Travels and Festivals

Spring Festival: A Cultural Extravaganza In China You Can’t-Miss

Spring Festival

Spring Festival in China is a festive occasion that celebrates the country’s rich culture and traditions. The event is a time of happiness and family reunions. In addition, visitors can pamper themselves with delicious food while watching stunning fireworks. Moreover, the dragon dances symbolize power and strength. Spring Festival is an opportunity for individuals to gather with their loved ones. It is a time to enjoy the lively mood and reflects on the past while looking forward to the future. 

The Spring Festival celebrates significant cultural and traditional values for the Chinese people. It serves as a time for families to reunite and for individuals to reflect on the past year. Additionally, the festival characterizes the concepts of renewal, making it a vital aspect of Chinese culture.

As a result, during the Spring Festival, people believe that gods return to earth to bless them with good fortunes. Therefore, Chinese individuals observe this occasion by performing various customs and rituals. For example, people are cleaning their homes to eliminate bad luck. Additionally, Spring Festival is vital in the economic event in China as people spend money on decorations, gifts, and food. Thus, the festival also boosts the tourism industry, attracting visitors from all around the world.

Spring Festival Highlights

Explore the central elements of the Spring Festival and appreciate this important cultural celebration.

I. Fireworks: 

Spring Festival
  • One of the most iconic highlights of the Spring Festival is the firework display. 
  • Consequently, it lights up the sky with various colors and sounds.

II. Lion and Dragon Dances: 

Spring Festival
  • The lion and dragon dances are two of the most popular cultural performances during the Spring Festival. In addition, the dances represent power, strength, and good fortune. Loud drumming and cymbals accompany dances.

III. Red Decorations: 

Spring Festival
  • Red is synonymous with the Spring Festival in China. Thus, people decorate their homes and streets with red lanterns, banners, and posters.

IV. Family Reunions: 

  • The Spring Festival is vital for families to come together and celebrate. 
  • Many Chinese people travel long distances to be with their loved ones during this time. 
  • So, reunions are the most significant annual human migration in the world.

V. Food: 

Spring Festival
  • Food is a crucial part of the Spring Festival. Food is customary to indulge in various traditional dishes. 
  • The most popular foods during this time include dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and glutinous rice cakes.

These are just a handful of the Spring Festival’s highlights in China, a nation where it is a time of joy, festivity, and cultural significance.

Proper and Respectful Participation in Spring Festival

If you are attending a Spring Festival celebration in China, here are some excellent etiquette to keep in mind:

Bring a gift: 

  • It is customary to bring a gift to your host during a Spring Festival celebration. 
  • Consider getting items such as fruit, candy, or flowers.

Wear red:

  • Wearing red clothing or accessories is a great way to show respect for the festival. 
  • Wear red color dresses when attending the festival. It is a lucky color in Chinese.

Be respectful: 

  • When greeting your host, use polite language. 
  • Please show respect to elders by addressing them first. 
  • When receiving a gift, accept it with both hands as a sign of gratitude.

Try traditional foods: 

  • Spring Festival is a time for feasting, with many traditional dishes. 
  • However, be open to trying new foods and be polite when declining dishes you may not like.

By observing these manners, you can respect the festival and make a positive impression on your hosts.

The Must-See Attractions in China Except Spring Festival: A Comprehensive Guide

Tourists worldwide visit China yearly to explore its fascinating history, culture, and natural beauty. Below are more details on China’s top 5 best and most famous attractions.

1. The Great Wall of China 

Stretching over 13,000 miles, the Great Wall of China is the longest in the world. In addition, it is a testament to the incredible architectural feats of ancient China.

  • Visitors can explore different sections of the wall and enjoy the surrounding landscape, such as:
    • Badaling
    • Mutianyu
    • Jinshanling
  • Transport options to the Great Wall of China: From Beijing, use a bus, cab, or private vehicle. Popular sections such as Badaling and Mutianyu have direct bus services from Beijing.

2. The Terracotta Army –  

The Terracotta Army is a collection of over 8,000 life-size terracotta figures of soldiers, horses, and chariots. In addition, they buried the statistics with the first Chinese monarch to safeguard him after his death.

