fbpx
lanterns-red.jpg

ShiviJanuary 29, 202011min5000

Chinese New Year – Know Everything, Interesting Facts & Traditions

Fireworks, parades, red envelopes, lights, and everything wonderful connection with the Chinese New Year make it a captivating event worth witnessing. The glitz and allurement affecting the gorgeous decorations with the traditional & modern actions would undoubtedly set celebration goals for you.

 

Chinese New Year Rat Art

 

Questioning how? Scroll through and I bet you would agree with this blog!

 

The Chinese New year is commemorated on the first day of the First Moon of the lunar calendar. The analogous date in the solar calendar modifies from as early as January 21st to as late as February 19th. Chinese New Year, as the Western New Year, implied turning over a new leaf. Culturally, it is a time for family reunions, and for visiting friends and relatives. This holiday, more than any other Chinese holiday, is emphasised on the influence of family ties. The Chinese New year’s Eve dinner meeting is among the most significant family occasions of the year.

 

Chinese new year family

 

Sweeping of the Grounds

Arrangements for the Chinese New Year in old China starts well in advance of the New Year’s Day. The 20th of the Twelfth Moon is all set aside for the annual housecleaning or the “sweeping of the grounds“. Every corner of the house must be swept and cleaned in preparation for the new year like it is in India during Diwali Festival. SpringCouplets, written in black ink on large upright scrolls of red paper, are put on the walls or on the sides of the gate-ways. These couplets, short poems, and other inscriptions are written in Classical Chinese and are expressed of good wishes for the family in the coming year. In addition, symbolic flowers and fruits are also used to illuminate the house, and colourful new year pictures (NIAN HUA) are placed on the walls.

Interesting huh! read 10 facts about Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year Is Also Known As The Spring Festival

In China, the new year is called chunjie (春节), which means ‘Spring Festival’. Although it is still wintertime in China, it is termed the ‘Spring Festival’ as it signifies the end of the coldest days of winter, which is a symbol of the coming spring season.

Chinese New Year Does Not Have A Set Date

The Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is based on the Lunar Calendar during the full moon phase between 1st January and 15th January. Nevertheless, when it is measured using the Gregorian (solar) calendar, the Chinese New Year may fall anywhere from 21st January to 20th February. For example, in the year 2020, the Chinese New Year will fall on the 25th of January.

 

Chinese New year 2020

 

It Is A Day For Praying To Gods And Fighting Off Monsters

The Spring Festival in China started as a day to pray to Gods for a good reaping season and to ward-off any mishap. As much of the country was profoundly dependent on agriculture, the harvest was everything and God had to be gratified by way of advancing the best foods in a religious tradition.

As per an old-fashioned myth, however, the festival began after one brave little boy fought-off a monster named Nian (年) using firecrackers. The next day, people celebrated their endurance by setting off even more firecrackers. And that system became a significant part of the Spring Festival.

 

The Most Fireworks Are Set Off In The World That Night

As per the ancient myth (see above point), firecrackers are deemed to scare-off monsters and bad luck. So on the eve of the Chinese New Year, people set off firecrackers at night and follow it up with more firecrackers in the morning to welcome the new year and good luck. However, the officials have started to crack down on this system by banning fireworks, due to elevated levels of air pollution and growing concerns about global warming and the health and safety of residents in as many and 500 cities of China. Beijing had banned fireworks for 13 years. The ban was lifted in 2006 to please the angry public – this also happens.

 

fireworks

 

It Is The Longest Chinese Holiday

The Spring Festival continues for 16 days including New Year’s Eve. However, as the celebration is based on the Lunar calendar, the holiday season can begin as early as in December with the Laba Festival (腊八节—là bā jié) which would give it around 40 days of celebrations! So in the arrangement, people will buy nian huo (年货), (New Year’s products) and stalk up on cooking supplies, gifts, new clothes, etc. before the New Year festival commences.

 

Chinese New year 2020

 

The Spring Festival Causes The Largest Human Migration In The World

As described earlier, it is tradition to spend the Chinese New Year with your family and everyone goes back to their parents and loved ones for a family gathering.

No Showering, Sweeping Or Throwing Out Of Garbage Allowed!

