During the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival holiday, major spots in Beijing like the Forbidden City and Ditan Park are bound to be packed with tourists, save for a few, which, while not enjoying the same popularity are still a great choice and offer the same ages-old celebration atmosphere.
Traditional Spring Festival at Gubei Water Town
A water town at the foot of the Great Wall, you will experience a remarkable Spring Festival celebration at Gubei Water Town in Beijing’s Miyun District. Paper cutting, Wuqiang woodblock New Year paintings, dumpling making, temple fairs, all you can expect of Chinese New Year can be found here. Dense clusters of rivers, quartz-covered streets and convoluted hutongs all bring to view the old-town appeal in the period of Republic of China. The traditional Chinese customs and authentic New Year celebrations at the town will surely leave visitors with an unforgettable experience.
Address: Simatai Village, Gubeikou Town, Miyun District
Taking Mineral Bath at Xiaotangshan
Located in Changping District, Xiaotangshan is famous for its hot springs and old town vibes. This town has a long history of hot spring royal resorts which can be traced back to the Southern and Northern dynasties period of China (420–589), and has reserved the historical sites of the Qianlong Emperor’s inscription that reads ‘Jiuhua is majestic!’ and the Empress Dowager Cixi’s bathing pool.
Hot spring resorts:
Longmai Hot Spring, Jiuhua Spa, Beijing Floral Palace Hot Spring Hotel, 72° Natural Space, Beijing Napa Hot Springs Hotel
Address: 10 km Southeast of Satellite City, Changping District
Enjoying Wintersweet at Wofo Temple
Wofo Temple, official name Shifang Pujue Temple, is a Buddhist temple located within the Beijing Botanical Garden, 30 kilometers from the city center.
More than 60 wintersweet trees are scattered in every corner of the temple. Enjoying wintersweets in such a peaceful and calm place makes people feel detached. One ancient wintersweet tree on the east side of the Tianwang Hall is billed as “the crown of the capital’s wintersweets.” According to legend, the tree was planted during the reign of the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong.
Address: Beijing Botanical Garden, Wofo Temple Street, Haidian District
Watching Iron Fireworks in Yanqing
While fireworks are a staple in most of celebrations across the world, what we’ve seen here is a type of ancient fireworks display originated from Song Dynasty and prospered in Qing Dynasty in Yanqing, an ancient steel region in Beijing. Performers scoop up hot molten iron with a small spoon and throws into the air, then immediately uses the wooden shovel held by the other hand to tap the hot molten iron open, dispersing it onto the surroundings like a dazzling firework with amazing bright sparkles.
Address: The Great Wall Iron Fireworks Performance Area, Yanqing District
Performance Times: Fridays and Saturdays 20:00
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