Home Guangzhou Chinese New Year in Guangzhou — 2018 Events

Chinese New Year in Guangzhou — 2018 Events

  • Location: Guangzhou

Guangzhou is a top city for Chinese New Year (February 15 – March 2, 2018): What makes Guangzhou particularly attractive as a place to visit during the Spring Festival is the mild weather compared to most of China, and the quick transport by bullet train to the even more spectacular in Hong Kong and Macau.

Reasons Why Guangzhou is One of the Top Cities To Visit for Chinese New Year in 2018

Pearl RiverThe Pearl River and Canton Tower

Guangzhou is one of the Top Cities for Chinese New Year. With some of the world's tallest buildings, Pearl River scenery and boat cruises, luxury malls, an excellent circus and the Canton Tower, you can enjoy the holidays in Guangzhou.

Modern: It is one of China's richest and most modern cities with good transportation and comparatively affluent, educated and polite people.

Good transportation: The metro system is excellent, so traveling around in the city is comfortable, and its fast bullet train hubs and well connected (by metro and fast highway) airport makes getting to the city more convenient whether regionally or internationally.

Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou are becoming interlinked with quick bullet trains so you can get around fairly quickly.

Well situated and connected: You could use it for a convenient base for a tour of the Pearl River metropolitan region including Hong Kong and Macau with the construction of fast bullet trains to both international cities.

Guangzhou's Major Spring Festival Events 2018

2018

Guangzhou's major Chinese New Year events for 2018 are: 

  • the light and drone spectacles at the Canton Tower and Zhujiang, 
  • the Lantern Fair at Yuexiu Park, 
  • Guangzhou's Spring Festival flower market at Haixinsha, 
  • the huge Flower Garden Exhibition, 
  • several local Chinese New Year Flower Markets, 
  • the Guangzhou Garden Exhibition, and 
  • Chimelong's Chinese New Year Cultural Events.

As Guangzhou develops, it is interesting as a tourist destination with some of China's top attractions, and you can also enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities in one of China's most prominent cities.

Chinese New Year and Pearl River Cruises

ct-bg-02sThe Canton Tower is on the banks of the Pearl River — a nice place to walk and sightsee.

Enjoy a Pearl River Cruise: You could dine, see the highlights, and see Zhujiang's tall buildings that are prettily lit for the holidays.

Hundreds of trees and bushes covered with LED lights, special Chinese New Year displays, and the scintillating, bright graphics and light patterns on the buildings and malls are perhaps a way to replace fireworks that were banned by the Guangzhou government. The crowds go out to see the area.

Pearl River scenery: The park-like area and broad river makes a fine area for sightseeing the tower, the lights in Zhujiang across the river, and the unusually wide pretty river itself. The river reflects the surrounding views, and you can stroll the pedestrian walkway and watch the locals. The broad placid Pearl River ranks 8 as an attraction on Trip Advisor in 2018.

During the Spring Festival holidays, in lieu of fireworks, the river boats, the buildings, and special laser lighting displays near the building and along the Pearl River present a colorful scene in one of Guangzhou's most beautiful park areas. Crowds of people go out to watch the lights, and it is one of Guangzhou's most popular Spring Festival areas.

Along with the Canton Tower, the IFC Tower and the adjacent CTF Tower stand out as part of a triumvirate that bounds both sides of the Pearl River. The CTF Tower the world's 7th tallest building (2017). The malls, restaurants, and observation room on the tallest towers stay open during the holiday.

The Lantern Festival Drone Display (元宵节无人机编队) at the Canton Tower


You'll probably think the display is outstanding and better than a firework display if you see one this year.An amazing site is 1,000 drones flying in formation and making designs and patterns. These computer controlled drones shine in various colors and are ultra-mini helicopters. 

This new display technology is only about three years old, and these events are the first in the world. The drones change colors, move in formation, and can make designs in the sky. 

The 1,000 drones last year broke a 500 drone aerial formation record set by Intel in 2016.

The 2017 Drone Show

Then in Dec of 2017, 1,200 drones broke that record over Guangzhou. How many drones will be sent aloft this year of 2018?

The Ehang company that makes them says they cost more than 1,000 USD each, so that's over 1 million bucks flying around! The crowds listened to festive orchestral music during the show.

For the Lantern Festival (元宵节 Yuánxiāojié) in 2017, a total of 1,000 glittering drones took off and flew near the Canton Tower where they made amazing displays. 

They formed the numbers “2017" and "1000" for the number of drones, the Chinese character for happiness (福 fú), and other shapes and symbols. The display looked dazzling and beautiful next to the Canton Tower that put on some matching Spring Festival light effects for the show.

Canton Tower's Observation DeckThe Canton Tower's observation deck

The Canton Tower 广州塔

The Canton Tower is the second most popular place in Guangzhou for Western tourists according to TripAdvisor in 2018. There is good reason. Tourists love to ascend to the observation deck and have meals in the revolving restaurant or walk outside watching the seasonal lights of the tower and in Zhujiang across the Pearl River. 

