Chinese New Year Philippines is one of the most awaited holidays in the country. It celebrates the start of the season of spring and the beginning of a new year in the Chinese Lunar calendar. It is undoubtedly, one of the biggest and most important festivals celebrated not only in China but across the world, especially in countries with many Chinese immigrants—and the Philippines is not an exception.

While the Chinese community is only about 5% of the Philippine population, Chinese New Year Philippines is one of the most awaited events in the country.

Unlike other holidays, Chinese New Year Philippines has no fixed date as it follows the lunar calendar, based on the movement of the moon.

Chinese New Year Philippines in Binondo

In Binondo, a hot spot of trade in Manila, the Chinese New Year Philippines is highly celebrated since the district was influenced by the Chinese culture.

Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world which was acknowledged in 1594 as permanent settlement of Chinese immigrants during the Spanish occupation.

You will find several stalls that are selling lucky charms while restaurants offer authentic Chinese food at reasonable prices along Ongpin Street. You can also feast on authentic Chinese food just by the streets, enough reason to celebrate Chinese New Year in Binondo.

The celebration of the Chinese New Year in Binondo includes cultural performances like the traditional lion and dragon dance.

Filipino Chinese New Year Traditions: Why It’s More Fun in the Philippines

Whether you are predicted to have a great Year of the Rat this coming 2020 or not, it’s always better to prepare for your best year yet.

Knowing the Filipinos, believing in superstitions and traditions has been part of the culture. And when it comes to Chinese New Year Philippines, they do everything to boost their luck for the year.

Below are the Filipino Chinese New Year traditions that you’d encounter when you celebrate Chinese New Year Philippines!

1. Lion and Dragon Dances

The lion and dragon dances never miss the Lunar New Year Philippines. The dragon is a powerful symbol in China because it is believed to represent great power, auspiciousness, wisdom, and fertility. Both the dragon and lion dances paired with clamorous drumbeats and cymbals are performed during special events, especially on Chinese New Year to bring luck to the community.

2. Red Envelopes (Ang Pao)

One of the things people look forward to, especially the children, during Chinese New Year is the red envelope. Red envelopes with money are usually given by the elders to the children every Lunar New Year Philippines. Giving out red envelopes is believed to bring good luck to the receiver as well as the giver.

3. Wearing Red

For the Chinese, red is considered to be the luckiest color. It is believed to bring good luck. So people wear red from head to toe or surround themselves with anything red especially during the Chinese New Year. This Filipino-Chinese new year tradition has been passed on from generation to generation and even to non-Chinese.

4. Fireworks and Firecrackers

One of the Filipino-Chinese new year traditions that’s always present every Chinese New Year PH is the fireworks. Using fireworks and firecrackers on Chinese New Year is believed to scare off bad spirits, bad luck, and the mythical beast called Nian. 

5. Making Noise

Just like the fireworks and firecrackers, making all sorts of noise during the Chinese New Year is believed to drive away bad spirits. In the Philippines Lunar New Year, people use horns, basins, cooking pots, and many more to make noise.

6. Tikoy and Round Fruits

Tikoy is the most popular treat during Chinese New Year in the Philippines. It is made from sticky or glutinous rice which is ground into flour and then mixed with lard, water, and sugar. Serving and eating tikoy every Filipino Lunar New Year is believed to be a symbol of a “higher year” to come.

Also, Filipinos always prepare 12 different round fruits during the Chinese New Year in Philippines in the hopes that it will bring luck and fortune to them.

7. New Year’s Eve Dinner

The most important Chinese New Year tradition is having a great feast with the entire family. As much as possible, it is necessary for all the members of the family to be present for the Chinese New Year Philippines holiday dinner. More than the fortune, being together and complete is what’s important. Sharing meals together strengthens the family bonding.

Where to stay for Chinese New Year Philippines 2021

Here’s a list of the best budget hotels in Manila where you can stay for Chinese New Year Philippines 2021.

ZEN Premium Dela Chambre Hotel Manila

ZEN Rooms Quiapo Manila

ZEN Hostel Haven Backpackers

ZEN Rooms V Plaza Manila

ZEN Rooms Malate Nakpil

Chinese New Year in the Philippines is not just about the fortune and luck that might come for the year but it is about the bond of the family and your loved ones that will make your year happier, luckier, and more fruitful.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Dragon dances, fireworks, vibrant red lanterns, red dresses, and anything red make up the Chinese New Year traditions Southeast Asia. These are the usual way of celebrating Chinese New Year across the world. But in Southeast Asia, it’s celebrated differently in the most exciting way!

In this article, we’ve rounded up a list of six amazing Chinese New Year Traditions Southeast Asia that will make you want to visit each country and celebrate the Lunar New Year there.

1. Singapore

Photo from Choo Yut Shing

Got any wishes? The Chinatown Wishing Tree in Orchard Road always takes the spotlight because people are always excited to see this. Simply tie your written wish to an orange (which is the Chinese symbol for longevity) then throw it at the tree. If it latches onto one of the branches and stays put, your wish is said to come true. This is definitely one of the most fun Chinese New Year traditions Southeast Asia you shouldn’t miss!

2. Hong Kong

Make sure you have plenty of cash at hand, because giving them away is one of the widely practiced Chinese New Year traditions Southeast Asia in Hong Kong. Exchanged in lai see packets, colored red and gold for good luck and prosperity, they can be given by anyone! Just remember to give just one banknote, and stay away from amounts with the number 4 and odd numbers to avoid bad luck!

3. Malaysia

people eating yee sang malaysia

The practice of eating yee sang (raw fish salad) to welcome the Chinese New Year is exclusive to Malaysia and Singapore. What makes this Chinese New Year traditions Southeast Asia extra special is the theatricality of tossing the ingredients into the air while shouting your wishes for the new year.

4. Philippines

people watching dragon dance in binondo, manila

On the day of the Lunar New Year, dragon and lion dancers would move from one establishment to another to bring good luck and prosperity to the households and businesses, picking up the ang pao hanging on the doorway as they go along. This is one of the most fun Chinese New Year traditions Southeast Asia. Be sure to check out the Chinatown in Binondo, Manila for an amazing Chinese New Year experience!

5. Indonesia

tatung men in indonesia

Cap Go Meh, also known as the “happy day”, which translates to the 15th night and last day of Imek (Lunar New Year), is celebrated by the Indonesians in the most unique way possible. They have the Tatung Parade which is a fusion of Chinese and Borneo’s cultures. Tatung are mediums that are believed to be possessed by gods or spirits, and can have extraordinary capabilities.

Tatung men, women, and even children, walk on the streets with sharp steel rods pierced through their faces, sit on thrones of nails and step on swords but they show no indication of pain nor bleeding. It is believed that this demonstration scare evil spirits away, keeping the city safe. Don’t miss this when visiting Indonesia for the Lunar New Year as this activity is one of the most interesting Chinese New Year traditions Southeast Asia.

6. Thailand

dragon dance for chinese new year thailand

According to Minority Rights Group International, Chinese make up roughly 10-12% of the population of Thailand with an estimated 6-7.2 million Chinese. That’s why it’s no doubt that the Chinese New year is widely celebrated in Thailand. Some of their traditions are the parade of bright lights, colorful floats, illuminated dragons, performers in vibrant costumes, procession of acrobats and dancers, believed to please the gods and bless the province.

When visiting any of these places for the Chinese New Year, make sure to book your hotels with ZEN Rooms so you can enjoy quality accommodation with great amenities at the lowest price!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.