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Beijing Travel Tips for Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year 2013 is coming up on February 9th, 2013 and lasts for 15 days till Lantern Festival on Sunday, February 24. As we know that Chinese Spring Festival is the most important and grandest traditional festival for Chinese people. Besides, Beijing is the capital of China and one of the most populous cities in the world. It has a long history and most of Chinese traditional customs and culture has survived till today, so Beijing is the first preferred city during Chinese Spring Festival. In addition, if you would like to witness Beijing celebrating its greatest festival, you must be well prepared for your travel, then, you will certainly have an exceptional and amazing experience. 

 
History

20130203traveltips2Beijing City was established over 3,000 years ago and was called Jin City in the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC - 771 BC). Ever since Emperor Qin united China in 221 BC, Beijing has played an important role in north China. It was the capital city in the Liao (916-1125), Jin (1115-1234), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. During these 800 years, 34 emperors lived and ruled here. The world renowned Forbidden City was built during this period. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, World War I broke out. Beijing became the focus of invaders. The war disrupted the society. Many residences of royal families were robbed and burned down. After that, the whole country was reduced to the status of semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. It wasn't until October 1st, 1949 that the People's Republic of China was founded. Beijing is known as the capital city of the prosperous new country which has flared into importance in Asia.
 

Spring Festival Activities

20130203traveltips3The most outstanding character of Beijing during the Spring Festival can be found in the many parks in the city where various temples display their different themes.  One would get to enjoy the local customs and imperial cultures, as well as a chance to purchase cultural products and a taste of local snacks. They are the best destinations to enjoy traditional Beijing culture.

This traditional cultural event integrates religious worship and entertainment, and features almost all kinds of Chinese folk art. Temple fairs in Beijing have a long history, and the origin can be traced back to the Liao Dynasty (907 – 1125). The fairs are held at various ancient temples regularly or during festivals, so they are called "temple fairs".

20130203traveltips4For foreigners, visiting a temple fair is definitely a cultural experience. You may enjoy the reenactment of the ceremony of worship to Earth and Heaven. Folk performances like dragon and lion dances, demonstration of traditional arts and crafts, and fun games are all part and parcel of temple fairs. You can also taste numerous Beijing snacks, court dishes and delicacies. Those famous temple fairs including Changdian Temple Fair, Ditan Park Temple Fair, Baiyunguan Temple Fair, Longtanhu Temple Fair, Longtanhu Temple Fair and so on.
 

Watch the fireworks

20130203traveltips5Watch the fireworks at Chinese Lunar New Year is a much romantic thing, especially when staying with your lover or your friends, firecrackers are always set off at midnight. Families stay up for this joyful moment, kids with firecrackers in one hand, and a lighter in another, cheerfully celebrate by throwing the small explosives one by one on the street, whilst plugging their ears. At that time, pretty fireworks light up the night sky and high-energy dragon dances shimmy through the streets which are very impressive and attractive.
 

Have reunion dinner with Chinese people

The Eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year is greatly observed. The most important thing for the eve is the Supper! The supper on the eve is much expected, a feast with all family members coming back together. The most popular course of the eve supper is "jiaozi", a kind of dumplings boiled in water. After dinner, it is time for the whole family to stay up for the night - " Guo Nian " - playing cards, board games or watching TV programs especially made for the occasion. Light will be kept on for the whole night. At midnight, people fire fireworks to sweep away all the ill fortune and welcome the good fortune in the coming year. The firecrackers will light up the whole sky and people's happiness gets to its zenith.

20130203traveltips6Currently, there are many Chinese tour guide prefer to organize a series such private activities such as make dumplings, have reunion dinner with Chinese people and watch CCTV New Year's Gala, which in order to make foreign visitors better immerse themselves into Chinese culture, so it is strongly recommended to attend the activities if you would like to enjoy Chinese reunion atmosphere.
 

Travel Tips

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1. Transport, hotels and attractions are extremely busy during the Chinese New Year (usually in January or February) and the week-long holidays of International Labor Day (May 1) and National Day (Oct 1). If you expect to visit Beijing during these periods, it is suggested that you place your booking at least one month in advance.

2. Bring along warm clothing, the coldest month is over, but spring is still around two months away. The weather is still cold, but warmer than January. Temperatures don’t get much above freezing, and it is very dry. So it is recommended to take warm clothing and be careful not to catch a cold.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 February 2013 18:34
 

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