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CHINESE NEW YEAR 2013. THE TOP 5 PLACES TO CELEBRATE.

This year sees the start of the Chinese New Year on 10th February 2013. Celebrating the Year of the Snake.

Beijing

Beijing being the capital of China is the center of the celebrations for the City and events include Carnivals, operatic performances, acrobats and traditional tea culture displays. Also, there will be local crafts, dancing and local and international cuisine.

Ditan Park festival houses the Temple of Earth which is a large square two storey building with a large moat which is traditionally decorated with Dragons (ying) and Phoenix (yang) and surrounded by substantial trees thought to be upwards of 300 years old. This is a fantastic place to spend the day with your family enjoying some of the rich and varied entertainment on offer.

At midnight the skies over Beijing will be lit up with stunning pyro to welcome in the New Lunar year and ward off those evil spirits.

Hong Kong

The most popular and arguably the largest event celebrating the Spring Festival is the Cathay Pacific Chinese New Year Night Parade, which will be held on 10th February kicking off 15-days of celebrations.

Day one starts with this year's annual parade ‘Theme’ is ‘World City – World Party’ which will include illuminated, highly decorated floats accompanied by spectacular international performances during this carnival atmosphere including a Shaolin Kung Fu demonstration and Nordic stilt walkers (mmmm – a little random!!).

The second day will see a spectacular Lunar New Year fireworks display. Watched by more than ½ a million spectators and featuring no fewer than 40,000 fireworks including shells, firecrackers and mines, this 23-minute display is going to be pretty special.

Singapore

Singaporeans welcome in the Year of the Snake with the annual Chingay Parade which features around 2000 performers from a variety of clubs and schools bedecked in highly coloured costumes giving the parade its growing reputation as Asia’s answer to Mardi Gras.

The parade theme is ‘Fire in Snow’ celebrating the true strength of the human spirit when faced with adversity and taking on the challenges head on.

The main event on 22nd and 23rd of February promises a truly spectacular welcome for the New Year. Lion dancers, firecrackers, fire eaters and dance performances brings the people together with their families and loved ones to look forward to a prosperous New Year.

One of the most popular events is held on the Marina Bay floating platform where the area comes alive once again with street performances, music, shopping and gaming, lanterns and of course a spectacular fireworks display.

San Francisco

I know, I did a double take when I learnt that San Francisco was one of the top places in the WORLD to celebrate the Chinese New Year too. Furthermore, San Francisco is recognised as holding the largest Asian celebration on any other continent.

Following on from the Gold Rush of the mid 1800’s there was a massive influx of Chinese immigrants hoping to make their fortune bringing along with them the Chinese New Year traditions to the USA and amalgamated the traditional parade with their more customary celebrations to establish in 1860 one of the largest non-Asian celebrations in the World and it continues to this day.

They hold a Miss Chinatown Pageant to choose a representative for this beautiful City. The event also delivers everyone attending the chance to involve themselves in the making of kites and lanterns, learn about Chinese symbolism and calligraphy and some nifty dance moves too.

The main feature, the parade will end with a 200m+ long Golden Dragon which takes over 100 men and women from local Martial Arts group ‘White Crane’ to carry and move around the gathered crowds. Accompanied by marching bands, this is a spectacular event offering you the chance to have a taste of the real China.

London

Europe’s largest and arguably the best celebrations take place in London, naturally!

Every year, the festivities grow as thousands of Londoners and visitors descend on the Capital to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The party kicks off with a spectacular New Year’s parade which makes its way through the city until it reaches Trafalgar Square where the President of Chinatown will carry out the ‘Dotting of the Eye’ ceremony which will bring the dragons and lions to life.

At 5:55 on 10/02/2013 a stunning fireworks display will mark the end of the first day of the Chinese Spring Festival celebrations.

If you plan to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Snake or indeed would like to have a few fireworks to help your family to ward off the evil spirits, we are open 7-days a week and have everything from small fountains to full display packs and we would be delighted to see you. Remember, we hold the largest number of 1.3g barrages in the UK and they range from £3.95 to £89.95.

See you soon and in the meantime ‘Gung Hay Fat Choy ‘ which means "Best wishes and Congratulations and we wish you all a prosperous and good year.

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