Fri, January 20, 2012
CityGuide > Events > The Year of Dragon celebrations

Big badass list of things to do over Chinese New Year

2012-01-19 10:40:17 GMT2012-01-19 18:40:17(Beijing Time)  City Weekend

PARTIES

EXPLODE

DRINK

GET TEMPLED OUT

MAKE DUMPLINGS

GET CULTURED

EATS

Chunjie—where Beijing turns into a vast wasteland devoid of people, riddled with gunfire (er, fireworks) and starving laowai looking for the nearest KFC. For those left behind, we’ve got our big list of holiday events to get out of the Chunjie blues.

PARTIES

Chinese New Year at Haze: Enter the dragon with DJs Yang Bing, Donald Summer, Pancake Lee, Jiong Jiong, and Kaize. They’ll be dishing out dumplings at midnight and spinning house into the wee hours. Haze, Jan 22, 9:30pm-5am; Tel: 186-1197-0409; Free entry.

Raise the Red Lantern: Lantern is open every day of Chinese New Year—kick off the holiday techno Jan. 22 with fireworks on the dance floor (fire hazard?) and dumplings at 3am. Lantern, Jan 22, 9pm - 5am; Tel: 135-0134-8785.

Chinese New Year’s at Orchid with Great Leap: All-you-can-drink Great Leap Beers? It’s on at The Orchid on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Nab them now, as there are only 100 tickets to spare. RMB300 (door), RMB250 (pre-sale). The Orchid Bar, Jan 22, 9pm-1am; Tel: 156-1121-8019

Chinese New Year Eve Special at Q Bar: Dragon-themed cocktails and ice sculptures are a few of the surprises that Q Bar will have this year—but we’re banking on the fact that Q Bar’s terrace will boast a lovely view once the Chunjie fireworks get going. And … there will be dumplings. Of course. Q Bar, Jan 22, 9pm-2am; Tel: 6595-9239

Chinese New Year Party at Luga's Villa: A great deal on shots (5 Dragon Shots for RMB15) and hongbao for the first 100 guests on New Year's Eve. Even better? All of Luga's establishments will be open as usual during Chunjie. Luga's Villa, Jan 22, 8pm-4am; Tel: 6416-2575

Feminite at Haze: The only ladies’ night with a trio of girl DJs on the decks. This will be the last Feminite at Haze—and with free cocktails and rose wine for the ladies, we’re thinking this will be the best bet for a quiet Wednesday during Chunjie. Haze, Jan 25, 9pm-3am; Tel: 186-1197-0409

5th Day of Spring Festival: If you haven’t had enough of fireworks by the 5th day, then head for Yugong Yishan for a night of awesome music with DJ Ouyang and friends … with fireworks. Yugong Yishan, Jan 27, 9pm-3am; Tel: 6404-2711

Po Wu Party: Celebrate the [almost] end of Chunjie with a posse of local DJs and dumplings all night at Haze. Free entry. Haze, Jan 27, 9:30pm-5am; Tel: 186-1197-0409

EXPLODE

Buy fireworks, lots of them. Set them off at all hours of the day. Don’t hurt yourself, don't set them off drunk and read up on how to do it safely.

DRINK

Your neighborhood xiaomaibu may be closing, but 7-Eleven, Alldays, Family Mart, Quickmart, etc. will be open and stocked with alcohol of all sorts.

As for bars, a surprising amount of them will be operating as usual:

12SQM

Grinder's

Irish Volunteer

The Stumble Inn

And a few cocktail places will be open as well:

Centro

Q Bar

Mokihi

Also, Paddy O'Shea's will be open for business from 5pm.

GET TEMPLED OUT

Temple fairs rarely happen at temples anymore, but the name has stuck. Expect elbow-to-elbow crowds and noise...er, renao. The reason to go to these packed fairs is to enjoy lao Beijing snacks, traditional performances and acrobatics, and lots and lots of dragon paraphernalia. Although Ditan is by far the most famous, we recommend heading to Dongyue Temple (Jan 23 to 28) for a more authentic experience.

Ditan Temple Fair: One of the best, and most crowded. A good number of traditional street performances. This fair usually climaxes with a re-enactment of a Qing Dynasty sacrificial ceremony. Be warned that Yonghegong Station is usually shut down during the early part of Chunjie--walk from Beixinqiao station on Line 5 instead. Jan 22-29.

Shijingshan Temple Fair: Yes, it's at an amusement park. But there's still plenty to see, including lion dancing, wrestling, kung fu and Chinese crosstalk. Jan 23 to Jan 29.

