The 2011 Chinese New Year is nearly upon us. From February 2nd to mid February you’ll find thousands of residents of Beijing have fled the city for their home provinces to see family and loved ones. It is the single biggest travel period in China, and nearly everyone returns to their home town to usher in the new year. As such, Beijing, which is home to thousands of folks from other provinces and countries, seems all but empty during the holiday. Nevertheless, there are great ways to celebrate in Beijing with the Beijing locals who hail from the city and who have congregated with their loved ones to usher in the Year of the Rabbit in style.
Fireworks are how the Chinese bring in the new year, and you’ll find them erupting all around the city for a good week. On sale all over the city, these fireworks are affordable and fun! Locals buy them by the cart load as the more you set off the more impressive the show and the more fortuitous your new year will be.
Hou Hai Lake is a beautiful place to watch the fireworks. The residents of nearby hutong communities congregate on the lake to watch each other set off small shows. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful views afforded of the lake as the fireworks are reflected off the snow and ice.
The Sanlitun Village is a great place to hang out over the New Year’s Festivities. They constantly put on little shows, people on stilts and clowns and outdoor art shows as well as promotional events. Meanwhile, some of the area’s best bars and restaurants will be offering promotional deals for the holiday.
Happy New Year! And may the year of the rabbit be a great one for you and yours!