As the Spring Festival is all about carrying good luck and warding off sinister and bad luck, showering isn’t allowed on New Year’s Day and sweeping and thrusting out the garbage isn’t allowed before the 5th day. This is to make sure you don’t wash away the good luck! On the other hand, there’s a day before the Spring Festival devoted to cleaning. This day is to sweep the bad luck away and make room for the good. Most hair salons are closed throughout the whole of the Chinese New Year because cutting har is taboo during that time.

 

lunar new year 2020

 

Children Receive Lucky Money In Red Envelopes

It wouldn’t be much of a festival without gifts being reciprocated. Gifts are exchanged during the Spring Festival, though, children also receive money in red envelopes as a representation of transferring good fortune from the seniors to the children. These red envelopes or pockets are also exchanged between bosses and employees, co-workers, and friends.

 

Chinese New year decorations

 

Chinese New Year Ends With The Lantern Festival

The first full moon of the (lunar) year is the Yuanxiao Festival (元宵节—yuán xiāo jié) or Lantern Festival (灯节—dēng jié). Though the family is still relevant, it’s still a night of partying and leisure. In ancient times, girls weren’t allowed to move outside by themselves. But on this night, they are free to take strolls, moon-gaze and look at the gorgeous lanterns. Because of this, it’s also known as Valentine’s Day in China.

 

The New Year Greeting In Chinese Is “Xin Nian Kuai Le”

The expression literally means “Happy New Year.” But in Hong Kong and other Cantonese-speaking countries, it’s more common to say “gong hei fat choy.” In Mandarin Chinese, it’s “gong xi fa cai” (恭喜发财). It implies “congratulations on the fortune.”

 

If you loved this blog, please leave a comment and get in touch for collaborations on writing and digital content.

 


new-friends-on-travel.jpg

ShiviNovember 18, 20197min5350

How to rekindle and make new friends, while on a work trip to a new country/destination?

It was a beautiful Monday morning and I was checking my E-mails in the office, while one of the E-mail suddenly grasped my attention. My boss has asked me to provide my passport details, in which later on I found out that I am supposed to travel for work perspective to Hong-Kong for a month. It was surprising and intriguing to me. This was a short trip where I was supposed to meet clients and channelize the desk work to foreign clients of my company. Being an introvert guy and single, this notion of travelling alone to a different country makes me crazy. It is not that I have not travelled before, I did and I was always accompanied by some of the other office colleagues which were not the case this time. Anyways not much of the option the day of my travel arrived and finally I departed and landed in a new country, Hong Kong.

What’s Next…

I reached to the hotel, settled myself and then rushed to the office as it was my first day in the new town. I was decked up and then the day came to an end and my fear started popping up, more I was closer to my hotel, lonelier I was feeling. It was just the first day in the country where I have landed and has not spent even 24 hrs and already homesickness started biting me. After dinner, I went for a walk down the lane near the central park. I saw all the new culture and people around me. Sitting quietly on a bench, I was browsing on the internet and saw an ad of an app which mentioned how you can make friends at an alien place. For an expat like me, this idea of making friends at foreign territory hit me though I have not registered myself.

Registering and Rediscovering

Next day after my office I moved out of my hotel and went to a pub, sitting alone and lonely watching people talking, laughing, and smiling with each other. I gulped in a couple of drinks and saw one lady name not revealed was sitting alone. I approached her and we started chatting here and there. I asked her number so that we can connect later on and she politely denied and I understood this was a very short meeting which can only last for some hrs etc.

When I was heading back to my hotel I decided that I am going to give it a shot. I registered and started looking for accomplices who are there in Hong Kong and soon I found one person called Rachel (name changed).

She was a lawyer and was there in Hong Kong for an assignment for a couple of weeks. We met at a place called SpeakEasy (old town of Hong Kong) and get along immediately. We started talking about how lonely and alone a person feels when they are in a new city or a new country. How you feel lost in the new culture and new place? And how apps help in making life easy for all those people who are just looking for a good and genuine company when you are travelling. It can be for work or you are just a traveller, everyone needs to be with someone to share thoughts. Even if you are a backpacker or a solo traveller, you would like to explore and mingle with local culture and communities, which is again a daunting task. Nevertheless, this app helped me in achieving that a bit.

