Celebrating the Chinese New Year in China
January 21–February 20 marks the 2016 Chinese New Year with New Year’s Day falling on February 8.
Millions travel from both home and abroad through Mainland China to experience this celebration and delight in the many attractions and historical treasures China offers. Although Chinese New Year is the most crowded time of the year, February 8-12 is when locals are typically at home celebrating with family, so this an excellent time to travel and flights are very inexpensive. Book all your travel and hotel accommodations in advance and choose air travel over trains (to avoid cancellations). Celebrate the Chinese New Year holiday in China to experience local traditions and savor unique Diners Club Privileges after you arrive.
Start your Chinese New Year tour by flying to the Chinese capital, Beijing. Ease your post-flight jet lag at the BGS Premier Lounge. A massive city dating back 3 millennia, Beijing is a prime spot to celebrate the traditions of Chinese New Year. Watch the impressive fireworks on New Year’s Eve and attend a temple fair, such as the Dongyue Temple Fair (February 7-14), which dates back to the 13th century Yuan Dynasty and is the oldest temple fair in Beijing. The Changdian Temple Fair (February 8-12) features an eclectic mix of food, crafts and performances. Take in local history by exploring Tiananmen Square, the largest urban city square with great historical significance and Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace complex.
Hotel Éclat Beijing
Located in the heart of the Embassy district, the Hotel Éclat is housed inside a glass pyramid that is part of the Parkview Green development. Guests enjoy access to designer boutiques, cinema and restaurants at this luxury hotel that features artwork by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Zeng Fangzhi. Diners Clubmembers enjoy a complimentary third night when you stay two nights via the Small Luxury Hotels of the World loyalty program.
A flight of just over three hours takes you from Beijing to the big southern city of Ghangzhou, known as the “Flower City” for its vibrant year-round gardens. An ancient city that blends shiny skyscrapers with romantic canals, Ghangzhou’s big draw during the Chinese New Year is the Flower Fairs (February 5-8). Highlights of the fairs are the fragrant and beautiful flowers decorating city streets, folk performances and calligraphy and paintings sold by local artists. Check out the Xihu, Tianhe and Liwan Flower Fairs, and don’t miss the lion dance performances.
In just an hour-long flight, you can travel from Ghangzhou to the international metropolis of Hong Kong. Locals celebrate New Year’s in Hong Kong with a mix of the traditional and modern customs, with three days of fun culminating in a giant fireworks display and festival races. On the evening of February 8, 2016, New Year’s Day, enjoy a carnival atmosphere and evening parade with international performing groups on the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui followed by the giant fireworks display at Victoria Harbor on February 9. Head to Sha Tine Racecourse on February 10, where you’ll join 100,000 fans for a full day of festivities. While in Hong Kong enjoy local attractions such as visiting Victoria Peak (the highest mountain in China), Stanley Market and Man Mo Temple.
In just 2.5 hours you can fly from Hong Kong to Shanghai, China’s biggest city that offers the best place to soak up local culture and traditions during the Chinese New Year. Visit the Longhua Temple Celebration at 853 Longhua Road, where 108 Buddhist monks are invited to climb the pagoda and strike the bell. Don’t miss the tranquil Temple of Heaven, built for worship-ping the gods in Heaven, where locals relax by playing chess, singing and dancing.
Dishing up traditional Spanish cuisine with Chinese yin/yang meal structure, Chef Willy Trullas Moreno’s Shanghai restaurant el Willy has been showcased on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Global Selection. Diners Club members enjoy a Willy style mixed dessert tray as well as a Chef’s table visit.
For all of China, go to Diners Club Privileges and choose “China.”