  • Visitors can admire the intricate details of each figure. 
  • How to reach Terracotta Army: Visitors can take a bus from Xi’an’s central bus station or hire a taxi. For those traveling by train, there are regular services from Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities in China. 

3. The Forbidden City – 

The Forbidden City is mainly in the heart of Beijing. It is a magnificent complex of palaces that were once the imperial palace of China’s emperors. 

Spring Festival
  • Visitors can learn about China’s imperial past’s rich history and culture. 
  • Everyone interested in Chinese history and architecture must visit the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Transport options to Forbidden City: the Tiananmen East or West stations on Beijing’s Line 1 subway. Several bus routes stop near the Forbidden City. 

4. The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park – 

the forest park is in Hunan province. The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a stunning natural wonder. 

  • The park is famous for its towering sandstone pillars, deep canyons, and lush forests. 
  •  Transportation options to Zhangjiajie: Visitors can take a train to Zhangjiajie or a bus from nearby cities such as Changsha. In addition, there is also an airport in Zhangjiajie that has regular flights from major cities in China.

5. The Huangshan Mountain – 

Huangshan Mountain, also known as Yellow Mountain. It is one of China’s most stunning natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • It is famous for its peculiarly-shaped granite peaks, twisted pines, and hot springs. 
  • Ride a cable car to the summit and enjoy the breathtaking views.
  • How to reach Huangshan Mountain: Visitors can take a train to Huangshan city or a bus from nearby cities such as Shanghai or Hangzhou. Moreover, there is also an airport in Huangshan with regular flights from major cities in China.

6. Shanghai Disneyland – 

is also famous for its nightly fireworks. In addition, it is one of the world’s most impressive shows. 

  • The park’s popularity has only grown in recent years. 
  • Shanghai Disneyland has become one of the most iconic landmarks in Shanghai.
  • Since its opening in 2016, thousands of tourists worldwide have visited it. That includes Filipinos!
  • How to reach Disneyland: take the Shanghai Metro Line 11 to the Disney Resort Station. You can walk to the park entrance or take a shuttle bus between the station and the park.

China Travel: Choosing the Perfect Accommodations

Choosing suitable accommodations is necessary if planning a trip to China during the Spring Festival. It is to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for you. However, knowing where to start cannot be accessible with so many options available. Therefore, to help you out, here is a list of the best accommodations to choose from in China during the Spring Festival season.

Hotel Name: Grand Hyatt Beijing 

  • Grand Hyatt Beijing offers luxurious accommodations with stunning views of the city. 
  • With its prime location, guests can easily explore the city’s cultural landmarks and attractions.
  • Address: 1 East Chang’an Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, 100738
  • The hotel features spacious rooms with premium amenities like a fitness center and an indoor pool.

Hotel Name: Mandarin Oriental Shanghai 

  • Mandarin Oriental Shanghai is the only place to stay if you want to experience luxury in Shanghai.
  • The hotel’s location in the city’s heart makes it an ideal choice for those exploring Shanghai’s cultural and historical sites.
  • Address: 111 Pudong Road (S), Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China, 200120
  • This five-star hotel offers stylish rooms with modern amenities, such as an award-winning spa and various dining options.

Hotel Name: The Westin Xian

  • For those visiting Xian during the Spring Festival, The Westin Xian is an excellent choice. 
  • The hotel location is near the city’s famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Thus, it is an ideal choice for those exploring Xian’s cultural sites.
  • Address: 66 Ci’en Road, Qu Jiang New District, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China, 710061
  • The hotel offers comfortable rooms with premium amenities, a fitness center, and a variety of dining options. 

Hotel Name: The Ritz-Carlton Guangzhou 

  • The Ritz-Carlton Guangzhou offers luxurious accommodations with stunning city views. 
  • In addition, Its location in the heart of the city makes it an ideal choice for those looking to explore Guangzhou’s cultural sites.
  • Address: 3 Xing An Road, Pearl River New City, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, 510623
  • The hotel features spacious rooms with modern amenities such as a rooftop pool and dining options. 
  • Its location in the city’s heart makes it an ideal choice for those exploring Guangzhou’s cultural sites.

Hotel Name: Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake 

  • The Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake is perfect for those who enjoy tranquility during the Spring Festival. 
  • Address: 5 Lingyin Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, 310013
  • The hotel features spacious rooms with premium amenities, a spa, and various dining options.

