Check-in desk: Celebrate the Chinese New Year around the world

Unsurprisingly, Beijing is the place to be if you wish to witness the mother of all Chinese New Year celebrations. Photo / Getty Images
Unsurprisingly, Beijing is the place to be if you wish to witness the mother of all Chinese New Year celebrations. Photo / Getty Images

San Francisco, California

Outside of China, San Francisco boasts one of the oldest and largest Chinese New Year festivals. It's been celebrated in the city's Chinatown since the 1860s, with new immigrants sharing their culture with other residents. The festival includes an illuminated night parade, featuring over-the-top floats with beautiful designs, performers on stilts, marching bands and fireworks. It ends with a huge golden dragon, which takes 100 people to hold up.

Sydney, Australia

You needn't travel too far for an epic and authentic celebration - Sydney's large Chinatown precinct explodes in colour for the occasion. The annual Twilight Parade is not happening this year due to construction on George St, but there are plenty of talks, exhibitions and concerts on offer, as well as bike tours and forums at Darling Harbour's Chinese Garden of Friendship. The festivities are topped off with a big fireworks display over the harbour.

Beijing, China

Unsurprisingly, Beijing is the place to be if you wish to witness the mother of all Chinese New Year celebrations. The city hosts a huge series of festivals, parties and worship ceremonies, with a special emphasis on family and historical tradition not seen as much in overseas celebrations. The many historical buildings and temples just add to the atmosphere. And of course, on the eve of the Lunar New Year, the skies are lit up by spectacular fireworks.

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand's biggest Chinatown is located in Bangkok, so naturally it's home to the biggest lunar new year celebration, drawing millions of visitors. The local Chinese community take the day off work in order to pray and pay tribute to ancestors - but also to head into town to set off firecrackers, watch dragon dancers and of course, feast. Local Chinese businesses also offer plenty of special discounts and even free feng shui advice for customers .

Hong Kong, China

The ancient festival gets a unique makeover in Hong Kong. The city's annual parade has been sponsored by Cathay Pacific for 18 years and features intricate floats, international and local performers and street parties. As well as the famous Victoria Harbour fireworks display, there are also special New Year horse races and football games on offer.

- NZ Herald

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