 

make friends while travel

Finding a companion while travelling

We met a couple of times and roamed around the city together visiting new places. She has been to Hong Kong before that makes it easy for me since she knows a lot of places and helps me in discovering those which was not easy for me to explore so easily without me wasting time looking on the internet.

Before we said a final goodbye to each other we met one last time where we first met and I told her that it was really good to have a new friend for a short period with whom you can roam around and share some experiences of yours and listen to other person’s experiences. Rachel immediately agreed to me and said that how her last couple of visits were not that great and this time after we started moving out together exploring places was a different experience altogether.

Those people who are going on a short or a long tour and are looking for some companionship since they feel lonely, I will suggest them to look for mobile applications like Couchsurfing etc. and register as it a different experience to be with some person chatting and talking and exploring new destinations.

 

Leave your comments on how you met your friends while travelling!


Maldives.jpg

ShiviOctober 15, 201911min2480

Breaks from work are something we all need in our lives. Tranquil destinations, sexy beach lines, gorgeous skyscrapers, listed and busty markets, etc. are which we all look forward to when we are on vacations. We all look forward to Diwali holidays, whether we are in school, college or at the workplace. In India, Diwali holidays are being eagerly waited and if we can club a weekend with our Diwali vacations, nothing’s better than this. With this, we get the perfect excuse for international destinations to tap for. Visit international destinations this Diwali with your family and friends. Going international is something which I’m not promoting though, Indian destinations are equally bright and shining. But opting international destinations on Diwali gives an opportunity to explore how Diwali among Indian communities are celebrated abroad. Here are 8 International Destinations To Light Up Your Diwali for sure:

Singapore

Singapore is a different and obvious choice when planning a trip to International destinations on Diwali. Other than the major vacationist attractions of the city, you can visit Little India to explore the bright lights, fireworks, and decoration. Singapore has a prominent presence of Hindu culture that gives Diwali celebrations in Singapore an Indian feel. After the little red dot country indulges yourself in Diwali shopping at Orchard Road.

 

Singapore diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Dubai

Just a neighbouring country, with a very short span of flight away, is Dubai. This stunning and bustling city with shopping malls, markets and humungous buildings make sit a perfect destination for Diwali breaks. Moreover, a mid-week chunk of the population in Dubai is Indian, which is an added advantage to witness Diwali in its own way. all the more it is an action-packed celebration! What all you can see in Dubai – view of the city from Burj Khalifa, Mall crawl, an evening at the Dubai Fountains – it’s free!

 

dubai diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bangkok

Bangkok is a gorgeous destination to visit round the year, thus, this Diwali you can surely visit Bangkok for some celebrations and decorations. Bangkok is convincingly one of the most suitable options. Ostentatious malls, multi-cuisine eateries, ancient temples and pagodas, exquisite beaches, and various entertainment parks make this city an impeccable package for a fun-filled vacation. The major sightseeing in Bangkok is – Reclining Buddha temple, Tiger Temple, Bangkok Zoo and Safari World, Floating market and many more.

 

bangkok diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bali, an unbeatable international destination this Diwali

Known best among honeymooners, Bali is undoubtedly a destination to visit. But why on Diwali, yes, it is one of the favourite holiday destinations for beach bums and makes a superb holiday destination around Diwali. November is the best time to plan a tropical beach vacation, especially if you want to avoid the season swarms and get yourself a placid vacation. The best things to do in Bali are: Surfers will love to surf the Balian beach, don’t miss the Bali theatre performance and of course visit to the Uluwatu Temple and no surprises Ubud for a relaxing Diwali vacation.

 

bali diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Malaysia

The enchanting islands, stretching beaches, and chic resorts make Malaysia one of the most desirable international destinations to visit on Diwali. Do visit Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi and make your Diwali bright and a fun-filled one. You can unwind at the beaches, try adventure sports, hike in the rain-forest, take a step in a casino or just climb up to the top of the Petronas Twin Towers, where you will enjoy a flabbergasting view of the city. Batu Caves, Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands and Twin Towers are the major attractions to visit.

