Refreshing Fridays: Happy Chinese New Year!

- Melanie Zieba,

dragon-danceHappy Chinese New year! It’s the year 4708 and its time to welcome the year of the Tiger! The big day itself doesn’t start until February 14th but all around the world there are celebrations occurring around that date.

tiger-jpgChinese New Year is full of good luck, firecrackers, lanterns, dragon dances and a whole lot of fun. So because this is the year of the tiger why not celebrate with an Eye of the Tiger Cocktail? It’s sure to get you in the mood to let loose and ring in the New Year.

How to make your Eye of the Tiger Cocktail:

-1 oz Rum
-1 oz Coconut rum (Malibu)
-1 oz Cranberry juice
-1 oz Sugar syrup
-1 oz Orange juice
-1/2 oz Dark rum

Add ingredients (except dark rum) into a martini shaker full of ice and shake. Strain into an ice filled highball glass and top with dark rum. Garnish with an orange slice if you like.

Looking to celebrate the New Year? Cities all over the world are saying hello to the Year of the Tiger with awesome events and great places to stay:

Hong Kong:
Known as the events capital of Asia, Hong Kong will feature it’s world renowned Chinese New Year Night Parade on February 14th from 8pm -930. This parade is one of the best loved events of the entire New Year celebrations! The parade will run along the stunning backdrop of Victoria Harbour and feature participants form almost every country on earth! Other events here include a 2010 Lunar New Year Fireworks display, a Chinese New Year Horserace Day and an New Year’s Soccer tournament to name a few. While you are here be sure to stay that these Hong Kong hotels:

the-upper-houseThe Upper House:
The Upper House is the perfect calm escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and is great after you indulge in all of the New Year festivities. Boasting extraordinary views of the ancient Victoria Harbour, you are in luck if you want to get an aerial view of the Night Parade!

the-peninsula-hong-kongThe Peninsula Hong Kong:
The Peninsula Hong Kong is one of the world’s most notorious and magnificent hotels and is an amazing place to have a New Year’s celebration. Come and stay in their spectacular Victoria Harbour vistas and surround yourself in comfort along with the best cityscape views imaginable.

Singapore:
If you are looking for one of the most anticipated and wildly participated events in Singapore, the Chingay Parade is one huge street party you don’t want to miss out on. Running from February 19- 20th some of the special features this year will include never seen before first fire-cracker dragons as well as fantasy characters like majestic “flying horses” along with various multi-cultural local and overseas performances. And when in town check book your stay at one of these amazing Singapore hotels:

capella-singaporeCapella Singapore:
Located on Sentosa Island, Capella Singapore is just far enough away from the New Years hoop la that you can have the best of both worlds; a wonderfully relaxing vacation and a celebratory adventure. Be sure to head over to the bar Bob’s where you can enjoy one of their signature cocktails.

the-fullerton-hotel-singaporeThe Fullerton Hotel Singapore:
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a mixture of beautiful grand architecture, luxe styling and is the hotel of choice for those who love to be pampered. Usher in the New Year at their Town Restaurant and indulge in an array of international cuisine at their Chinese New Year Buffet Dinner from February 15th- 28th.

San Francisco:
This is the city to be in for any North American looking to ring in the New Year. San Francisco has one of the largest Chinatowns in North America and one of the most important Chinese centers in the United States. There are a lot of events happing all over the city this year including the Shanxi Dancers on February 21 2010 and of course the 2010 Chinese New year Festival and Parade on February 27 at 5:15pm. This parade is known for being one of the best in the world, full of elaborate costumes, ferocious lions, exploding fire crackers and the newly crowned Miss Chinatown. When heading to the city be sure to stay at one of these luxury San Francisco hotels:

palace-hotelPalace Hotel, San Francisco:
The Palace Hotel, San Francisco is the city’s cultural and architectural icon and within walking distance to where all the action will be in Chinatown. And when you book your stay, consider staying a little longer, with their complementary night package – when you say three nights get your fourth night free.

st-regis-hotel-san-franciscoThe St. Regis, San Francisco:
Surrounded with dramatic cityscape views, the St. Regis, San Francisco is one luxury hotel that is sure to inspire. Located right next to Museum of Modern Art, come and soak up the city’s culture and celebrate the year of the tiger.

London:
This year Trafalgar Square will be transformed to showcase traditional Chinese dragon and lion dances along with modern music and Chinese performers. Along with a fabulous parade planned on February 21st the city is also featuring a special wild life photography exhibition at the National Geographic Store on Regent St. displaying some of the best images on earth of the big striped cats to celebrate the year of the tiger. And when in town book your stay at some of the best hotels in London:

baglioni-hotel-londonBaglionli Hotel London:
Known as one of the most premier addresses in Central London, the Baglioni Hotel London will give this Chinese New Year a luxurious Italian flair. Overlooking the Kensington Gardens and Palace this hotel is also close to some of the best shopping in the city. This will be one new year celebration you will never forget.

the-capital-hotelThe Capital Hotel:
The Capital Hotel is probably one of the best boutique hotels you will find in the city. Known for its classic British elegance and just a short walk from Hyde Park, this prime locations is perfect for seeing the sites and of course, the Chinese New Year’s celebrations.

New York:
The New York City metropolitan area contains at least 6 Chinatowns and Manhattan’s Chinatown has one of the largest Chinese communities outside of Asia. This year though, the big celebratory parade is happening in Queens on February 20th starting at 11am – 1pm. The route will begin on Union St. and 37th ending at Main St. and 39th Ave. with around 4,000 participants featuring dragon dancers, steel drummers and of course lots of fireworks. Be sure to book your stay early at these great New York City hotels:

jumeirah-essex-house-nycJumeirah Essex House:
Say happy New Year in this Art Deco masterpiece that is located right on Central Park South. The Jumeirah Essex House is the perfect place for first time visitors to New York and is close to all of the city’s well known attractions.

andaz-wall-streetAndaz Wall Street:
Eating, drinking and socializing is a huge part of the Andaz Wall Street hotel’s plan. Their Bar Seven will serve you up cocktails that is sure to help you get ready for all of the Chinese New Year festivities. Modern and cozy, this is a great place to be while enjoying the “city that never sleeps”.

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