Weather: The coldest month is over, but spring is still around two months away. The weather is still cold, but warmer than January. Temperatures don’t get much above freezing, and it is very dry. Beijing sees the year's first dust storms in this month. The city's ski season usually ends at the end of the month.
Clothing: A thick sweater and a warm winter coat are enough in general.
Spring Festival: In the west the Christmas holiday is considered the most wonderful time of the year, and the same could be said for Beijing’s January/February Chinese New Year holiday. During the Spring Festival holiday the locals are at their merriest, cuisine is at its most bountiful and the atmosphere is popping with such excitement that fireworks explode, literally.
Be aware: The Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) may fall in early or mid-February. This is the best time of the year to experience authentic Chinese culture. However, the Spring Festival period is the busiest travel time around the country when trains and flights are fully booked days before departure. See our Chinese New Year Travel Tips.
Fireworks Display: Watch nights transformed to light as the most impressive fireworks display in world is released across the Beijing skies. Nowhere else in the world do, literally millions, of bubbles of brightness burst into the entire spectrum of color, spattering the night sky with spotted rainbows of delight.
The Shows: Just as the nutcracker entertains western audiences during the Christmas holiday so does the Chinese holiday season explode with theatrical and cultural entertainment for locals and visitors alike. The historical performances at the Red Theatre and the traditional Peking Opera concerts ring in the holiday season with a uniqueness never seen before in the west.
Holiday Sales and Shopping: This month is also the time to shop as the prices drop. Holiday sales are so common that any outlet open during the holidays offers more than thirty percent off the old year goods. It’s the perfect time to stock up on souvenirs for all those you love back home. The Wangfujing shopping street and the Sanlitun area’s “Mall-tropolis” are perfect spots to stop and shop.
Temple Fairs: Another mystery to foreign travelers are the New Year temple fairs, for example at Changdian and Lama Temple. Brimming with local visitors, the event offers unique insight into the customs of bygone centuries. Street snacks, souvenirs and photo opportunities galore this annual weekly event occurs on the Chinese New Year’s day and lasts for week after.
Feast for Kings: The February holidays brings a bounty of holiday eats and treats, many of which can only be enjoyed at any other time of the year. New Year style lucky dumplings and longevity noodles, chestnuts, New Year cakes and so much more. Try Dintaifung and Quanjude restaurants for the best of the holiday cuisine to warm-up your stomachs during China’s coolest holiday of the year.
Ski Spree:The New Year doesn’t always fall in February, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of things to do. The bountiful mountains in Beijing’s north draws skiers and non-skiers alike to its frosted peaks. Snowboard and ski through courses that traverse the unique landscape of North East Asia. A few hours outside of the city center Wanlong Ski Resort and Nanshan Ski Village, to name a few, present a skiing experience unique to the orient.
The Great Wall in Winter: Experience the Great Wall as it should be. Devoid of the crowds and snapshots of the summer, visitors can roam unhampered over the ancient steps and through its magnificent towers. Often topped with a light sprinkling of snow, the endless white pathway snakes onward seemingly forever, proffering memories that last just as long.
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