Longtan Temple Fair: The usual suspects of performances, artwork and Chinese snacks. There's a free shuttle bus running from Tiantandongmen station on Line 5. Jan 22-Jan 29

Taoranting Guangdian Temple Fair: This fair is best known for showcasing folk art, and is one of the more relaxed temple fairs in town. Get off at Taoranting Station on Line 4. Jan 23-Jan 28.

Summer Palace Temple Fair: A temple fair with great photo-ops. We hope the iced-over lake holds out under the hordes of visitors flooding the Summer Palace. Jan 23-Jan 28.

Chaoyang Park Temple Fair: An ice sculpture exhibition and a film screening are among the highlights of this more Western-style fair. Jan 23-Jan 28

MAKE DUMPLINGS

The Big Badass List of Things to Do Over Chinese New Year

by cityweekend | Posted on Jan 19 2012 | Expat Life 0 Comments | 0 Bookmarked

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Chunjie—where Beijing turns into a vast wasteland devoid of people, riddled with gunfire (er, fireworks) and starving laowai looking for the nearest KFC. For those left behind, we’ve got our big list of holiday events to get out of the Chunjie blues.

PARTIES

Chinese New Year at Haze: Enter the dragon with DJs Yang Bing, Donald Summer, Pancake Lee, Jiong Jiong, and Kaize. They’ll be dishing out dumplings at midnight and spinning house into the wee hours. Haze, Jan 22, 9:30pm-5am; Tel: 186-1197-0409; Free entry.

Raise the Red Lantern: Lantern is open every day of Chinese New Year—kick off the holiday techno Jan. 22 with fireworks on the dance floor (fire hazard?) and dumplings at 3am. Lantern, Jan 22, 9pm - 5am; Tel: 135-0134-8785.

Chinese New Year’s at Orchid with Great Leap: All-you-can-drink Great Leap Beers? It’s on at The Orchid on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Nab them now, as there are only 100 tickets to spare. RMB300 (door), RMB250 (pre-sale). The Orchid Bar, Jan 22, 9pm-1am; Tel: 156-1121-8019

Chinese New Year Eve Special at Q Bar: Dragon-themed cocktails and ice sculptures are a few of the surprises that Q Bar will have this year—but we’re banking on the fact that Q Bar’s terrace will boast a lovely view once the Chunjie fireworks get going. And … there will be dumplings. Of course. Q Bar, Jan 22, 9pm-2am; Tel: 6595-9239

Chinese New Year Party at Luga's Villa: A great deal on shots (5 Dragon Shots for RMB15) and hongbao for the first 100 guests on New Year's Eve. Even better? All of Luga's establishments will be open as usual during Chunjie. Luga's Villa, Jan 22, 8pm-4am; Tel: 6416-2575

Feminite at Haze: The only ladies’ night with a trio of girl DJs on the decks. This will be the last Feminite at Haze—and with free cocktails and rose wine for the ladies, we’re thinking this will be the best bet for a quiet Wednesday during Chunjie. Haze, Jan 25, 9pm-3am; Tel: 186-1197-0409

5th Day of Spring Festival: If you haven’t had enough of fireworks by the 5th day, then head for Yugong Yishan for a night of awesome music with DJ Ouyang and friends … with fireworks. Yugong Yishan, Jan 27, 9pm-3am; Tel: 6404-2711

Po Wu Party: Celebrate the [almost] end of Chunjie with a posse of local DJs and dumplings all night at Haze. Free entry. Haze, Jan 27, 9:30pm-5am; Tel: 186-1197-0409

EXPLODE

Buy fireworks, lots of them. Set them off at all hours of the day. Don’t hurt yourself, don't set them off drunk and read up on how to do it safely.

DRINK

Your neighborhood xiaomaibu may be closing, but 7-Eleven, Alldays, Family Mart, Quickmart, etc. will be open and stocked with alcohol of all sorts.

As for bars, a surprising amount of them will be operating as usual:

12SQM

Grinder's

Irish Volunteer

The Stumble Inn

And a few cocktail places will be open as well:

Centro

Q Bar

Mokihi

Also, Paddy O'Shea's will be open for business from 5pm.

GET TEMPLED OUT

Temple fairs rarely happen at temples anymore, but the name has stuck. Expect elbow-to-elbow crowds and noise...er, renao. The reason to go to these packed fairs is to enjoy lao Beijing snacks, traditional performances and acrobatics, and lots and lots of dragon paraphernalia. Although Ditan is by far the most famous, we recommend heading to Dongyue Temple (Jan 23 to 28) for a more authentic experience.

