Ann Korniienko
January 03, 2018

When one New Year is just not enough: Oriental New Year celebrations

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Photo by Chris Phutully

Christmas and New Year have just come to an end, all sorts of turkey leftovers are eaten and all the ugly presents are taken back to the shops they were bought from.

Seems like a good idea to go back to office again. But all of a sudden in a week or two you become bored again, and the only way to proceed and avoid a real depression is the routine vaccination. There are plenty of anti-routine vaccines, but the one we’re proud to offer is celebrating one more New Year holiday right after the year has begun.

China: 2 weeks of fireworks, red lanterns and happy faces

In 2017 this holiday will be starting on the 28th of January. It is majorly a family holiday, but there are many festivities to visit in cities. Lunar New Year is accompanied by carnivals and festivals here, all the business stops for almost two weeks.

Enjoy sweet rice niangao cookies and participate in scaring the New Year beast Nian off with red colors and loud noises - like fireworks. This will definitely digress you from the boring life routine.

Vietnam: 5 fruits, rice pie and lion dance

Usually the New Year holiday in Vietnam happens at the same days when it takes place in China, though there may be surprising differences in calendars. This is also the most important holiday here, so there are plenty of superstitions connected therewith. For example people don’t eat oranges and pears, duck and shrimps as they are believed to be unhappy. A lot of attention is paid to who will be the first to enter the house in the new year - so don’t you dare to come to any house without a prior invitation. However if you are invited to be the first guest, it is a great honor as only successful and respected people are asked to come.

Photo thanks to alex.ch
Photo thanks to alex.ch

Vietnam New Year is a family holiday. People have traditional meals, usually including the special rice pie, play games and watch the holiday lion dance.

Thailand: paper everything

Only 10% of Thailand population is ethnically Chinese. Still, the Chinese New Year is a big deal here, and many tourists come to visit the celebrations. Interesting tradition here is congratulating the dead ancestors and giving them the paper analogs of the things they admired during their lives. So if you spot a bottle of whiskey made of paper, know that it is meant to be burnt as a New Year gift to someone who was loved.

Photo thanks to Takeaway
Photo thanks to Takeaway

As you see, there is plenty to see and experience during the Chinese New Year festivities in Asia. Therefore there are a lot of tourists traveling here at this time of year. Plan your trip in advance as everything tends to be overbooked these days. It is impossible to cover everything in our digest, so we invite you to share your thoughts, photos and impressions on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Asia in your traveller’s notes.

Plan ahead