Lunar New Year All Over the World! Where to Experience as a Muslimah Solo Traveler?

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Experience Lunar New Year as a Muslimah Solo Traveler
Cover image credit : tetra_angel & AleksandarNakic / Canva Pro

Lunar New Year is almost here!

This is a celebration that is celebrated mainly by Eastern Asian communities and Asian diaspora communities around the world.

While we, as Muslims, don’t celebrate it, observing and experiencing other cultures is an integral aspect of traveling. It helps build tolerance within us, shows us that the world is multifaceted.

Plus, your solo travels become much more enriching when traveling in conjunction with a major regional holiday of a destination.

Here are some destinations that celebrate Lunar New Year, in their own ways, this Year of the Dragon that will give you an idea of what to experience as a Muslimah Solo Traveler.

Psst… While you’re traveling independently this Lunar New Year, it is important to stay connected with a reliable eSIM so you can update your friends and family on your whereabouts (safety’s important!)

Spring Festival in China

Known as the “Spring Festival”, this is a major celebration throughout the country with parades, with two-week long celebration of feasting and going home to reunite with families, that in all, encompasses a 40-day travel period.

Lunar New Year takes the stage for the world’s largest human migration called “Chunyun”, whereby Beijing, the capital would mostly be empty during this time of the year.

Lunar New Year in China as a Muslimah
Credit: Yicai 第一财经 / FB

So, if you’re in Beijing or just anywhere in China, you’re in great luck, as this is the best place on earth to experience the Lunar New Year as a Muslimah Solo Traveler.

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Tết in Vietnam

The most significant celebration in Vietnam.

This time, Vietnamese reunite with their families and pray for prosperity, health, and luck in the new year.

If you are in Hanoi or just anywhere in Vietnam this time of the year, you can expect the markets and streets would be filled with shoppers picking up red and gold decorations for Tet!

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Seollal in South Korea

One of the most celebrated national holidays in South Korea, this is also a time for Koreans to go back to their hometowns to reunite with families and pay respect to their elders and ancestors with a deep bow called sebae.

During this time of the year, Koreans celebrate with folk games, eat good food, commune and just talk up till the night.

They eat tteokguk, a traditional, clear broth with rice cakes that are believed to symbolize a clear mind and body for the new year. If you know where we can eat Halal Tteokguk in Seoul, share it with us in the community!

Experience Seollal in Namsangol Hanok Village or Korean Folk Village.

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Other Asian Countries Celebrating Lunar New Year – Singapore, Malaysia & Japan

Singapore & Malaysia’s Multicultural Traditions & Lavish Mall Decors

Besides the countries mentioned above, the Lunar New Year is also a big celebration in Asian countries with large Chinese populations, such as Singapore and Malaysia.

Here, the celebration is called Chinese New Year.

In both countries, the celebration is taken seriously that shops owned by Chinese merchants might be close for up to two weeks just for the celebration.

And the malls would be adorned in lavish CNY decorations, signifying the festival.

Other races like Malay, Indians who live alongside the Chinese also come to visit their Chinese friends on their “Chinese New Year Open House.”

The Chinese people prepare Halal/Muslim-friendly food, to accommodate their Muslim friends who come to visit. They might even get Ang Pao (red packets!)

Experience Chinese New Year in the countries’ respective Chinatowns at Chinatown, Singapore and Petaling Street in Malaysia (nearby to Pasar Seni)

Stay connected with 7 days of coverage this Lunar New Year with:

Japan’s Nagasaki Lantern Festival

Japan, on the other hand, used to celebrate Lunar New Year in its own unique names like Mutsuki and Hazuki until the Meiji Restoration period.

When Japan adopted the Gregorian Calendar, the celebration naturally died out.

Celebrating Lunar New Year as a Muslimah Solo Traveler in Japan
Credit: Discover Nagasaki / FB

However, there are some remnants of Lunar New Year celebrations in Japan still available today such as in Ryukyu Islands.

The celebration is also apparent in major Chinatowns in Japan like Yokohama Chukagai, Kobe Nankinmachi and Nagasaki Shinichi (oldest in Japan).

In Tokyo, you can find a smaller-scale Chinatown in Ikebukuro.

So if you happen to be in Japan, don’t forget to stop over these places because you might expect a spectacle!

Credit: Discover Nagasaki / FB

Experience Lunar New Year in Nagasaki Lantern Festival, held from Feb 9th – 25th in 2024.

You’ll enjoy colorful lanterns and nightscapes of Nagasaki this time of the year!

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Outside Asia – America, Canada & The UK.

Two cities in North America where you should experience the Lunar New Year are Vancouver, British Columbia, and San Francisco, The United States.

San Francisco – Oldest Chinatown in North America

Where to experience Lunar New Year in America as a Muslimah Solo Traveler
Credit: We love California / FB

Did you know that San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest in North America, established in 1800s?

San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade is one of the few remaining night illuminated parades in North America, and is dubbed the biggest Lunar New Year outside of Asia. You can experience (details here) the parade on Feb 24, from 5:15pm.

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Vancouver’s Chinese Heritage

Vancouver’s residents happen to make up of about 40% ethnic Chinese. So if you’re here during Lunar New Year, you’re in the best place!

Experience traditional Lunar New Year with Calligraphy demo and curated teas from Vancouver’s Chinatown select shops in Vancouver’s Chinese Canadian Museum this weekend (Feb 10 – Feb 11). More details here.

Celebrate Lunar New Year in Vancouver
Credit: pr2is / depositphotos.com

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London – Largest Lunar New Year Celebration in Europe

Similarly, London’s Chinatown in The United Kingdom will host a spectacular centerpiece full of free performances that will draw thousands of crowds on Sunday.

Expect lion and dragon dances, carnival and festivities, colorful floats, and the largest gathering of Chinese lions and dragons in Europe! Details of the parade and timings here

Credit: Avi Bhakri / FB

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Lunar New Year All Over The World as a Muslimah Solo Traveler

There you have it! Some destinations that celebrate the Lunar New Year and what you can expect to experience as a Muslimah Solo Traveler!

If you are of Chinese descent or are simply experiencing the Lunar New Year, wherever it might be, we’d love to hear all about it in our Muslimah Solo Travelers Community!

Also, don’t forget! While you’re traveling independently in this huge, huge world, be sure to stay connected with AirAlo eSIM throughout your travels (regional coverage is available too) so you can update your loved ones on your whereabouts. Staying connected, is a form of safety!