Pyromaniacs rejoice - Chinese New Year in Beijing sees the city come alive with fireworks and festivities.
- When? 15 - 21 Feb 2018 (Chinese New Year is the 16th).
- Where? Various locations, Beijing.
- Price: Free
So it's the end of January and all those New Year's resolutions haven't strictly been kept to. Gone jogging every morning? Thought not. Avoided sugar, alcohol and fast food? Nope. Luckily you can still start afresh, by celebrating Chinese New Year in Beijing.
One of China's biggest national holidays, the festival is marked across the nation but one of the biggest and best celebrations can be found in the capital, Beijing. Home to over 21 million people it's hardly surprising that the New Year party here is of epic proportions.
The festival, like Christmas in the western world, is a hugely important family celebration and as such, plenty of visitors arrive in the city from surrounding towns (although many younger Beijingers also leave for more rural areas which are popular with elder family members like grandparents). During part of the festival (which technically runs for around 15 days) most people will get several days off work. Traditionally, the first few days are spent preparing the house before having a huge party at home on New Year's Eve.
Beijing follows all these traditions and more - expect fireworks all the time and the night sky full of crackers and sparkles throughout the main festival weekend. Most shops tend to remain open during this time, as do many of Beijing's excellent eateries. If you don't have a Chinese family to host you on New Year's Eve then book into a local restaurant for some authentic Beijing noodles and rice cakes.
If you're looking for a side of culture with your Beijing trip then a temple fair (known as miao hui) is a good place to absorb local traditions. Watch customary operas, feast on sugary chestnuts and roast sweet potatoes before shopping for handmade trinkets. After, make the most of the subway and buses being relatively empty and tour the city by public transport.
Like the traditions that are associated with western New Year, Chinese New Year is all about hoping for good fortune and passing on positive wishes. So forget all those excuses - it's time to jump back on the resolution bandwagon.
- Get there: The airport is around 45 minutes outside the city centre, so take a taxi or use the subway system.
- Stay: We recommend staying in the city centre or a little outside if you're looking for cheaper accommodation.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!