The Chinese New Year is celebrated with much colour and enthusiasm and spans 15 days from the start of the New Year. This year Beijing will be celebrating the Chinese New Year on January 26th, this year is called the year of the Ox. This year will be the year 4707 according to the Chinese calendar. The Chinese follow a lunisolar calendar, incorporating both the phases of the moon and also the revolutions of the earth around the sun. The Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival. Even though the New Year falls on the 26th of January the festivities are not restricted to this one day. Normally the celebrations go on for days, with various festivities being held to herald in the New Year.
On the first day, all food consumed would have been cooked the day before. Families pay homage to the old and elderly, generally the oldest member of the extended family. Wealthy families have Lion Dance performances that are held. Kids, teens and young unmarried members of the family get red packets that have cash in them from the married members of the family. Firecrackers are also lit during this day and there are fireworks displays as well. On second day married daughters go and make a trip to their birth parents. Day three and four no visiting is done s it is considered bad luck.
The fifth day involves eating dumplings. The seventh day yusheng and tossed raw fish salad is eaten. On the ninth day prayers are made to the Jade Emperor of Heaven. The fifteenth day is celebrated with eating rice dumplings Tangyuan. Candles are also lit outside the house and the day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival. Families parade the street with lanterns. This is the last day of celebrations of the Chinese New Year.
Staying a few days in Beijing would definitely be a good idea; one can stay at a Beijing Hotel while enjoying the festivities. For the luxury seeker a definite option would be a stay at a luxury hotel in Beijing such as Raffles Beijing Hotel.