The Peninsula Hotels celebrate Chinese New Year 2013 around the world

The Peninsula Hotels ring in the Year of the Snake with festive decorations, activities and glamourous packages

With its long history stretching to 1866 as China’s first luxury hospitality brand, The Peninsula Hotels celebrates its Chinese heritage and rings in the Year of the Snake with inspiring initiatives and special décor throughout the holiday period, along with music, food and activities on the most auspicious date of the year, 10 February 2013. Luxury shopping stays, special room rates and Chinese New Year festive programmes are among the holiday offerings at the nine properties around the world. First-time guests can experience Chinese New Year with a unique twist, and return guests can celebrate in typical Peninsula style and sophistication.

The most important festival on the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year dates back centuries and is a time of reunion with family and close friends – both at home and when travelling overseas – to welcome a new year of good luck, health and prosperity. To join in celebrating the traditional Chinese festival and make Chinese travellers feel at home during the holiday, The Peninsula Hotels will be festooned in festive hues inside and out, with hotel exteriors illuminated in red and red lanterns inside, signifying luck and prosperity. Each hotel Lobby will be decked with red flowers and pink-blossomed plum trees, representing good luck. Kumquat bushes laden with golden-orange fruit signify prosperity, and will be on sunny display. Good fortune and health will be beckoned into the guestrooms too, with special in-room amenities including tangerines, melon seeds, dumplings and chocolate coins – all representing prosperity.

Food plays a key role in Chinese culture, and no less so than at Chinese New Year. On the last day of the old year, families feast together on special delicacies and traditionally end the night with firecrackers to drive evil spirits away. At The Peninsula, guests can indulge and celebrate with special meals in Chinese and western styles at the signature restaurants. The culinary experience is elevated to perfection with The Peninsula Hong Kong’s special Fireworks menu on 11 February. Guests are treated with Champagne on the Sun Terrace together with a spectacular fireworks display over Victoria Harbour.

The three Peninsula Hotels in America will surprise guests with their own ways of celebrating this prominent Chinese festival, from the exclusive stay-and-shop experience to US$ 1,000 gift certificates by Van Cleef & Arpels and a special room rate at US$ 888, with eight considered a lucky number that signifies good fortune in Chinese culture. The Peninsula Beverly Hills, in addition, is featuring Beverly Hills’ most glamorous Chinese New Year Celebration Party.

The signature Peninsula Afternoon Tea features a distinctively festive Chinese flavour at The Peninsula Bangkok and The Peninsula Beijing; also at the Beijing hotel visitors and guests can celebrate New Year with a special commemorative gift featuring a Chinese wish of good fortune, crafted by a calligraphy master, with the hotel’s compliments.

The fun at The Peninsula continues with the traditional lion dance. The lion dances aggressively, to loud drumbeats and deafening cymbal crashes to scare away evil spirits, while on the first morning of the new year, ritual calls for children to wish their parents a happy year ahead and receive money in lucky red paper envelopes. According to tradition, old grudges are forgotten and everyone wishes each other peace and happiness. Red packets symbolise good luck and are believed to ward off evil spirits, and will be distributed at the hotels.

In preparation for the new year ahead, families literally clean house, sweeping away the old to make way for good incoming luck, just as a snake sheds its skin. New clothes for a new year are imperative, and The Peninsula Hotels’ ideal city centre locations and extensive shopping arcades of luxury brands make new year shopping a breeze.

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