LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVITIES AROUND THE WORLD

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Published on January 04, 2020 with No Comments

Festive parades to traditional customs, Chinese communities in countries all over usher in the Year of the Rat this January.

Words SAM BAKARR

China

China
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Come 25 January, 2020, Lunar New Year will be celebrated in many parts of the world, marking the start of a brand new year in the Lunar calendar. This year is the Year of the Rat, and preparations to usher in the new year would have taken place months before leading up to the festivities. Families get together on the eve of Lunar New Year for one of the most important customs of the celebration, the reunion dinner, where people travel from all over to be with their loved ones enjoying delicious Chinese food while fostering close ties. For the next 15 days, the festival is enjoyed with family and friends, observing traditions that involve lion dances, food, rituals and more.

CHINA
Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in China. Prior to the festival, shops are set up everywhere to sell decorative items and many other things to prepare for the celebration. Many make their way to their hometowns to celebrate with their family, and with China’s huge population, the travel has often been called the largest annual human migration in the entire world. Once with their loved ones, the celebration begins with a reunion dinner the night before. The next few days, the festival is observed with several traditions and customs such as wearing red for good luck, praying to gods and ancestors for blessings, refraining from cleaning of houses to avoid sweeping the good luck away, and children receiving lucky money in red envelopes.
Royal Brunei Airlines flies Beijing 4x weekly and Shanghai 3x weekly.

HONG KONG
Just like China, Lunar New Year is a huge affair in Hong Kong. It is a grand celebration that often includes fireworks display during the countdown for the festival.
Royal Brunei Airlines flies Hong Kong daily.

UNITED KINGDOM & AUSTRALIA
Despite it not being widely celebrated, Lunar New Year still has its own place in Western countries like Australia and the UK with its Chinese communities holding special celebrations in Chinatown for others to join in.
Royal Brunei Airlines flies London daily.
Royal Brunei Airlines flies Melbourne daily and Brisbane 4x weekly.

MALAYSIA
One of the most popular Lunar New Year customs is the lion dance, which is believed to bring luck and prosperity. In Malaysia, it is customary for business and home owners to arrange for a lion dance during the festival to usher in good luck for the new year.
Royal Brunei Airlines flies Kuala Lumpur 2x daily, Kota Kinabalu 15x weekly, Sandakan 6x weekly, Sibu 6x weekly, Tawau 6x weekly and Kuching 4x weekly.

SINGAPORE
Lunar New Year is celebrated in a grand gesture in Singapore with popular tourists spots like Chinatown lit up in elaborated decor, creating a festive mood throughout the entire island.
Royal Brunei Airlines flies Singapore 2x daily.

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
Despite being a largely Muslim country, Lunar New Year is also a special celebration in Brunei. Open house is a popular tradition. One of the highlights is His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu‘izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Royal Family attending the TiongHua community’s grand open house held at the International Convention Centre annually.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Dubai is a fantastic place to celebrate the Lunar New Year where the city comes alive with fireworks, light displays on prominent landmark and more.
Royal Brunei Airlines flies Dubai 4x weekly and Jeddah 2x weekly.

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