Christmas and New Year's in China is more for entertainment and fashion than family reunion, which takes place during the Spring Festival... The Vienna New Year's Concert is famous worldwide and going to concerts to welcome the new year has become a tradition in China.
Where to have fun:
The streets are lighted and decorated with the trappings of Christmas and the new year. Christmas music is in the air. “Sale” signs abound.
Christmas bazaars — a number lasting well beyond New Year’s Day — are popular. The European tradition of Christmas bazaars has been successfully transplanted to Shanghai.
In a warm, friendly atmosphere, shoppers can roam at leisure from booth to booth, trying traditional snacks from around the world, gingerbread men to Christmas logs. There’s plenty of eggnog, plain and spiked, as well as punch. Stalls are filled with creative crafts, gifts for friends and items for the home.
Some markets are staging traditional parties, shows and carnivals. Many parties are for the whole family.
Here are some recommendations:
Shanghai Christmas Bazaar
More than 100 vendors from 11 countries and regions are offering food and gifts in a festive atmosphere at Qinhuangdao Road Wharf.
There’s classic Christmas food from around the world, including German sausage, cakes and breads, French and Italian Christmas treats, Canadian specialties.
Visitors can ride a merry-go-round and watch performances.
Date: Through January 5
Admission: 15 yuan (US$2.40) daytime; 30 yuan evenings, 100 yuan for December 31
Venue: Qinhuangdao Road Wharf (formerly Water Gate of World Expo Shanghai 2010)
Address: 32 Qinhuangdao Rd
Happy Valley Christmas Carnival
The theme park in Songjiang District has become a Christmas town, with decorations everywhere. There’s a Christmas parade, Christmas caroling, a Santa cosplay party and a life rock ‘n’ roll.
Date: Through January 5, night events open Friday to Sunday and New Year’s Eve
Admission: 200 yuan for day-night ticket, 85 yuan at night
Venue: Happy Valley
Address: 888 Linhu Rd, Sheshan Town, Songjiang District
Magical Wonderland Carnival
A fairyland carnival awaits children on the 90th anniversary of the Walt Disney Co at the Super Brand Mall in Pudong New Area. Mickey and Minnie Mouse and all their friends will meet children. A magic show, bubble show and other performances will be staged.
Date: December 31, 8pm to midnight
Venue: Super Brand Mall
Address: 168 Lujiazui Rd W.
Where to eat:
Christmas and New Year’s in China is more for entertainment and fashion than family reunion, which takes place during the Spring Festival.
Thus Shanghai restaurants promote traditional and creative Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners. There’s turkey, ham and all the fixings, as fine dining options, seafood and exotic fusion dinners.
The Spanish restaurant recently announced its New Year’s Eve menu. It starts with classic Iberian ham as an appetizer. Followed by cod fish and beef sirloin. It incudes sparkling Cava wine. 488 yuan per person.
Address: 33 Sichuan Rd M.
Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund
The hotel offers New Year’s afternoon tea and a diverse and creative dinner menu. Appetizers include fatty tuna, watermelon and wasabi-flavored quail eggs. Then comes porcini mushroom ravioli, followed by the main course of cod. Dessert is ice wine sponge cake. 1,666 yuan per person, excluding service. Those who prefer New Year’s Eve dinner at home can order the special afternoon tea menu and collect it at the hotel. It features tiramisu, carrot and honey cheese cake and king crab sandwiches, as well as plenty of sparkling wine. 480 yuan per person, excluding service.
Address: 19 Gongping Rd
New Year’s concerts:
The Vienna New Year’s Concert is famous worldwide and going to concerts to welcome the new year has become a tradition in China. Two noted orchestras will perform and a light opera will be staged. Most New Year’s Eve events will feature two performances.
Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Lior Shambadal, the program features Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“New World”), Glinka’s “Ruslan and Ludmila” and, of course, favorite works of the Strauss family. “Jasmine Flower” and other Chinese songs will be performed.
Date: December 31, 7:30pm, 10pm
Tickets: 200-1,280 yuan
Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center
Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd
Vienna Strauss Orchestra
This is 10th year the orchestra has performed a New Year’s concert in Shanghai. Apart from classics by the Strauss dynasty, the concert will feature an excerpt from “Salome” by Robert Stolz and the “Herreinspaziert Waltz” by Carl Ziehrer.
Date: December 31, 7:30pm, 10:30pm; January 1, 2pm
Tickets: 80-980 yuan
Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall
Address: 523 Yan’an Road E.
Comic operetta “Die Fledermaus”
The opera, also known as “The Revenge of the Bat” and composed by Johann Strauss II, is set around New Year’s Day and has become a standard in many countries. One character dressed as bat at a costume ball. The colorful production is filled with singing and dancing. In Chinese culture, the bat is a symbol of luck and fortune. Paolo Olmi will conduct.