No matter which accommodation you choose in China, you will have a memorable and enjoyable stay. So book your stay today and experience all the festivities and cultural attractions China offers!

Bucket List Adventures: Memorable Activities to Experience

China is a country full of exciting experiences and activities for visitors. Therefore, from exploring its rich cultural heritage to stunning natural landscapes, there’s something for everyone in China. Here are some of the top activities to enjoy when visiting China. Make your memories! 

I. Cultural Experiences:

  • Watch a traditional Chinese performance: China has a rich cultural heritage. There are many opportunities to watch traditional performances such as Peking opera, acrobatics, and martial arts shows.

II. Natural Experiences:

spring festival
  • Cruise the Yangtze River: The Yangtze River is the longest in Asia and offers stunning views of China’s natural beauty. Thus, you can cruise the river and see famous sites such as the Three Gorges Dam and the Shibaozhai Temple.
  • Visit Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: In Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie is a breathtaking national park known for its unique rock formations and lush forests. You can hike, take a cable car, or even walk on a glass bridge to see the park’s stunning views.
  • Explore the karst landscapes of Guilin: Guilin is a picturesque city in southern China. It is known for its karst landscapes, limestone hills, and winding rivers. Additionally, you can take a boat tour to see the famous Elephant Trunk Hill and other natural wonders.

III. Culinary Experiences:

spring festival
  • Try authentic Chinese cuisine: China has a rich culinary tradition with many regional specialties. From spicy Sichuan cuisine to delicate Cantonese dim sum, endless options exist.
  • Sample street food: China is famous for its street food culture, and you can find tasty and affordable snacks on almost every corner. Furthermore, there’s always something new, from steamed buns to spicy skewers.

From Manila to China: A Guide to Navigating Your Way

If you’re planning to travel from Manila to China during the Spring Festival, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with your journey:

Step 1: Check Visa Requirements

Before anything else, check if you need a visa to enter China. 

  • Philippine passport holders are required to have access to enter China. 
  • In the Chinese Embassy in Manila, you can apply for a visa.
  • Ensure you apply for your visa well in advance to avoid delays.

Step 2: Book Your Flight

Many airlines offer flights from Manila to China during the Spring Festival. It’s best to book your flight early to secure your preferred schedule and to get the best deals.

  • Philippine Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • Air China
  • Cathay Pacific. 

Step 3: Prepare for the Trip

Pack appropriately for the weather in China during the Spring Festival, ranging from cold to mild. 

  • Bring warm clothing, as well as comfortable shoes for walking around. 
  • Remember also to bring a power adapter if needed.
  • Of course, bring enough cash with you.

Step 4: Arrive in China

Upon arrival in China, you must pass through immigration and customs. 

  • Ensure all the necessary documents, such as your passport and visa, are ready for inspection. 
  • Depending on travel limitations, a health declaration form may also be required.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Stay

China offers many attractions and experiences during the Spring Festival, like the famous lantern festival and temple fairs. 

  • Therefore, plan your itinerary to make the most of your trip. 
  • Try the delicious Chinese cuisine and immerse yourself in the local culture.

With this step-by-step guide, you’re well on your way to a memorable trip to China during the Spring Festival. Safe travels!

Planning Your Trip to China? Here’s the Best Time to Go

China has four distinct seasons: 

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter 

The best time to go to China depends on what you want to do and see.

Spring (March to May) 

  • It is a great time to visit China to see cherry blossoms and other flowers. 
  • The weather during this season is mild, but you may experience some rain.

Summer (June to August) 

  • In southern China, in particular, summer can be pretty hot and muggy
  • However, it’s a great time to visit the Great Wall, as the views are clear and the weather is generally reasonable.

Autumn (September to November) 

  • One of the most significant times to travel to China is in the autumn when the climate is pleasant and calm.
  • It is a great time to see the fall foliage and attend the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Winter (December to February)

  • Winter can be icy, especially in the northern parts of China. 
  • However, it’s a great time to visit the Harbin Ice Festival and to see snow in some parts of the country.

China is best in spring when the weather is pleasant and gentle. However, if you plan to visit specific festivals or attractions, you may need to plan your trip around their schedules.

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