Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a famously festive period. In Beijing it is a noisy, colourful (and that's not just the fireworks), and busy occasion. Boys and girls on stilts, life-sized puppets, and costumed carousers sing and dance in the streets. Not a whole lot of sleep is possible during this week of celebration. The Eastern Mountain Taoist Temple on the east side of the city hosts the New Year Temple Fair, where one can find some respite from the reveling in the main hall, which features a Taoist orchestra playing traditional flutes and pipes.

New Year also starts with a bang in Shanghai, where exuberant and exceedingly loud fireworks displays rock the city all night long on this, China's most merry of celebrations. Not everyone appreciates the scale of the fireworks, but traditionally the noise is necessary to frighten off evil spirits for the coming year. During the national holiday the Bund and clubs throughout the city are thronged with revelers, making for a city-wide party.

All over China there are raucous celebrations over this period and the celebrations make it a truly thrilling time to visit any of the big cities.

Date: 8 February 2016