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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – It seems like only yesterday that the world rang in 2020, and now we’re gearing up for another big celebration – Chinese New Year.
For some, the holiday means an excuse to gorge on as much tikoy as your body can handle, for others, especially for the Filipino-Chinese community, it’s the beginning of a new year and new fortunes.
From one of the oldest Chinatowns, to a Buddhist temple, to some of the swankiest hotels, here’s where you can celebrate Chinese New Year this year:
If you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, there is perhaps nowhere better to go than one of the oldest Chinatowns in the country (and some say even the world). This year, a countdown and street party will be happening at Binondo’s Plaza San Ruiz, on January 24 starting at 7 pm, and the lineup of performers and celebrity guests is no joke. Parokya ni Edgar, Sponge Cola, Gloc-9, Shanti Dope, Ex Battalion, Darren Espanto, Angeline Quinto, Janine Berdin, Joshua Garcia, Rita Daniela, and Derrick Monasterio are all slated to appear.
The event will have a countdown to the Chinese New Year – which will be welcomed by a 30-minute long fireworks display. On the day itself, January 25, a Grand Float Parade will take place down the streets of Binondo and Sta. Cruz. Admission to all the events are free.
Chu Un Temple
This Buddhist temple in Cebu City is hosting a celebration on January 24 from 6 pm to January 25 at 1 am, with activities that include a wishing tree, calligraphy workshops, a tea ceremony, and candle offerings.
There will also be live performances and food – and yes, a lion dance and fireworks to ward off all the bad vibes for the new year. Admission is P20.
Some call Banawe Quezon City’s own Chinatown – so it makes sense that the city is hosting their Chinese New Year festivities there. The January 26 event kicks off with at motorcade parade at 3 pm, followed by a program at 4 pm. The program includes Wushu Martial Arts performances, a dragon and lion dance, and Year of the Rat preductions from Feng Shui master Rev. Fr. Wong Seng Tian.
The Quezon City Chinese New Year festivities will be held on the corner of Banawe and Calamba streets.
The Chinese-Ilonggo’s Lunar New Year festivities include a Chinese lantern parade, a night market, and food festival to be launched on January 27. There will also be a grand parade, and a cultural show and fireworks display at Plazuleta Gay on Iznart street, which is part of the city’s “Chinese Triangle,” with singer Richard Poon as a special guest.
The City of Davao – home to the largest Chinatown in the country, is hosting a celebration on January 24, with a program – including a dance competition – that starts at 6 pm and ends with a countdown to the Year of the Rat at midnight.
City of Dreams
What better way to start the Chinese New Year than with by receiving a surprise ang pao? Try your luck at the City of Dreams as “the god of fortune” roams around the building, giving away those iconic red packets to random people. At the same time, City of Dreams is currently running a lights and sounds show, where hundreds of colorful lights are synced to Oriental music. The show will be available to the public until February 15.
In the vein of tradition, they will also be hosting an eye dotting ceremony and lion dance on February 2 at 3 pm.
Spring Film Festival
Shangri-La Plaza is hosting a traditional Dragon and Lion dance on January 25 at 10 am to welcome the Chinese New Year, but more than that, they are also celebrating Chinese culture with the Spring Film Festival. The event features an exhibit of Chinese paintings from January 19 to 26, a Chinese music concert on January 25 from 2 to 3 pm, and a painting workshop on January 26, from 2 to 4 pm.
Of course, at the center of the event are the films that will be screened for free from January 19 to 26:
- The Great Wall
- The Monkey King 2
- Little Door Gods
- Battle of Memories
- Our Shining Days
- Jian Bing Man
The Peninsula Manila
A lion and dragon dance kicks off The Peninsula Manila’s Chinese New Year celebrations on January 25 at 10:30 am. Afterwards, the hotel is serving a Chinese 3-course lunch or dinner at The Lobby, which inclues dishes such as shrimp pot-stickers, crispy pork belly, and slow-baked Barramundi in a soy-ginger sauce.
Reservations can be made in advance by calling The Peninsula at +632 8887 2888.
Bonifacio High Street
Taguig’s shopping district is offering a line up of activities to welcome the Year of the Metal Rat. A Chinese Zodiac Astrology installation will be up at the BHS Park from January 20 to 31, while a dragon dance, traditional Chinese dance and tea performances will be held on January 25. The day will end with a fireworks display. On January 26, there will be a series of workshops that range from chopsticks making, charm bracelet making, and Chinese calligraphy. – Rappler.com
The celebration isn’t over yet. Use this Klook promo code to get discounts on Chinese New Year activities.