It is the world's 7th tallest free standing structure in 2018.

Yuexiu Park Lantern Fair 越秀公园灯会

yuexiu parkYuexiu Park is green in the subtropical winter.
  • February 8, 2018 – March 11

The 2018 Guangzhou Yuexiu Lantern Festival at Yuexiu Park is Guangzhou's answer to Harbin's Ice Sculpture and Lantern Festival. What they can't do with ice, they can do with paper and other materials following in the old tradition of people making and putting up paper lanterns on Lantern Festival Day (元宵节 Yuánxiāojié) 15th days after the Chinese New Year.

But these are large, hi-tech, and complex 21st century lighting art masterpieces. The motif or message conveyed by most of them is about Chinese New Year stories and traditions of course.

Each year has a different theme. This year's theme is "The Blooming Flower of the Prosperous Age of the Shining Chinese People," "花开盛世灯耀中华."

From 2012 until now, a total of about 6 million visitors have visited this annual show. Along with seeing the lanterns, these is a flower market for flowers, plants and other gifts and food. Yuexiu Park is an extensive public park with gardens.

  • Cost: Free entry
  • Gates close at 10 pm.
  • Where: Yuexiu Park, 988 Jiefang Bei Lu, Yuexiu District 越秀区解放北路988号
  • Metro Line 2 to Yuexiu Park Station.

The Haixinsha Flower Market 海心沙花会

  • February 13 – March 2, 2018

This annual event is different than other local flower markets in that it is more of an artistic show and cultural fair. You can buy gifts and flowers though. The site is divided into five major sections as design themes: "Technology," "Leisure," "Tea Art," "Flower Art," and "Books."

  • Cost: Free entry
  • Where: Haixinsha Island, Haixinsha, Tianhe District 天河区海心沙 It is near the Canton Tower.
  • Zhujiang New Town APM Line to Haixinsha Station. It isn't connected to Line 3. You can take the APM one station south to Canton Tower, and it interchanges with Line 3 at the Canton Tower.

The 24th Annual Guangzhou Garden Expo 第二十四届广州园林博览会

  • February 13 – March 2, 2018

The 24th annual Guangzhou Garden Expo (Guǎngzhōu yuánlín bólǎnhuì) is one of the main highlights of Guangzhou's Chinese New Year festival activities for 2018. This year's theme highlights the southern Chinese style of artistic gardening and combines the cultural art and leisure activities of the Spring Festival.

The exhibition area covers 360,000 square meters. In this huge garden and park area, there are 3D flower beds, bonsai exhibitions and an indoor pavilion. The park itself is so big tourists can enjoy a bike ride in the hilly terrain.

  • Cost: Free entry
  • Open: 6am – 6pm
  • Where: Panyu Dafu Mountain Forest Park, No. 688 Yushanxi Road, Panyu District, Guangzhou 番禺大夫山森林公园 番禺区禺山西路688

Visit a Local Chinese New Year Flower Fair 花会

Flowers fair, GuangzhouFlower fair market, Guangzhou
  • February 13 – March 3, 2018

Chinese New Year Flower Fair 2018 in Guangzhou: For buying Chinese New Year gifts, trying the snacks and food, and seeing the local customs, several local flower fairs provide options for tourists and travelers during the Chinese New Year holidays.

Cantonese have a long tradition of giving fresh flowers, fruits, and potted plants on Chinese New Year Day to family and important people in their lives. They buy other things such as special foods and candy as gifts too. Entertainment such as Lion Dances is provided.

Details and Locations of Recommended Flower Fairs

Because people want to give the freshest plants and fruits they can give as gifts, the flower fairs/markets usually get crowded starting about three days before the Spring Festival or for 2018, on the 13th of February.

Then most sellers themselves go on a short vacation until about the 18th, and then many open up again for the remainder of the Spring Festival season.

There are about four major flower fairs in Guangzhou.

  • Xihu Flower Fair: Along with getting flowers, the streets and side alleys have a variety shops for for gifts. Metro Line 1 and 2: Gongyuan Qian Station. Xihu Road, Yuexiu District 越秀区西湖路
  • Tianhe Flower Fair: Metro Line 1: Tianhe Sports Center Station. Tianhe Road, Tianhe District 天河区天河路天河体育中心.
  • Liwan Flower Fair: Along with flowers, people buy calligraphy, decorations, and more expensive products such as tea and paintings. Metro Line 1: Chenjiaci Station. Liwan Road, Liwan District 荔湾区荔湾路.
  • Binjiang West Road Market: Along with flowers and plants, people sell festival decorations, fruit baskets, and special Chinese New Year desserts and treats. You can enjoy sampling the food. The market area is between Renmin Bridge and Jiefang Bridge (人民桥至解放桥路段). Metro Line 6: Wenhua Gongyuan Station, then walk across the bridge. Binjiang West Road, 滨江西路.

Hong Kong Flower Markets

Hong Kongers have even bigger Spring Festival flower markets than the people in Guangzhou. You could go visit ones in Hong Kong. Learn more about the Hong Kong Chinese New Year's Eve Flower Market Rush 2018.

