Chinese New Year (CNY) is the start of the New Year according to the lunar calendar. It usually happens in February of the solar calendar. CNY is celebrate by the Chinese people everywhere in the world and Yangshuo is no exception. Even restaurants close for awhile at CNY! Staff goes back to their families for celebrations.

chinese new year Mushan
Chinese New Year in Mushan Village

A few weeks before the actual New Years day the house is cleaned. Lanterns hang outside the house, always red because it’s the color of luck.

Special calligraphy are sold and placed on doors to bring luck and prosperity to the household.

The Chinese New Year is a time of settling all debts and spreading good intentions to family and friends.

Usually this means there are a little limited possibilities over the day available though in the evenings the restaurants in Yangshuo at least.

I remember it was hard to get food in the evening of CNY in Beijing, but that was in 1996, it may be different now. So restaurant will be open but you may find some closed until the evening.

While I stayed in Yangshuo I celebrated the New Years Eve with my Chinese friends. Special dishes are prepared, duck is one of the important dishes.

New clothes and shoes are bought to symbolize the start of the New Year. Small red envelopes with money are exchanged (ang pow).

Lion danceAt the second day of the New Year relatives of the family will come around.

The 7th day of New Years period is devoted to the celebration of the birth of every person.

The 15th day of CNY is important. Lanterns, red of course, are symbols of good luck and fortune are hanging outside the houses weeks before the actual New Years Day. The 15th day now symbolizes the end of the festivities. Now everyone goes back to normal life.

During the New Years 15 days period, you will regularly see Lion Dances. In Yangshuo you will see them going through the streets and for a fee they will perform the dance inside the houses or restaurants and hotels. The idea behind the lion dance is to scare away the evil spirits and clean the house from evil for the coming up year.

Although the Chinese New Year festivities in Yangshuo are not as spectacular as for example in Hong Kong, it’s still worth to be around in this period. And yes, things may be a little more expensive, it’s good fun to celebrate the Chinese New Year with your friends in Yangshuo.

More info at travel.yahoo.com