Festive fun to welcome in the New Year of the Rat

Yang Yang
Plenty to see and do for Shanghai Daily readers during the Spring Festival break as the city celebrates the arrival of the Chinese Lunar New Year in many different ways. 
Yang Yang

Festive Shanghai is both adult and youth-friendly. For the Spring Festival holiday, our young readers can cultivate their artistic taste at Thames Town’s Carnaby Island, enjoy dream-like light show on the beach in Jinshan District, see a 9-meter-tall golden mouse light installation at Yuyuan Garden, watch Micky and Minnie in Oriental costumes celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year and possibly attend a traditional wedding ceremony at a film park.

Festive fun to welcome in the New Year of the Rat

Micky and Minnie in stylish new costumes

Mickey and Minnie will welcome visitors to Shanghai Disney Resort in stylish new costumes from Lunar New Year’s Day through the Lantern Festival, with special red and gold lanterns lining the roads and alleys of Mickey Avenue.

Visitors can also enjoy Disney-themed filters on their smartphones to create special Spring Festival greeting videos featuring Disney-themed overlays and virtual Mickey and Minnie elements.

Each morning throughout the holiday period near Storytellers Statue in the Gardens of Imagination visitors can soak up the season’s good fortune during Mickey and Minnie’s drum ceremony.

In late mornings and early afternoons, Mickey and friends will be joined by dancers in vintage Shanghai-style clothing.

As evening falls, visitors will be treated to the “Spring Festival 2020 Firework Celebration: Our Families.”

After “Ignite the Dream — A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light,” there will be a new fireworks show every day throughout the Spring Festival period, with projections on the castle featuring families from classic Disney movies, traditional Chinese elements including calligraphy, lanterns and Spring Festival colors and blessings. The celebration will be accompanied by traditional Chinese music, and narration from Mickey himself.

Venue: Shanghai Disney Resort

Ticket: 299-665 yuan


Address: 753 Shendi Rd N.


Festive fun to welcome in the New Year of the Rat

City beach light show and sand

A dream-like light show is on display at Jinshan City Beach every day from 5pm. Fifty sets of sand sculptures in various sizes are decorated by colored lights to create a fairy-like atmosphere.

Among the lighting shapes are a lovers’ corridor, royal chariot, ferris wheel and sea creatures.

In addition, paintings by farmers in Jinshan’s towns and villages are showcased along the illuminated beach. The light show will last till April.

Venue: Jinshan City Beach

Ticket: 10 yuan (US$1.46) on workdays, 20 yuan on weekends

Address: 7555 Huhang Highway


Festive fun to welcome in the New Year of the Rat

Art exhibition at Thames Town

A crescent moon theater installation, a classic prop used at an American photo studio between the 1910s and 1940s, is one of the many eye-catching exhibits on display during the 2020 Carnaby Island Public Art Exhibition. Lasting till February 25, the exhibition includes graffiti, sculptures, installations, new media and film artworks by 17 artists from China, Ireland, Russia, Italy and Germany.

Visitors can see installation art “Light Tower” by Qin Ling, laser projection art “Quantum Twisting” by David Keohane, glass sculpture “Be Water” by Roland Darjes, and graffiti work “Mr Zhimi and Mr Pumpkin” by Li Zhimi.

On February 8, a flow art performance will be staged at the island. Flow art, an art form originating from Europe, combines a classic circus show with elements of youth culture. The art, using high-tech and including interaction with the audience, has become one of the most popular performing arts in China in recently years. The show on February 8 will be performed by the Taihang Art Troupe.

Venue: Carnaby Island

Ticket: Free

Address: No. 905-918, Lane 900, Sanxin Rd N.


Festive fun to welcome in the New Year of the Rat

Lantern festival lights up Yuyuan Garden

Colorful festive lanterns have been lighting up Yuyuan Garden, marking the beginning of an event that attracts millions of visitors each Chinese New Year. The light show this year will last till February 11.

Traditional folk lanterns and art installations, a listed national cultural heritage, come alive at 5:30pm every day, featuring various cartoon figures of mice, including Disney’s Mickey and Minnie, to mark the Year of the Rat. A major draw is a 9-meter-tall golden mouse standing on a giant dragon boat at the central plaza of Yuyuan Garden.

Another major attraction has been set up at the iconic Zigzag Bridge, featuring lanterns about famous tourist spots across the Yangtze River Delta region. They include colorful lanterns depicting Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Nanjing’s Qinhuai River, West Lake in Hangzhou and pine trees on Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province.

China’s major achievements in recent years are showcased in various lanterns, including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the Fuxing bullet train and the C919 domestically developed large passenger aircraft.

Venue: Yuyuan Garden

Ticket: Entry to the garden is free except between February 7 and 11, when admission will be 50 yuan for adults and 30 yuan for children. On February 8, the Lantern Festival, the fee will be 80 yuan for adults and 50 yuan for children.

Address: 275 Yuyuan Old Street


Festive fun to welcome in the New Year of the Rat

Dreams of old Shanghai

Shanghai Film Park is taking visitors back to old Shanghai with its traditional wedding and Spring Festival customs, as well as Shanghai-style cuisine and street scenery of both urban-style architecture of old Shanghai and the European-style gardens.

Every day from January 25 to 30, two wedding performances (one at 11am and the other at 2pm) will be staged in the park. Visitors will have a chance of taking part. By catching a silk ball (a token of affection from a single woman in ancient China) thrown by the “bride,” a visitor can put on a bridegroom’s costume and become a “newlywed.”

The wedding performances will feature traditional rituals including a bride stepping over a brazier (suggesting a future married life as prosperous as a burning fire), the newlyweds kowtowing to each other, and the bridegroom lifting a bride’s wedding veil.

Other daily performances will include circus shows and Sichuan Opera face-changing shows.

Visitors to the park may encounter the God of Wealth who will send them red envelopes containing lucky money, lucky bags of gifts and simply good wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.

Venue: Shanghai Film Park

Ticket: 80 yuan

Address: 4915 Beisong Highway


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