Spring Festival Cultural Activities at Chimelong

Chimelong circusChimelong is the top China multi-theme park.

Guangzhou Chimelong Holiday Resort (长隆 chánglóng) decks out their vast theme park/resort area with Chinese New Year decorations, and highlights Spring Festival culture and traditions through entertainment and activities.

What's on: Lion shows, customary food, snacks, and drinks, a flower market, and stalls and shops selling traditional Chinese crafts and gifts. 

Comfortable hotels and fine restaurants are on site, so you can relax and have a range of dining including buffets.

Guangzhou Shopping During the Spring Festival

Family Shopping in Hong KongThe best shopping in the whole region is in Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, Guangzhou's huge clothing, commodity, and electronic markets that are world-famous are closed. However, you might be able to find retail bargains along the shopping streets that are open at least after the first 3 days of the holidays. The best buys include clothing, cosmetics, furniture, electrical appliance and digital products. For details, check Guangzhou shopping.

For high-end products and luxury shopping, you can visit numerous malls and the stores that stay open in the tall towers. However, don't expect bargains in these places. High tariffs makes Hong Kong better for that, and the quality and selection is much better.

Guangzhou Food and Restaurants

Guangdong province is the home of world famous Cantonese Cuisine. It is the style of Chinese food served in most Chinese restaurants around the world. It is one of China's eight most famous cuisines, and you can find thousands of Cantonese restaurants here. Read more on Guangzhou Food.

For a Massive Fireworks Show, You Can Go To Hong Kong on the 17th of February

fireworks in Hong Kong during Chinese New YearFireworks in Hong Kong during Chinese New Year

Fireworks Fly Over Victoria Harbour on February 17, 2018 at 8:00

Guangzhou's government recently banned fireworks in the city. But nearby Hong Kong has one of China's finest Chinese New Year Fireworks consisting of about 24,000 firework shells. It is probably the most beautiful in China because of its setting over Victoria Harbor along with the lighting for the Symphony of Lights and 3D Pulse playing on the tall buildings, you can go to Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Symphony of Lights Show (8 PM daily) and 3D Pulse

Hong Kong touringVictoria Peak is another possible viewpoint for the fireworks in Hong Kong.

The fireworks show at 8 pm starts as many buildings put on their Symphony of Lights lighting effects as well. In 2018, it is still the largest such lightning event in the world. It has been much improved compared to past years. Many other buildings vamp up Spring Festival decorations and lighting effects as well. The harbor becomes a bright spectacle of moving colors, and the dazzling 3D Pulse laser graphics/video display joins in as well.

Guangzhou Spring Festival Transportation

Spring Festival is the period of heaviest travel in China. The busiest travel days extend from a few days before the Chinese New Year until about 15 days afterwards.

Expect higher prices and crowds. During the first two or three days of the holidays, the crowds actually decrease.

Important Metro Routes for Tourists

Guangzhou Subway MapClick to enlarge it Guangzhou Metro map

The Guangzhou East Station (广州东站 Gǔangzhōu Dōng Zhàn) will probably be the one you use to go between the attractions in Guangzhou and the attractions in Hong Kong because it is a bullet train station well linked by the Guangzhou metro to Zhujiang and the Canton Tower on the Pearl River.

Guangzhou East Station to Zhujiang: Take Subway Line 3 south 2 stops to West Tiyu Road Station. Then change to a Line 3 that goes south to New City Station (Chinese: 珠江新城站, 1 stop). Changing between trains on Line 3 is confusing, but this is how they set up the line.

Guangzhou East Station to Canton Tower: Take Subway Line 3 south 2 stops to West Tiyu Road Station. Then change to a Line 3 that goes south to Canton Tower Station (Chinese: 广州塔站, 2 stops).

Guangzhou East to Victoria Harbor: Travel time using the bullet trains from the Guangzhou East Station, crossing the border at Luo Hu, and using the Hong Kong MTR subway system to go to the Tsim Sha Tsui Station on the harbor is at least 4 hours on this heaviest of tourist seasons. Passing through the border to get on the MTR can take about 40 minutes or an hour usually, but during the holidays however, the lines at the border stations into Hong Kong are longer.

For more detailed information about going to/from Guangzhou by plane, train, or other methods and on the metro system see Guangzhou Transportation.

Weather: The weather in the middle of February is usually cool and overcast. It is often sunny and warm. This makes travel, shopping, and being out on the streets pleasant.

Touring Guangzhou with China Highlights

tour with China HighlightsYou could relax and enjoy the Pearl River region with our guides and drivers.

We specialize in designing personalized tours. Train and airline tickets are especially difficult to get, and prices can be high. We can help you by planning out the best travel methods/routes for you and facilitate the booking of tickets and accommodations.

We can create your own Chinese New Year tour to visit the places you want in Hong Kong and China. All our tour plans can be modified by our customers.

Discovering Guangzhou and the Pearl River/Hong Kong/Macau Region

Further Reading