Feeling Chinese New Year’s Atmosphere in Shanghai

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Plan your Shanghai Tour during Chinese New Year? Maybe this is your first time to visit China during its Spring Festival, the biggest national holiday in China just like Christmas in the west. Definitely you won’t miss the golden opportunity to look for the places in Shanghai that have the new year’s most festive atmosphere and rich traditional customs for Chinese New Year’s Celebration.

In the “Old Shanghai” memory, spring festival reminds us of the happy time when the whole family members got busy around the kitchen place,  accompanied by the loud and unstopping firecrackers in the dark outside and joyful laughing heard from the streets, unlike today’s ready-made new year eve dinner at restaurants or a smart vacation during the new year period.

Chinese New Year, or popularly known as Spring festival, is the best time to look for the old day happy time and return to the Chinese traditional elements which have been fading or forgotten when people are busy with their work most of the year. Now it’s time to go back to what we are.

Chenghuang Miao ( City God Temple of Shanghai )
In the old China, each city had a city god to protect and bring luck to its city. Shanghai is no exception with its City God Temple lying within the old walled city, adjacent to Yuyuan Garden. Today when local people talk about the “City God Temple”, it doesn’t only refers to the temple itself, but the large traditional district of commerce in the city surrounding the temple.

The City God Temple of Shanghai along its same-name traditional area is home to Shanghai’s most traditional place with over a hundred stores and shops, and most of these store buildings are nearly a century old. This is the most festive place to celebrate Chinese New year.

Viewing Chinese lanterns is one of the most favorite spring festival activities following the ban on the firecrackers in Shanghai.

Viewing Chinese lanterns at Shanghai Chenghuang Miao.

Viewing Chinese lanterns at Shanghai Chenghuang Miao.

Guessing lantern riddles is a China’s unique traditional pastime coupled with lantern festival. Lantern riddles are written on or under lanterns and people gather around lanterns to guess an answer from a word,a poem or a phrase. Rows of lanterns hanging overhead for people to guess, adding much to the festivity of Chinese New Year.

Guessing lantern riddles

Guessing lantern riddles

Kids like watching a traditional Chinese peep show, the shadow magic and it also attracts many adults home and abroad.

Watching a traditional Chinese peep show

Watching a traditional Chinese peep show

Chenghuang Miao is peppered with yummy snacks and delicious local Shanghai food. Nanxiang steamed stuffed buns are the famous local snack. The steamed buns are noted for thin wrap, big stuffing, strong flavor and tender meat.

Nanxiang steamed stuffed buns

Nanxiang steamed stuffed buns

Joy City Shopping Mall
The downtown Joy City Shopping Mall is sought after many people in 80s and 90s. The grand Ferris Wheel, the trendy and fashionable shopping spaces, all saturated with festive atmosphere. The massive wheel stands on the top of the main building,  106 meters above th ground.

The grand Ferris Wheel

The grand Ferris Wheel

The festively decorated indoor shopping areas in Joy City Shopping Mall.

The festively decorated indoor shopping areas

The festively decorated indoor shopping areas

Qi Bao Old Town 
If you still feel the festive atmosphere is not strong enough at the two-mentioned places, take the subway line 9 and drop here in Qi Bao Old Town, feeling and having a glimpse of a traditional China old town after seeing too much glint of the metropolitan Shanghai, Qibao Ancient Town, a tiny water town would be a nice alternative if you cannot make it to other water towns like Zhujiajiao Water Town, Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town.

The narrow lane is packed with people.

The narrow lane is packed with people.

The old town is mainly composed of three stone arch bridges, two canals and 4 major streets and several side lanes. Qibao old town was originally formed in the later Han Dynasty, developed from Song Dynasty and prospered in Ming and Qing dynasties with a history over 1000 years. Today Qibao has become an interesting place for leisure, sightseeing and shopping, a good getaway from busy Shanghai.

Qi Bao Water Town

Qi Bao Water Town

All photos from internet, any questions, just drop a line.

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