10 Ways to Usher in the Year of the Dog in Asia

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with lantern festivals, bustling spring festivals, traditional opera, and more.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

1. Watch the fireworks at Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong

See the spectacular Victoria Harbour fireworks in Hong Kong up close and personal on February 18 at 8pm. Entrance to the event is free and fireworks can be enjoyed from either side of the harbor. Popular viewing spots include Hung Hom Bypass, Promenade, and the Avenue of the Stars. Those staying on the Hong Kong Island side of the harbor can head to the Central Waterfront Promenade.

More information here.

2. Enjoy traditional Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong

Celebrate the Year of the Dog with traditional Cantonese opera at a one-day event held on February 18. Performed in the Sha Tin Town Hall, the line-up includes 12 shows in celebration of the Lunar New Year. The performances will showcase 26 distinguished Cantonese artists and their best acts.

More information here.

Photo: River Hongbao

3. Celebrate with a festival at Marina Bay, Singapore

River Hongbao is an annual spring festival held in Singapore. This year, the 11-day festival from February 14 to 24 will feature 60 lantern displays, fireworks, an amusement park, as well as international performances. Seeking good fortune in the new year? Be sure to catch the gold confetti as it falls from the 18-meter God of Fortune.

More information here.

4. Pray for good luck at a temple on Penang Island, Malaysia

Ring in the Lunar New Year with a trip to Penang Island, which is home to many temples favored by locals seeking blessings, prosperity, and wealth. Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, worth visiting for its spectacular light display during the festivities. With over 40,468 square meters of landscaped gardens, prayer hall and temples, it is a sight to behold.

More information here.

5. Embrace the sun and sea on Sentosa Island, Singapore

Sentosa, an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast, will be embracing the Lunar New Year with an island wide festival. Happening from now until March 4, the festival boasts lion and dragon dance performances, pen-a-wish booths, and prosperity drumming. Snoopy and other popular characters can also be spotted walking around the island. A Fortune Street is also available, where guests can have their fortunes read from nine schools of divination, including feng shui and tarot card.

More information here.

Photo: Vignette3

6. Receive blessings at a majestic temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Known as the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven, Thean Hou Temple is one of the largest temples in Southeast Asia. Due to the history and size, thousands travel to the site for Lunar New Year festivities.

More information here.

7. Hang out at a bustling Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand

Yaowarat, the official Chinatown of Bangkok, lights up for the Lunar New Year festivities each year. Here, the whole street comes alive with festivities, with highlights including traditional dragon dance, street firecrackers, and more. The Mang Nguan Hah Shrine is also a short walk away for those who’d like to ask for blessings in the new year.

More information here.

Photo: Wikipedia

8. Marvel at beautiful lanterns in Shanghai, China

Held on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, the Lantern Festival in Shanghai happens on the last day of the Spring Festival. Falling on March 2 this year, festivities include paper lantern light-ups, performances, and more. Other popular attractions in the Old Town include Yuyuan Garden and Expo Park on the Huangpu River.

More information here.

9. See a historical lantern festival in Nanjing, China

Held at the Confucius Temple in the Jiangsu Province, this festival has a notable history and is mentioned in the novel Dream of the Red Chamber. The lantern festival can be traced back to the invention of paper and is always held on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

More information here.

10. Celebrate at an unusual spring festival in Taipei, Taiwan

Unlike most other Spring Festivals, the Dihua New Year Goods festival is a celebration of creation and artistry. Chefs are encouraged to demonstrate the preparation of their festive specialty dishes while stalls purvey unique crafts and goods. Due to its popularity, the festivities have expanded beyond Dihua Street to include Taipei City Mall, Ningxia Night market, Rongbin Shopping District, and Taipei Station Wholesale Market.

More information here.


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