Are you ready to ring in the Year of the Sheep (or Goat or Ram, depending on who you ask)? The second new moon after the winter solstice marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, otherwise known as Chinese New Year. In 2015, the celebrations run from February 19 to March 5, and Chinese people all over the world are making their way to visit friends and family for this most important holiday on the lunar calendar. Homes are swept clean for good luck, red lanterns are put up, colorful lion and dragon parades take place, firecrackers are set off, new clothes are worn, gifts are exchanged (often red envelopes of cash) and elaborate banquets are prepared. Whether you are Chinese or not, it can be fun to take part in these 5000 year old festivities – and you don’t necessarily have to go all the way to China to experience them. Here are the 10 best places to ring in Chinese New Year outside of China. Gung Hay Fat Choi (Happy New Year)!
Singapore’s Chinatown is the focal point of Spring Festival fun in this vibrant city, where 75% of the residents are Chinese. The streets are lit up with lanterns and adorned with decorations to bring good luck and prosperity to all. Night markets bustle with activity. Lion dancers, fire eaters and female dance troupes enliven Kreta Ayer Square. Don’t miss the carnival-like Chingay Parade along the Marina waterfront. The River Hongbao comes alive with street performances, shopping stands, game stalls and spectacular fireworks.