The stunning city of Hangzhou, the capital of China's Zhejiang province is preparing to celebrate the start of Chinese New Year from 7 – 13 February 2016. 2016 marks the year of the monkey and as part of the celebrations, the city will welcome thousands of tourists to its stunning West Lake, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China during the holiday. However, there is more to Hangzhou than Chinese New Year. This year-round destination boasts four distinct seasons, and is host to this year's G20 Summit from 4 – 5 September 2016. Hangzhou Tourism is encouraging all those planning trips to China to add Hangzhou to their must-visit list and sample a flavour of what the city has to offer.

Fast Facts About Hangzhou Traditions During Chinese New Year

  • LaBa festival, (Ba means 8 in Chinese)falls on the 8thday of the last month of the year. On this date, Hangzhou people make LaBa Congee, which is a mixture of rice, nuts, and beans.
  • At the New Year's Eve dinner, dishes with lucky and auspicious names are served. For example, a pig's large intestine symbolises 'roads clear ahead' and shredded meat wrapped in Chinese crepes symbolises a 'wallet with golden threads.'
  • Cured meat, fish, chicken and duck is a local flavour in Hangzhou.  It's a custom that every family have the meat braised in soy sauce and then hang them up under the roof for air drying.
  • Hanging up New Year paintings is also very common in urban and rural areas of Hangzhou, where the paintings in rich and heavy colours bring a festive atmosphere.
  • A door God is a Chinese decoration placed on each side of an entry to a temple, home or business as it is believed to keep evil from entering.
  • At midnight on New Year's Eve, fireworks are launched to celebrate the coming of the New Year as well as to drive away the evil.

 A Paradise On Earth Perfect For Year-Round Travel
Those heading to Hangzhou after New Year can still expect unforgettable experiences. Hangzhou is often praised for being 'paradise on earth' for its enchanting culture and history, two World Heritage Sites including the incredibly beautiful West Lake and the Grand Canal along with its lush rolling hills, spectacular pagodas and temples, and fragrant fields of tea. 

Those travelling to the city are encouraged to visit the famous Lingyin Temple, pick tea leaves and then experience a time-honoured tea ceremony, view the history of silk at the largest silk museum in the world, learn about the centuries-old traditional Chinese Medicine, take a cruise up the Grand Canal, walk along West Lake and in the evening watch Impression West Lake, a magnificent show on the lake. 

Fast Facts About Hangzhou

  • Hangzhou boasts two World Heritage Sites – West Lake and the Grand Canal
  • Hangzhou is found on the east coast of China and is the capital of Zhejiang province
  • Hangzhou is connected to Shanghai via bullet train and it can take as little as 52 minutes to travel between the two cities
  • Hangzhou will host the G20 Summit from 4- 5 September 2016
  • As one of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China, Hangzhou is an important tourist city for history and culture
  • Hangzhou National Silk Museum is the biggest silk museum in the world
  • The Grand Canal is approximately 1,200 miles in length and is the longest man-made waterway in the world
  • The Lingyin Temple is one of the 10 most famous Buddhist temples of China
  • Xixi National Wetland Park is the first and only wetland park in China combining urban life, farming and culture