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25 April 2024

Chinese Year of the Snake: How and where to celebrate it in Dubai

By Sneha May Francis

The 15-day festivities for the Chinese New Year have kick-started today with a bang in Dubai, with many landmarks in the city decking up for the celebrations.

With China playing a significant role in Dubai’s economic growth, it’s only natural that top hotels are cooking up a storm to ensure that the celebrations, which are mostly culinary, are top-class and authentic.

Also known as the ‘spring festival’, the Chinese New Year marks the end of the rice harvest, and is traditionally celebrated with lavish feasts.

The Burj Al Arab will light up its exterior with the image of a red calligraphic snake to mark the first day of the Year of the Snake.

In the evening the hotel will be hosting Chinese dignitaries and their families for a traditional lighting of the lion’s eyes that will be followed by a lion dance. Apart from Chinese music, Chinese delicacies will also be served, a hotel staffer said.

The festivities will continue for a week, with many Chinese guests expected to join in on the celebrations that will have ‘fa gao’ (Chinese cupcake) and a new year cake ‘nian gao’.

Radisson Blu Hotel’s China Club will join in with a set menu, along with traditional raffle draws.

Madinat Jumeriah will also ring in the Chinese New Year with fun and festivities. The traditional lion dance will be performed in the lobby of Mina A’Salam, while live entertainment will be hosted at Zheng He’s Cantonese restaurant.

The Cantonese restaurant Royal China will introduce an à la carte selection of classic dishes from today until February 25.

Kempinski Hotel at the Mall of the Emirates will cook up an authentic Chinese culinary experience, with ‘K Grill’ serving Chinese breakfast and dinner buffets today.

Mall of the Emirates is also hosting a 11-day festival for the year of the snake, with daily entertainment shows that highlight Chinese culture and heritage. Chinese folk dance, drum show, calligraphy, face-changing, Taiji boxing and Chinese Kung Fu are some of the events that will be showcased between 3pm and 6pm every day.

Saturday was the last day of the Year of the Dragon. Each of the 12 years in the Chinese New Year cycle is named after an animal in the Chinese zodiac.

As per Chinese tradition, the qualities of each animal are attributed to its corresponding year, with the Year of the Snake considered to be a mixed bag, with fortune tellers claiming that it will be a year of contradictions.