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.

Check out How to Visit Yuyuan Garden and Bazaarn (City God Temple) for more information.

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.

Check out How to visit Qibao Ancient Town for more information.

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.

Add On

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Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours

If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Tour
Shanghai Day Tour
Shanghai Multi-Day Tour
Shanghai Evening Tour
Shanghai Cruise Port ( Transfer& Excursions )
Shanghai Beijing Tour
Shanghai Xian Tour
Shanghai Car Rental with Driver

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Shanghai
Shanghai’s Top 10 Iconic Landmarks
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai
Top 10 Photo Spots in Shanghai
10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Shanghai
Top Things to Do for Kids in Shanghai
Top family-friendly spots to visit in Shanghai
Top 10 Shanghai Museums
Doing things the local way in Shanghai
Shanghai Cherry Blossom Festival

How to Plan a Trip to Shanghai
Best time to visit Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai on a Budget
Where to stay in Shanghai
Visit Shanghai in December
How to Visit Shanghai in November
Visit Shanghai in October
How to Visit Shanghai in March
Visit Shanghai in February
Shanghai in January Travel Guide
Shanghai Layout, the city layout of Shanghai

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
Public Transportation at Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Huangpu River Cruis e Ticket Booking (Tickets, Photos and Map)
Shanghai Hop On Hop Off
Ferry from the Bund to Pudong
The highest al fresco dining venue in China
Shopping in Pudong Shanghai
Top 10 Shanghai Classic Vegetarian Restaurants
Beijing Shanghai high speed rail
Ticket Booking for Beijing Shanghai High Speed Rail
Top 10 Shanghai Budget Hotels
Top 10 Shanghai Luxury Hotels
Top 10 Shanghai Boutique Hotels

Tips for Visiting Nanjing Road in Shanghai
The Neon-Colored Nanjing Road
Night walk along Nanjing Road in Shanghai
How to Visit the Bund in Shanghai (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Bund at Night pictures
Foggy Pudong Skyline at Sunrise, Shanghai
The Bund and Small Pool of Rainwater
Early Morning Kite Flyers on the Bund in Shanghai
Historic Buildings on the Bund in Shanghai (the 22 heritage buildings)
Evening View of the Bund and Pudong Skyline Shanghai
How to Visit Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar
The Old World Charm in Shanghai (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to Visit Lujiazui in Pudong
How to Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town
How to Visit Qibao Ancient Town
How to Visit Tianzifang
How to Visit Xintiandi
How to Visit Shanghai World Financial Center
How to Visit Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai Tower
Tips for Visiting People’s Square, Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai Auto Museum
Feeling Chinese New Year’s Atmosphere in Shanghai

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Huangpu River in Shanghai VS River Thames in London
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Any questions, just drop a line.

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