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The Year of the Rabbit at London Hotels
Stay at one of the hotels near Chinatown in February to experience the Chinese New Year. This year – the Year of the Rabbit – falls on February 3 and the main celebrations will take place on Sunday February 6 in Chinatown, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square. Chinatown will be particularly adorned with streamers and colored lights. There will be stalls selling food, clothes and street performers to entertain you. Many restaurants will serve special menus and there will be special events throughout the day, including the famous Dragon Dancers. Trafalgar Square will feature traditional Chinese entertainment with street theatre, fireworks and Chinese dragons. A large stage is being erected in Leicester Square and will feature performances by Chinese artists throughout the day. Some London hotels in the area offer special Chinese menus and offer Chinese-style entertainment to announce the New Year.
New York hotels are a good base to discover how to celebrate the New Year in New York! February 3 in Roosevelt Park, starting at 11 a.m., is The Grand Firecracker Detonation. Attended by community leaders and local politicians, there is a huge firecracker festival with hundreds of firecrackers, supposedly to ward off evil spirits. There will also be a stage show with many singers, dancers and acrobats. Throughout the day, local dance troupes will parade through the main streets of Chinatown dressed in an array of colorful costumes. On Sunday 6. February 12, Chinatown’s annual Lunar New Year Parade begins at 11 a.m. It is a magical event and features lion and dragon dance troupes, street theater, elaborate floats and processions by local organizations. Try to arrive early to get a good spot to see as it can get quite crowded. The parade ends at 3 p.m. and is then followed by an outdoor cultural festival featuring martial artists and traditional Chinese dance troupes and singers, culminating in a massive fireworks display.
What better than in Hong Kong to celebrate the New Year? Hotels fill up quickly, so book early. The New Year begins this year on February 2 with the New Year’s Eve Night Parade. Departing from Sha Tsui East on the Kowloon Peninsula, it features decorated floats, street performers and dragon dances. The parade descends to Victoria Harbor, where the awe-inspiring ‘Symphony of Lights’ is staged, featuring 44 of the harbour’s most significant buildings. It is the largest permanent sound and light show in the world and once seen, it is never forgotten. On New Year’s Day, many locals visit one of the many temples, pray for good luck in the coming year, and be read to by the fortune tellers who gather there. Another New Year tradition is to visit Lam Tseun Wishing Trees and Tin Hau Temple. People write their wishes on special paper and then attach them to the wooden supports under the wishing trees.
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