8 Beautiful Cities To Celebrate The Lunar New Year Holiday

A red background with a white outline of a rabbit
2.62min read
Published 20 January 2023

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If you thought the new year’s revelry was over, think again. The Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year or Spring Festival), which falls on Sunday, January 22 in 2023, is set to ignite celebrations across the globe. 

2023 is the Year of the Water Rabbit. In Chinese culture, the sign of the rabbit symbolises longevity, peace, and prosperity and people born in the year of the rabbit are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded and ingenious.  

Whether this is your Chinese zodiac sign year, or you’re just after an excuse to extend the new year’s celebrations a little longer, here’s where to celebrate Lunar New Year around the world. 

Beijing

In Beijing, they really know how to paint the town red. This is the biggest holiday of the year in Beijing, so the Chinese capital is one of the ultimate places to experience Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year is a prime time to visit if you want to experience the local culture. A temple fair is where you’ll be able to observe many traditional cultural experiences such as dragon and lion dances, arts and crafts and auspicious foods, while locals setting off firecrackers and fireworks are a constant nightly occurrence.

Lunar New Year fireworks in Beijing

Kuala Lumpur

When it comes to Lunar New Year celebrations, Kuala Lumpur is a lot more reserved than most. Mostly, celebrators will head to the temples to pay their respects to the gods, light joss sticks and burn papercuts. These temples are usually meticulously decorated in lanterns making it a great destination to visit to admire the beautiful decorations of such a colourful and vibrant celebration.

Lunar New Year decorations in Kuala Lumpur

Sydney

Sydney is no slouch when it comes to celebrating the Lunar New Year. The festivities seem to get bigger every year, with Sydney’s Lunar Festival now considered  one of the biggest celebrations outside of Asia. This year, the festival comes alive in the laneways of Haymarket from  21 January to 5 February. Expect  lion dancers, live entertainment, roving performers, market stalls and food trucks. Sydney truly is an unforgettable place to celebrate! 

Fireworks in Sydney celebrating Lunar New Year

Singapore

The Lunar New Year is one of the major events in Singapore’s annual calendar. With a population primarily made up of Chinese, Indian and Malaysian ethnic groups, new year’s celebrations offer a unique blend of cultures and traditions. 

One of the best places to experience the festivities is the River Hongbao. Here you can welcome the Year of the Rabbit with a range of epic experiences including giant lanterns, live performances and even amusement rides. 

Lunar New Year decorations in Singapore

San Francisco

With the largest Chinatown in North America, Lunar New Year celebrations in San Francisco are among the biggest worldwide. The main ticket is the annual Lunar New Year Parade, where more than three million people line the streets to watch over 100 parade entries. Don’t miss the 8.3-metre-long Golden Dragon float, which requires 100 people to operate, as it makes it way down the route from the corner of 2nd and Market Street to the corner of Jackson and Kearny. While you are here, keep an eye out for the intricately designed tiger statues placed across the city as part of the celebrations.

Lunar New Year decorations in San Francisco

Vancouver

The multicultural city of Vancouver turns it on for the Lunar New Year with heaps of food banquets, cultural fairs and festivals. The Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade brings the energy, colour and pageantry to the streets of Chinatown with Canada’s largest troupe of lion dancers plus cultural dance performances, marching bands and martial arts displays.

Dancing dragon in Vancouver's Lunar New Year Parade

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is home to Thailand’s largest Chinatown, so of course they throw the biggest Lunar New Year Party in Thailand. Lanterns, banners and a colourful procession turns the city into a sea of red. While it is not an official holiday in Thailand, the areas' Chinese community take the day off to pay respects to the gods and ancestors, crack fireworks and admire the colourful dancers and dragons.

Lunar New Year decorations in Bangkok

Paris

When thinking of places to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Paris probably isn’t high on the list – but it definitely should be. When it comes to the Lunar New Year, the capital of France really knows how to party. The two-week celebration kicks off with the ‘opening of the dragon’s eye,’ followed by a procession of dancers, drummers and, of course, plenty of dragons. All this takes place around the Champs-Elysées, which makes for a truly magical backdrop.

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