Three for the kids: Chinese New Year

Preparations begin all over the world tomorrow for the start of the Year of the Pig and these centres will see among the best of the fun.

1 Beijing

As you’d expect, China’s capital throws an epic Chinese New Year party. Take the kids to one of the city’s many Temple Fairs to get a full dose of the Spring Festival celebrations. Fair grounds, parks and temples are beautifully decorated with red lanterns, colourful fans, flowers and ornaments, while cultural performances entertain visitors all day. There are plenty of souvenir opportunities too, with endless rows of stalls selling crafts, toys, decorations and snacks. If you take a private tour, they’ll escort you the best fairs and help avoid the crowds.

2 London
The UK capital boasts the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia, beginning with a huge parade through Chinatown and Trafalgar Square, complete with lion and dragon dancers. The city also hosts a number of family-friendly events — such as the festival at the Musuem of London Docklands. Kids can learn about Chinese folktales, ribbon dancing, martial arts, crafts and music, including plenty of chances to have a go themselves.

3 Hong Kong
Kids can celebrate Chinese New Year with Mickey Mouse and all his friends at Disneyland Hong Kong, which transforms into a wonderland of red lanterns, envelopes, lions and drums for the festivities. Disney characters are dressed in full Chinese traditional garb, with celebrations starting a week or so prior to Chinese New Year’s Day. Goofy takes the role of “God of Fortune” for the festival and you can catch his performances at the Castle Hub stage. Stop by the Fantasy Gardens to get a picture with the Three Little Pigs — it’s their year after all.

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