If you think the holidays are over, then you haven’t been to Asia where Spring Festival or more popularly known as Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration ever. Chinese New Year is a seriously major thing and if you plan to witness it at least once in your life, here are some secrets you need to know about this grand festival.
1. The Dates Change
Every year the dates of Chinese New Year change as the holiday is based upon the rotation of the Moon and the Earth, or something complicated like that. It's a traditional festival where people go home to spend time with their families. Airports, railways, and generally the streets are just busy, busy, busy.
2. A Nation on the Move
In the People’s Republic of China, more than 800 million people are on the move the week before Chinese New Year and the week afterward. All of the airports, train stations and bus terminals are packed to the gills so if you do have to travel in Asia, you simply must book your tickets many months in advance. Believe me when I say it's busy. Millions and millions of people are going home.
3. Empty Cities
The best time to travel to cities like Guangzhou is during Chinese New Year as millions of people clear out. Traffic is nonexistent and it is so easy to get from one place to another. Most all local restaurants are shuttered but all of the five-star hotels will drop their prices to the lowest of the year so great bargains abound. This year, my family has decided to stay in Guangzhou and thought about staying in one of the five-star hotels at half the cost.
4. Money, Money, Money
When traveling or vacationing during this time, all of the airline companies jack up their rates to premium levels. Why? Because they know this is the only time most people have to travel anywhere. Shop around and you can get some great deals on Chinese New Year itself or immediately afterward. The key is to plan ahead and travel wisely.
5. Decoration Galore
Wherever you travel in Asia, you will find the most happy and festive time as joy simply permeates the air. When celebrating the New Year, those who fortunately don’t have to travel can stay home and enjoy the fireworks and festivities. Red and orange are common colors as they bring in luck and happiness!
6. Love That Food!
Asia is known for its fresh food and here in China, you can stroll down any local street and see people cooking something. The aroma is wondrous and food is very inexpensive. Treat your palate to the best that Chinese New Year can offer! There is more to Chinese food than the Peking duck. Guangzhou, for example, is dim sum heaven.
7. Red Everywhere
Red is an auspicious color in Chinese culture. It is a symbol of luck and prosperity. For New Year red envelopes with money are given to children and single members of the family.
8. The Year of the ...
Every year has a corresponding animal or zodiac sign. This year, we welcome the year of the dog. If that's your animal, find out what the year has in store for you here: chinahighlights.com
All that remains for me to say is Xin nian kuai le! (Happy New Year! )