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Celebrate Chinese New Year in Abu Dhabi

Chinese New Year, also known as the "Spring Festival," is the most important traditional holiday in China. It's a time for families to gather together, eat delicious food, and celebrate the start of a new year according to the lunar calendar.

The Chinese calendar assigns animals to years in a 12-year cycle. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are believed to be gentle, sensitive, and elegant, with a good sense of humor and a strong sense of self-worth.

During the New Year festival, people will decorate their homes with red lanterns and banners, and set off fireworks to ward off evil spirits. The color red is believed to bring good luck and happiness. Children will receive red envelopes filled with money from their elders, and people will exchange gifts and well wishes for the new year.

One of the most exciting parts of the festival is the dragon and lion dance, where performers dress up in elaborate costumes and mimic the movements of these mythical creatures. The dragon represents power and strength, while the lion symbolizes bravery and courage.

The Chinese New Year is a time of joy and new beginnings, a bit like the western New Year's Eve, but with more dragons, fireworks, and dumplings!

Traditions & Customs

Did you know that there many traditions and customs that take place and are observed at Chinese New Year? Here are just a few to keep you in the know.

  • Decorating with red: People will decorate their homes with red lanterns and banners, as the color red is believed to bring good luck and happiness.
  • Giving red envelopes: Adults will give children red envelopes filled with money, as a symbol of good luck and prosperity in the new year.
  • Fireworks: Fireworks are set off at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve to scare off evil spirits and bring good luck.
  • Reuniting with family: Chinese New Year is a time for families to gather together. People will travel long distances to be with their loved ones and enjoy festive meals together.

Celebrate at Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi

This year, it’s Year of the Rabbit so who better to host this celebration at the world’s largest indoor theme park than Bugs Bunny! Get ready to meet him and more of your favorite Warner Bros. characters as they dress up for the occasion. Tickets start from AED 325, don’t miss it!

Celebrate at Hakkasan

Their Chinese New Year menu is a showcase of dishes believed to bring luck, happiness and prosperity in 2023. Their feast costs AED 598 per person with a welcome cocktail included.

You'll be able to participate in paying homage to the wishing tree tradition. All guests are invited to write their wishes for the new year on red ribbons before hanging them around the restaurant.

Celebrate at Dai Pai Dong

Between January 21st and February 5th, Abu Dhabi's award-winning restaurant, Dai Pai Dong at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi, will celebrate the Chinese New Year with 16 days of special brunches, lavish feasts, eight-course family-style dinners, all inspired by the fascinating history of southeastern China.

Highlights of their celebrations include a 'Reunion Dinner' on New Years Eve (Saturday 21st January) for families to reunite, reconnect and share special moments over an eight-course dinner. There will also be a 'Prosperity Feast' on New Years Day (Sunday 22nd January). This 3-hour brunch will host an array of Dai Pai Dong’s most much-loved signature specialties, perfect for welcoming in the new year.

Celebrate at Shangri-La

It's only natural that asian-inspired Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri is gearing up to celebrate the Chinese New Year in style. On the morning of January 22nd, guests will be treated to a traditional lion dance to welcome in the New Year, powered by the rhythm of beating drums.

At Shang Palace, the hotel's Michelin Guide listed restaurant, guests can enjoy delicious Yum Cha lunches, brunches and dinners curated by Chef Qiguo Su. The ancient ‘Gongfu Tea Ceremony’ will also be observed with Tea Master Liu Ping. All diners who spend over the auspicious value of AED888 will also be entitled to pick an envelope from a ‘Hongbao’ tree with chance of winning exciting Shangri-La experiences.

Celebrate at Vendôme

In celebration of the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit, Vendôme will be decked out in Chinese decorations, such as lanterns and calligraphy on Sunday 22nd January. The menu includes special dishes such as sweet rice balls and fish, symbols of prosperity, as well as dumplings and spring rolls, which symbolize wealth. A traditional 'lai see' red packet will be given to guests in order to wish them good fortune and health, and guests of all ages can enjoy making lanterns! Packages start from AED 295 per person.