 

Malaysia Diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

Hong Kong

This is one of the most visited, during Diwali holidays from India. Perfect for shopping, cruises, amusement parks, Disneyland, ocean park, night clubs, museums and whatnot. Hong Kong has everything to offer to make it your enjoyable Diwali vacation. With these varieties of places to offer, Hong Kong is a hotspot for all desirous travellers, especially those travelling with family and kids. You can also cover a day trip to Macau and enjoy the peculiar beauty of the picturesque island as well. Apart from the attractions mentioned above, one can also visit Victoria peak and Lantau Island.

 

Hong Kong diwali holiday

 

Know more about Hong Kong travel and things to do.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Maldives

A group of scenic coral islands in the Indian Ocean is kenned as the Maldives. It is just 5 hours from India and quite famous among honeymooners in the World. The ritzy resorts and extrinsic water villas magnify the charm of the place. If you are looking to spend some one-on-one quality time with your family, friends or beloved, then the Maldives is the destination for you. Owing to its hassle-free travel, sun-kissed seashores that offer an assemblage of water sports, Maldives has made its way on the list of most dependable International destinations on Diwali weekend.

 

maldives diwali holiday

 

Top places to visit in the Maldives are, Mafushi, Hulhumale, Ari Atoll,  and Kuramathi.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Turkey – an amazing international destination this Diwali

Turkey is full of cultural sites, palaces, beaches, museums, and mosques that can satiate your wanderlust. All these spots can be covered with the glittering view of the Bosphorus Strait. While Asia on one side and Europe on another, this Eurasian country is a dazzling choice for a Diwali weekend trip. Exceptionally if you are in chase of an exciting vacation abroad. The major sightseeing in Turkey to go for are Bosphorus Bridge, Hagia Sophia, Taksim Square, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and Butterfly Valley. For adventure lovers, try hot-air ballooning in Cappadocia.

 

turkey diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

 


hk-night-life-1.jpg

ShiviApril 24, 201915min54557
Hong Kong Skyline Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Skyline Spirited Blogger

No wonder Hong Kong is a metropolitan country that does not have a rich history in terms of reign and emperors but yes it has, in fact, quite an interesting fact which is that – Hong Kong was under the British rule from 1841 to 1997 before handing sovereignty over to China. This agreement was established post a 50-year period of autonomy when Hong Kong achieved governance by a “One Country, Two Systems” agreement. Since then it is a complex yet technologically advanced nation and is a “Special Administrative Region” of China with its own currency, constitution, passports, and official languages (Cantonese and English). This travel blog will take you to a few things that are essential before you travel to Hong Kong

Please note that, do not speak Mandarin when in Hong Kong, they do not consider it as their language as per locals, thus avoid this act.

Hongkongers are very proud of their culture and heritage thus when in Hong Kong learn few gestures and signs which can make them feel like being an expat. For instance, avoid addressing them as Chinese as and they are proud to be Cantonese rather than an extension of Chinese.

The currency

Hong Kong currency is Hong Kong dollars – HK$ – The Hong Kong dollar is the official currency of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It is subdivided into 100 cents. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is the governmental currency board and also the de facto central bank for Hong Kong and the Hong Kong dollar. Official website: hkma.gov.hk

Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger

 

Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger

You can exchange your currency at the airport or else you have reliable foreign money exchange counters in the city within your location. If not required do not carry much of cash as you may find ATM’s and money exchange counters easily. But remember you will have to carry a lot of cash while shopping and roaming around as Hong Kong deals in cash majorly.

Getting around

Getting around Hong Kong in the budget is possible via metro line, ferries, and buses. A very well connected network all through Hong Kong. In fact, take the airport express train from the airport for central as it is just 24 minutes and cheap.

Another historic mode of transport is a ferry that is very cheap – starts from 2 HK$ from Victoria harbour and then you can take a tram to the Central Peak which is the skyline of Hong Kong. (it is just 30 cents).

MTR Hong Kong Train Spirited Blogger
MTR Hong Kong Train Spirited Blogger

Remember before you step out the airport please buy an Octopus card. It is not only for public transport but it gets used at convenience stores, and even at some coffee shops. This card is really helpful for solo travellers and for travellers who are travelling on a low budget. Hong Kong does have Uber and affordable taxis – that starts from $3); however, the latter sees a “changeover” in hours as the shift changes.

