Chinese New Year in Beijing
Year of the Dog Celebrations 2018!

Chinese New Year in Beijing: Red Lanterns decorate the temple fairs

Two long-standing traditions of the Chinese New Year festivities take place in Beijing every year, colorful and lively Temple Fairs and bright and noisy Firecrackers. There is lots happening during the celebrations which take place throughout the city.

Beijing Lunar New Year Temple Fairs

The festive atmosphere permeates all through town but the best places to get the full dose of the Spring Festival celebrations in Beijing is at the many Temple Fairs.

These are week-long affairs and a "must" for locals with many starting on New Year's eve or the first day of the New Year and running for the next few days.

Word of advice, temple fairs get extremely crowded, specially on New Year's Day, or the first day of the New Year. If you don't like crowds and specially if you are travelling with small kids, avoid visiting on this day. Some subway stations may be closed as a means for crowd control near some of the most popular temples.

For a stress-free visit, consider a private tour that includes pick-up and drop-off at your hotel, visit to the temple fairs, hot pot dinner, and a private guide for a personalized experience. Here are some options.

Large Crowds during Chinese New Year at Ditan Temple Fair in 

The fair grounds, parks and temples are beautifully decorated throughout with red lanterns, colorful fans, flower arrangements, gold and red ornaments, paper firecrackers...

Beautiful Decorations, bright red lanterns, colorful fans at Ditan Temple Fair in 

Lively and energetic performances, whether traditional Chinese folk dances, acrobatic acts, Peking Opera... all entertain fair visitors throughout the day...

Chinese Traditional Performance at Ditan Temple Fair in 

Of course dragon and lion dances are a staple of any Chinese celebration and will be present at Temple Fairs to help ring in the New Year and scare away all the evil spirits and bad luck...

Lion Dances at Ditan Temple Fair in 

And endless rows of stalls peddling all sorts of crafts, souvenirs, toys, decorations...

Souvenirs and Crafts Vendors at Ditan Temple Fair in 

Vendors during Chinese New Year at Ditan Temple Fair in 

At the temples, people come to pray and pay their respects to the ancestors, they bring offerings of incense and other goods, a long-enduring tradition...

People come to pay respects and honor the ancestors during Chinese New Year at Ditan Temple Fair in 

And let's not forget, another major highlight of the Temple Fairs is of course the food! All sorts of snacks on a stick and sweet galore... Kids will be in heaven...

Snack Vendors during Chinese New Year at Ditan Temple Fair in 

Sweets during Chinese New Year at Ditan Temple Fair in 

Whatever you do, don't forget you camera! Here are our top pick Temple Fairs in Beijing to celebrate the New Year:

Ditan Temple Fair

Ditan Temple Fair Lion Dances

This is one of the most popular and colorful Temple Fairs in Beijing and typically one of the most frequented every year. It is located close to the Lama Temple and can be reached easily with Subway line 2. (All of the above photographs are from the Ditan Temple Fair)

Ditan Park or Temple of Earth is where Ming and Qing rulers performed sacrifices to the God of Earth during the summer solstice for blessings. One of the highlights of the Ditan Temple Fair is a reenacment of this ritual and is a very colorful ceremony.

Try to avoid visiting on New Year's Day when the crowds are at their peak.

When: Typically first five days of the Lunar Year, starting on New Year's Day. Year of the Dog from February 16 to 21, 2018
Opening hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Reenacment Ceremony: 10:00 am

Where: Ditan Park (Temple of Earth) at Andingmen Outer Street, Dongcheng District. Take subway line 2 to Yonghegong Station, Exit A and follow the crowds. This is the station for the Lama Temple as well. This station might be closed on New Year's Day for crowd control measures, try to avoid coming on this day to avoid the largest crowds.

How Much: Rmb 10

Changdian Temple Fair

Changdian Temple Fair Decorations

The Changdian temple fair, one of the oldest ones, historically took place near Liulichang in Beijing's former Xuanwu District. It has moved to Taoranting Park in Xicheng District and remains one of the most popular ones.

When: Typically first five days of the Lunar Year, starting on New Year's Day. Year of the Dog from February 16 to 21, 2018
Opening hours: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Where: Taoranting Park at 19 Taiping Street, Xicheng District. Take subway line 4 to Taoranting Station, Exit C and follow the crowds.

How Much: Rmb 10

Dongyue Temple Fair

Puppetry at Dongyue Temple Fair

Dongyue Temple a small Taoist temple is home to one of the oldest celebrations in town. The temple and surroundings are fully decorated with the Chinese character of prosperity FU

When: Typically first six days of the Lunar Year, starting on New Year's Day. Year of the Dog from February 16 to 21, 2018
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Where: Dongyue Temple at 141 Chaoyangmen Outer Street, Chaoyang District. Take subway line 2 to Chaoyangmen Station and follow the crowds

How Much: Rmb 10

Year of the Dog Blessing Tour to Longtan or Ditan Temple Fairs and White Cloud Temple including Hot Pot Lunch

Longtan Temple Fair

If you happen to be in Beijing from February 16 to 21, 2018, don't miss out this fun cultural event! And this tour makes it easy and takes care of all the arrangements for you.

During this 7-hour private tour, you will visit beautiful White Cloud Temple and one of the famous Temple Fairs, Longtan or Ditan Temple Fair, where you will be surrounded by the lively atmosphere of Spring Festival! To end the day, a traditional style hot pot lunch is included, another favorite tradition to celebrate the New Year.

Pick-up and Drop-off at your hotel

1:00 pm - 8:00 pm approximately

Cost: This is a private tour, price per person is considerable lower the larger your group. 2 adults minimum. The price ranges from
$218 per person for group of 2
$158 per person for group of 4
$110 per person for group of 8
Child (4-10) $98 with 2 accompanying adults

Chinese New Year Fireworks in Beijing

Chinese New Year Fireworks in 

Fireworks have traditionally been part of all Chinese celebrations. Lately, though, due to the high levels of pollution the scope of the pyrotechnic displays has substantially been reduced compared to previous years.

It is nonetheless quite a spectacle with not only the government but also all the locals lighting up the skyes during the holiday.

When: Fireworks and firecrackers last the entire week, the "main" barrage comes at midnight on New Year's Eve, February 15, 2018. Please note that for 2018, the Beijing authorities are enforcing a strict fireworks and firecracker ban within the city's central areas.

Where: There is no specific vantage point, you can watch from anywhere in the city, try to get up high to see the entire city explode, or walk around and look for open spaces. p>If you are joining in, you can buy firecrackers all throughout the city in the small red-colored stalls but watch out for local ordinances that might be in effect. In 2018 as in previous years, sales of firecrackers were reduced. Sales normally start a couple of weeks before the new year and areas within the Second Ring are banned for distribution.


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