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An Alternative New Year


For those of you with the January blues here is a selection of the best New Year celebrations yet to come in 2018.

Chinese New Year – China (16th February)

Chinese New Year is the most important festival in China. It starts on the first day of the lunar New Year and ends with the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth. It is a time for families to celebrate together, typically giving gifts and preparing lavish feasts. Red paper decorations adorn windows and doors to signify good luck and happiness, and the coming of the New Year is welcomed with fireworks and firecrackers. Although Chinese New Year is celebrated around the world, there is nowhere better to be than China itself – we recommend Hong Kong for a fantastic New Year experience.

Chinese New Year China Asia

Tet – Vietnam (16th February)

The Tet celebrations that mark the start of the lunar New Year in Vietnam are big news, and a festival everyone should experience at least once. The whole country comes to a standstill for at least three days so the only thing to do is to throw away your schedule and join in the fun. Weeks of shopping, decorating and cooking precede the festivities and the whole country buzzes with anticipation. Huge street parties take over on New Year’s eve and visitors can sample many culinary delights that only appear for this festival.

Khmer New Year – Cambodia (14th-17th April)

Three days of colourful, noisy celebrations in April mark the start of the new Khmer year in Cambodia. As the end of the harvesting season draws to a close Cambodians have a chance to rest and relax before the rainy season begins, usually in September. Prayers are said and offerings made to ancestral spirits and orange-clad monks at the Buddhist temples. Fragrant peanut curries, steaming bowls of noodles and fresh mangoes are shared between family and friends. Bells and drums can be heard across the country. For visitors this is a chance to share in one of Cambodia’s most popular festivals.

Diwali – India (7th November)

Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is celebrated throughout India in between October and December. The story behind Diwali and the way it is celebrated vary throughout India but for some parts it signifies the start of a new year. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil signifying the triumph of good over evil which are kept alight to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. It is centred on an awareness of inner light, and is a beautiful, magical festival that brilliantly showcases India’s spiritual heart.

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For more information on China, Vietnam, Cambodia or India head to our destination pages.

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