The Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival or Chunjie, is the biggest holiday of the year in Beijing. It is a prime time to visit and experience the local culture.
Beijingers traditionally have a Chinese New Year's Eve meal and perform temple ceremonies as well as specific traditions, but nowadays they also celebrate at the Great Wall, bars, and at special modern entertainment festivals.
In 2023, the Chinese New Year public holiday runs from Jan. 21st through to 26th. It is the year of the Rabbit, which means you will be seeing a lot of rabbits depicted around if you do decide to visit.
Spring Festival Temple Fairs
In other years, it was a tradition to go to a local temple's temple fair during the Spring Festival. Temple fairs refer to gatherings near temples, where activities such as ritual praying, entertainment, and shopping take place. There are also many kinds of Chinese folk art (music, dance, theater, acrobatics, art, crafts, etc.).
Gubei Water Town
From January 25 to February 15, 2022, Gubei Water Town launched some activities to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Tourists can see various kinds of products related to the festival and experience traditional crafts such as kite making, paper cutting, shadow play painting, and lantern-making.
Beijing Universal Resort
Universal Beijing Resort launched a themed event from January 22 to February 20, 2022.
During the event, visitors will have a unique experience of the Spring Festival with decorations throughout the park, such as red lanterns and red couplets, new New Year-themed entertainment performances, food and drinks full of the "Flavor of the Chinese New Year".
A fireworks show at Beijing Universal Studios will take place during the Chinese New Year. Although the time for the fireworks show has not been announced, it has been revealed that fireworks can be seen during the Spring Festival.
Happy Valley Beijing
Happy Valley Beijing will also host large-scale themed performances and lantern riddles guessing activities. The art festival in the park will also showcase cultural heritage folk performances.
The Events in Parks
Eleven municipal parks in Beijing, including the Summer Palace, The Temple of Heaven Park, and Beihai Park, will hold Chinese New Year celebration events, providing offline and online cultural activities for citizens to celebrate the Spring Festival.
Chinese New Year Travel Tips
- Traveling within China can get really hectic during this time, as most Chinese people travel to visit relatives and friends in addition to foreign tourists.
- Make sure to book tickets in advance — planes, trains, dinner, events, everything. Flying is much less stressful than taking the train.
- Many restaurants are closed or have limited holiday hours, so be sure to call ahead to make sure you will be accommodated. Often Western restaurants and Western-owned bars are more likely to be open (for example in the Sanlitun area).
- Chunjie is a time for celebration! If you are planning on visiting people, it’s not a bad idea to bring them gifts, or better yet, a hongbao.
Have fun, and Xin Nian Kuai Le! (新年快乐 ‘Happy Chinese New Year!’)
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