ChinaFestivals

Spend Your Chinese New Year in Shanghai

Chinese New Year in Shanghai: Yuyuan Gardens Lantern Festival

Chinese New Year (or sometimes the ‘Spring Festival’ or ‘Lunar New Year’),  is the most important holiday for about 1.4 billion people around the world. The festival is largely celebrated in many parts of Asia, but is a long public holiday in China.

This makes it a great time to travel to Shanghai City and experience the festivities first-hand. Different cities all over the world celebrate Chinese New Year, adding their own flavor to the centuries-old festival. Head to Shanghai, where ancient traditions are electrified with young and modern touches.

Chinese New Year Celebrations Around Shanghai

Ring the Bells at Longhua Temple Celebration

Chinese New Year in Shanghai: The Longhua Temple
Chinese New Year in Shanghai: The Longhua Temple

Longhua Temple is Shanghai’s largest and most important place of worship, with hundreds of worshippers flocking to burn incense and pray for good fortune. Head here on Chinese New Year’s Eve, a when the temple holds a special new year’s ceremony. Hear them strike the large bronze bell 108 times to scare away bad karma and ring in the new year with good luck.

See the Lanterns at the Yuyuan Gardens Lantern Festival

Yuyuan Lantern Festival (image via Christopher, Flickr)
Yuyuan Lantern Festival (image via Christopher, Flickr)

The Yuyuan Lantern Festival is the city’s highlight celebration amongst all the Chinese New Year festivities. An iconic piece of Shanghai culture and history, no other lantern festival compares. See hundreds lanterns of intricately designed to combine both traditional Chinese art with modern technology and engineering. The festival is held at from the first to the eighteenth day of the lunar year at the beautifully landscaped Yuyuan Gardens, and is open to the public.

Cheap Drinks at Yong Kang Road

As the whole city is in a celebratory mood, toast to the new year with a drink at Shanghai’s most popular bar street. Enjoy the cheap free-flowing drinks as you hop from bar to bar.

Shanghai Disneyland

Chinese New Year in Shanghai: Yuyuan Gardens Lantern Festival
Chinese New Year in Shanghai: Shanghai Disneyland

The perfect place to go to if you’ll have kids in tow. The amusement park is full of fun activities and live shows for the whole family to enjoy, with spectacular fireworks show to greet the new year.

Visit Wuzhen Old River Town

Chinese New Year in Shanghai: Wuzhen Old River Town
Chinese New Year in Shanghai: Wuzhen Old River Town

If you want to spend Chinese New Year close away from the crowds and noise, consider taking a trip to one of China’s old river towns. Take a day trip to Wuzhen Water Town, a scenic ancient town with rivers that criss-crossing through it. Travel by boat and explore the town’s unique architecture and interesting attractions along the river banks. Make sure to visit the town’s Matchmaker’s Temple, Wuzhen Folk Culture Museum, and the aptly-named, “Bridge within a Bridge” scenic attraction.

Fireworks at the Bund

Chinese New Year in Shanghai: Fireworks at The Bund
Chinese New Year in Shanghai: Fireworks at The Bund

Witness a pyrotechnic extravaganza at The Bund to welcome the lunar new year. The celebrations are also filled with live performances, lion dances, and parades.

If you’re looking to spend a long holiday with both ancient and modern celebrations to join in, head to Shanghai city. Want to spend NYE outside China? Check out more Chinese New Year recommendations below:

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