss all the fun activities and festivals they have all over town.
In Beijing, you can explore the city with various entertainment: carnivals, music, dragon dance, food, and cultural display. Better yet, the temple fair is a well-known event in Beijing. In Shanghai, you get to experience the colorful and flamboyant celebration of Chinese New Year. Most people love to go to the Longhua Temple to hear the famous bell strike 108 times so that it will bring them luck, prosperity, and longevity. As for Hong Kong, you get a mixture of modern fun and ancient customs
In Malaysia, Lunar New Year is known as Spring Festival, and it is a time when families come together for an annual reunion. You can eat yee sang (salad dish) and nian gao (Chinese New Year cake) and dress up in traditional outfits called cheongsam. Whenever you go to Malaysia, you will most likely see all kinds of food and clothes.
The best city to visit is Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Penang is known for its festivities, and Kuala Lumpur is known for its reserved activities like paying respect to the temples. Whichever city you go to, you’ll surely enjoy the visual displays, festivals, lanterns, parades, dances, and fireworks.
In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is known as Tết and is celebrated with family. You eat traditional food like sticky rice cake, candied fruits, and dried shrimp, and you get lucky money from elders. Just like other Asian countries, Vietnam has its traditional costume to wear – áo dài.
The best cities to visit during Tết are Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh, and Hoi An. In Ha Noi, you get to feel and see the peaceful scene of the city where there is no traffic jam or crowd – perfect for a relaxing stroll around town. In Ho Chi Minh, you will jam all night long to the music and live festivals. In Hoi An, you experience the charming town lit up with hundreds of colorful lanterns and various cultural and art performances. You’ll never be bored since there are many festivals, games, food, cultural shows, music, and free entertainment.
Seollal, or Korean Lunar New Year, is an important celebration to respect your ancestors and elders. Going to South Korea, you will see many people dressed in traditional clothes called hanbok and eating traditional food like ddeokguk. The best place to visit is Seoul since there are many attractions, activities, rituals, and ceremonies during Lunar New Year.
You can also find events at theme parks, local attractions, and family-focused activities in other smaller cities, but most of the fun festivities and activities are located in Seoul.
In Singapore, the population has a mixture of Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian ethnic groups, so there is a mixture of old and new traditions. The Singaporeans’ festive tradition is to spend New Year with their families and loved ones in red clothing while eating delicious food and giving money to children.
However, there are festivals and ceremonies that happen in Chinatown for people to go out and celebrate. You get to see the beautiful display and assortment of snacks that are being sold on the streets.
Time to Celebrate!
Whatever countries you visit, you will surely enjoy all the food, festivals, ceremonies, and rituals. With many fun things to do with friends and family, you will never want to return home. When every day is filled with joy, happiness, and good fortune, no one wants the happy moments to end. Enjoy the holiday as much as you can for the next 15 days because it will be an unforgettable memory. Happy Lunar New Year!
She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.