Ditan Temple Fair: One of the best, and most crowded. A good number of traditional street performances. This fair usually climaxes with a re-enactment of a Qing Dynasty sacrificial ceremony. Be warned that Yonghegong Station is usually shut down during the early part of Chunjie--walk from Beixinqiao station on Line 5 instead. Jan 22-29.

Shijingshan Temple Fair: Yes, it's at an amusement park. But there's still plenty to see, including lion dancing, wrestling, kung fu and Chinese crosstalk. Jan 23 to Jan 29.

Longtan Temple Fair: The usual suspects of performances, artwork and Chinese snacks. There's a free shuttle bus running from Tiantandongmen station on Line 5. Jan 22-Jan 29

Taoranting Guangdian Temple Fair: This fair is best known for showcasing folk art, and is one of the more relaxed temple fairs in town. Get off at Taoranting Station on Line 4. Jan 23-Jan 28.

Summer Palace Temple Fair: A temple fair with great photo-ops. We hope the iced-over lake holds out under the hordes of visitors flooding the Summer Palace. Jan 23-Jan 28.

Chaoyang Park Temple Fair: An ice sculpture exhibition and a film screening are among the highlights of this more Western-style fair. Jan 23-Jan 28

MAKE DUMPLINGS

Tired of them yet? You will be. Still, they're a cheap, filling, festive ... and just plain tasty part of the Chunjie season. We tell you how to make dumplings and give you some free recipes to get you on your way.

GET CULTURED

Start crossing off your "to-do .... eventually" list. Learn to cook Chinese food. The Hutong has a number of cooking classes available during the Spring Festival holiday--if you've ever wanted to learn to make dumplings from a pro, cook up exotic Yunnanese or just want to understand the basics of Chinese cooking, here's your chance.

The Hutong will also screening a number of Spring Festival-themed Chinese flicks along with a dumpling making course for much of the holiday. Check the details here.

Hutong bar Beiluo Cafe will hold daily screenings of Chinese classics like Beijing Bicycle and In the Mood for Love. Free to attend, but you must book ahead.

Ever wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year is a small village? We're not entirely convinced either, but for those who've never experienced the countryside first-hand, China Culture Center offers to bring you to a village that takes Spring Festival seriously.

EATS

If you want that big Chinese New Year banquet, we've got lots of local hotels taking bookings, but we are dying to try Jusong, that Hunanese place newly opened by Mao's granddaughter. It may just be a marketing gimmick, but we're hopeful all the same. They are taking reservations for a Chinese New Year's meal until Jan 27. Reservations: 6413-2275.

Red Bubbalicious: The Spring Festival edition of our favorite brunch. Expect lots of traditional Chinese dishes. RMB428-498 plus surcharge. Jan 22, 11:30am-3pm; Westin Beijing Chaoyang; Reservations: 5922-8880.

Chinese New Year at Dragon Palace: Traditional Chinese flavors pack the menu at the Kempinski Hotel's fittingly named Dragon Palace. Three set menus for RMB228, RMB268 and RMB298 per person. Jan 22-Feb 7. Reservations: 6465-3388

Chinese New Year Set Dinner at Westin Chaoyang: A five-course "surf 'n' turf" dinner. RMB588 includes one glass of Champagne and RMB1,288 includes a glass of Champagne, wine pairing with each course and access to the Westin Executive Lounge for views of the New Year fireworks after 8pm. Jan 22. Reservations: 5922-8880.

Begin New: Westin Beijing Financial's Cantonese restaurant Jewel prepares traditional Chinese New Year fare from Jan 16 to Feb 6. RMB388/588/888+15% surcharge. Reservations: 6629-7820.

Four Seasons Restaurant: Set menus featuring Cantonese and Hunan cuisines. RMB298 plus surcharge per person with free-flow soft drinks and local beer. Not available Jan 22 to Jan 28. Reservations: 8235-6699

Chinese New Year at Chynna: Three specially crafted menus and free-flow of soft drinks, selected wines or premium Chinese liquor at Hilton Beijing Wangfujing's Chynna through Jan 29. Reservations: 5812-8888.

GET SPORTY

The Beijing Hikers will do two hikes over the holiday season: Spring Valley Loop on Jan 24 and the more challenging Gubeikou Great Wall on Jan 25.

Considering it's miserably cold, you might as well go skiing or snowboarding. Most ski resorts will remain open during Spring Festival, but it will cost you slightly more. And there's probably going to be a lot of other people with the same idea too. Check out our list of top snow resorts near Beijing for more details.

If you can't be bothered to make arrangements, BCI Travel will take you out to Shijinglong Ski Resort for an overnight stay and a visit to a hot springs resort for RMB780 per person.

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