Fireworks over Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour

Where to celebrate Chinese New Year

Glowing red lanterns, pounding drums, lion dances, lucky packets, peach blossoms, fortune tellers, festive markets, shimmering drone armies and sky-splitting fireworks – Chinese New Year (25 January) is the biggest, noisiest, most colourful celebration on earth. Celebrated across Asia, as well as many of the world's major cities, this year's 15-day festivities start in January continue through to 8 February

Chinese dragon street dancers

Hong Kong

The fragrant Victoria Park Flower Market, an extravagant firework display bursting over the harbour and an enormous procession of floats, dancers and acrobats parading through the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui is how Hong Kong will bring in the 2020 Year of the Rat. If you're looking for a racier alternative, head to Sha Tin Racecourse. It's a local tradition that a little New Year betting brings wealth and property, making this one of the most popular meets of the year. Rest your head at the iconic Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong or The Landmark Mandarin Oriental to make the most of the celebrations.

Illuminations in Guangzhou


The most futuristic of China's ancient Lunar New Year celebrations takes place in Guangzhou. More like a scene from the movie Blade Runner, China's southern metropolis features 1,000 multi-coloured flashing drones creating festive formations around the 462-metre high Canton Tower, which is lit up like a giant lollipop. Look out for a bleeping God of Wealth and the Chinese character 'Fu', which means good luck, good fortune and blessings. More low-tech attractions include Pearl River cruises, Haixansha flower market and lion dancing shows at Chimelong theme park. Alternatively, why not treat yourself to a Cantonese feast at Jiang by Chef Fei at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou?

Lanterns in London's Chinatown


The biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia sprawls across London's West End, spilling from Chinatown to Leicester Square to Charing Cross Road, Shaftsbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square, on 26 January. The festivities kick off with a flamboyant parade, followed by street performances – martial art displays, lion dances, live music – as well as exhibitions, children's storytelling sessions, and tea-making classes. Traditional Chinese food stalls are set up across town to keep visitors fully fuelled. After a day of fun and frivolity, take solace at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London.

Lobster and fennel dish at Lord Jim's at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok


Even though Chinese New Year isn't a public holiday in Thailand, millions of ethnic Thai-Chinese take part in celebrations across the country. The most outlandish activities take place in and around Bangkok's garish Chinatown district, also known as Yaowarat. Swing by over the main three days of celebrations (24 to 26 January) to find a blizzard of red lanterns, temples shrouded in incense and an eye-popping dragon dance, with a tail stretching over 100-metres long requiring dozens of dancers to make it snake. Head for a seafood dinner with uninterrupted views of the river at Lord Jim’s at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.

Traditional Chinese lanterns


The way to Taiwan's heart is through its food, lauded as some of the best in Asia, and at no time is this more apparent than during the Chinese New Year celebrations. Wear an elasticated waistband and head to Dihua Street Market, home to some of Taipei's oldest businesses, and fill up on dumplings (said to attract money), zhu jiao mian xian pork noodles (each long strand symbolising a long life) and nian gao, a deep-fried sticky rice cake which when pronounced sounds like 'higher each year'. Welcome the Year of the Rat with Mandarin Oriental, Taipei’s special Chinese New Year package.

Firework display on the Hudson

New York

A riotous parade through the streets of Manhattan, lavish firework displays over the Hudson River, a firecracker ceremony in Sarah D. Roosevelt Park – Chinese New Year is so much a part of New York's DNA that it's now an official school holiday. Families will find plenty to keep little ones entertained, including acrobats, stilt walkers, marching bands, interactive art festivals and, of course, lion dances. For a more grown-up outing, book tickets for the Philharmonic's special New Year performance and gala, held in the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts. Bed down at Mandarin Oriental, New York.

Yu Gardens Lantern Festival, Shanghai


On New Year's Eve (Friday 24 January) thousands of people gather around the curly eves of Longhua Temple to listen to its ancient copper bell being rung 108 times, a symbolic number for luck, money and longevity. Over the following two weeks there are fireworks, dragon and lion dances and special Disneyland parades. While on Saturday 26th, the place to end the new year celebrations is at the Yu Gardens Lantern Festival, amid a menagerie of giant glowing pigs, pandas, butterflies and mythical beasts. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast and room upgrade with Mandarin Oriental, Shanghai’s exclusive New Year package.

View from the treatment room at Mandarin Oriental, Macau


In the 1950s and 1960s, Macau's main trade was firecracker-making and the tiny territory remains one of the few places in the region where the public is still permitted to play with pyrotechnics. Join the ear-splitting fun – and help ward off evil spirits – by heading to Avenida Dr Sun Yat-Sen (near the Macau Tower) and the waterfront Estrada Almirante Marques Esparteiro in Taipa where stalls sell boxes of bright red firecrackers. For a quieter alternative visit the Unesco World Heritage Site A-Ma Temple or indulge in Mandarin Oriental, Macau’s Macanese Dragon treatment.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with MO

Enjoy complimentary daily breakfast, spa credit, an upgrade to the next room category, late check out and complimentary WiFi when you book our exclusive Chinese New year package