What to pack before you come here

Hong Kong weather sometimes is unpredictable – still, the entire year Hong Kong is oppressively quite hot and humid. When you listen to any local saying that it is summers – they mean it is the season that stretches from late April to late October. This means it has a rainy season as well. Please carry lots of jackets, an umbrella, rain sheets, as rain showers are unpredictable. Moreover, Hongkongers never turn off air conditioners – it is pretty cold inside the hotels and at the workplace. So better be warm is the tip.

Eat as locals do

The biggest hurdle for a traveller in Hong Kong is the variety of Cantonese and Chinese food, from which to distinguish is a big task. Do share food as Chinese cuisine is all about sharing. If you sharing twosome then order one portion and share. Enjoy dim sum at traditional restaurants on the streets near central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon etc. Do remember not to put the chopsticks in a vertical position as it is a sign associated with funerals.

Cantonese and Chinese Food Spirited Blogger
Cantonese and Chinese Food Spirited Blogger

Shopping

For the serious traveller, Hong Kong is a shopping paradise but no second thought Hong Kong is dammed expensive for any national coming here for shopping. You’ll find ample shops in every possible street in Hong Kong. You’ll be spoilt for all the vivid choices the streets have to offer. From the Avante Grande malls to all the international brands’ outlets at central and Tsim Sha Tsui you will get hooked by the variety it has to offer.

Hong Kong Shopping Malls Central Peak

But for shoppers who looking for bargained shopping explore the largest shopping street in Hong Kong – Temple Street. Do also check other streets in Yau Ma Tei and Tung Street in Mong Kok for cheap clothes and electronics. With this do explore Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and Cheung Sha Wan Road in Sham Shui Po for cheap clothes.

Temple Street Hong Kong Spirited Blogger

One tip – Bargain, bargain and bargain as much as you can, show your skills if you do not see any price on the products, but if you see any price on the product this means the attendant will not be willing to negotiate.

Nightlife

Hong Kong is not quite popular for a good late night culture, but this is not right it is like another New York or Manhattan. It is not a speedy country, and can’t be compared with the neighbouring Bangkok but the evenings and night clubs are happening, in the pubs of Tsim Sha Tsui – where you may find many expats taking a stroll on the sideways of the streets. It is filled with locals too. Lan Kwai Fong is the city’s nightlife heart and comes alive as happy hour slopes in and on the weekend nights, the street turns into one big open-air bar and LGBTQ nightlife scene with doors open for all. Sky bars are big business here, and please remember if you intend to experience be ready to eye-watering prices for cocktails.

Hong Kong Night Life Streets Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Night Life Streets Spirited Blogger

Please note: Do feel free to carry around a beer or glass of wine in the street as Hong Kong has lax open-container laws. 

Here’s a quick sneak peek into some basics to survive in HK:

  • You don’t have to be fluent in English while talking to the locals but please speak slowly so that they understand word by word in pieces.
  • Don’t use flowery or tough English terms. Keep it simple.
  • Try to catch their actions if not able to make them understand what you are asking.

You can also learn a few Cantonese phrases online.

  • Hello – Néih hóu (pronunciation: Neyi Hou)
  • Good Morning – jóusàhn (pronunciation: Sou San)
  • How are you doing? – néih hóu ma (pronunciation: Layi Hou Maa)
  • I don’t speak Cantonese – ngóh m̀hsìk góng gwóngdùngwá (pronunciation: Wa sihk gwong dung waa)
  • I’m a vegetarian – ngóh sihk jāai (pronunciation: Wa sihk taai)
  • How much is it? – Géidō chín a (pronunciation: gei cin aa)
  • Are there any discounts? – yau mou zit aa (pronunciation: yau mou zit aa)

 

Keep reading and happy travelling 🙂 

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you wanted to know about Hong Kong Travel, will share the bog soon! 



About us

There is a piece in me that like to tenderly imagine my maverick and seditious soul. But, precisely, I love to have a picky and cosy relationship with my soul that can rub up against a little bit, putting me alive.


CONTACT US

CALL US ANYTIME



Newsletter

Contact Us

Categories