We're quickly flying into the Year of the Dragon, so we’ve got your CNY 2024 celebrations covered – think things to do and the best places to eat over Chinese New Year in Bali!
Chinese New Year, AKA the Lunar New Year, is fast approaching, and with it comes indulgent reunion dinners, weird and wonderful superstitions, and for 2024 in particular, a time when we can channel our obsession for all things magical for the Year of the Dragon. But whether you’re keeping things traditional or not, get into the festive spirit this CNY with a get-together in Bali with family and friends. Here are some of the very best auspicious and delicious celebrations on the island to help you on your way. Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Chinese New Year 2024 in Bali: The Year of the Dragon
This year, we’re flying into the Year of the Dragon. The fifth animal (out of 12) in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is not just a mythical fiery beast, it’s also a symbol of elegance, honour, luck and success – all the things we hope for in the new year. You’ll want to put on your best qipao for the Chinese New Year celebrations, as true to the animal, this year is predicted to be the year of “exciting changes”!
How to celebrate Chinese New Year in Bali
1. Feast with the family at a Chinese New Year reunion dinner in Bali
Chinese New Year is all about celebrating with family, and taking centre stage is the feast! A reunion dinner on the night before the new year is often generously served in the company of loved ones. This year, Bali has some great options for those Chinese comfort food must-haves – from abundant reunion dinners on New Year’s Eve to festive brunches on New Year’s Day. And psst… Some even offer a Yu Sheng prosperity toss (the higher you toss, the more prosperous you’ll be!), so be sure to look out for special menus…
Reunion dinners in Bali for Chinese New Year 2024:
Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa – Celebrate CNY early at this Bukit resort – from 3rd to 9th February 2024, feast on the a la carte “Oriental Taste” menu. Then, on the 10th, continue the festivities with a prosperity buffet dinner and the River Ming Baiju cocktails to wash it all down with. And if you think the prosperous party ends then, think again! From 7th to 18th February 2024, you can enjoy an afternoon “Lunar Prosperi-Tea” complete with all the trimmings at the breezy R Bar. Cheers!
AYANA Resort Bali – From 5th to 11th February 2024, AYANA’s international restaurant To’Ge will be offering a special noodle spread the whole family will love, while it’s all about a bountiful seafood dinner at Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant.
Makase at Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach – Bringing an elevated “Oriental Feast” to the heart of Seminyak, Makase will be putting on a spread of Singaporean delicacies to celebrate Chinese New Year. Toss the Yee Sang up high (vegan option included!), indulge with fluffy mantou buns, and go all-out with the Peking duck and pork belly char siew – all while the Barongsai dancers treat you to a festive performance!
Renaissance Bali Nusa Dua Resort – From 9th to 11th February 2024, this Nusa Dua resort will be dishing up a special “Fight Like Dragon” set menu at its signature Chinese restaurant, Lion X. Think salmon Yee Shang with smoked duck in crunchy golden rice, and the authentic Braised 8 Treasure in premium oyster sauce.
The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali – Chopsticks at the ready, because from 1st to 24th February 2024, Table8 restaurant at this award-winning resort invites you to toss the Ye Sang good luck, prosperity and memorable festivities. Top it off with Nian Gao, AKA the iconic Chinese New Year cake, for an extra sweet Year of the Wood Dragon.
Daily Social – This popular spot by Kuta Beach will be hosting a special Lunar New Year Sunday Brunch this Chinese New Year, featuring noodles, dim sum, all-you-can-eat seafood and desserts, and SO much more – plus, a special lion dance performance to keep the festivities going!
Iwa Restaurant at Hotel Tugu Bali – Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with an exquisite Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner with a lion dance performance, and a family-style Chinese New Year Day brunch. Psst… each bite promises to tell a tale of prosperity!
2. Post-feast quality time with the family
Keep the spirit of CNY going and spend some time with the family in Bali. Traditionally, the itinerary for the days following Chinese New Year are filled with visiting relatives, and exchanging red envelopes and Mandarin oranges.
For island vacationers, a family day trip is always fun – strawberry picking in Bedugul, water sports at Nusa Dua Beach, or a whole day at Bali Zoo whilst spotting the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Or, take the whole family to Waterbom for a fun day of splish splashing. And psst… keep your eyes peeled for a pop-up food stall serving up a special CNY menu from 8th to 14th February (hellooo steamed fish and Peking duck!), as well as a lively Barongsai performance on CNY Day.
There’s always something to do to celebrate Chinese New Year in Bali!
3. Watch a lion dance performance
You’ll hear it before you see it! Listen out for the festive traditional music playing as a majestic colourful lion makes an entrance. Oh yes, a lion dance performance offers all the lively vibes we need to celebrate Chinese New Year. Not only that, it’s also an important tradition that brings fortune for the year. Children can have fun feeding the lion some red envelopes, and you may be able to find lion dance performances in shopping malls (like Beachwalk in Kuta and Level 21 in Denpasar), the island’s top resorts (like The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali) or at the more spacious Chinese restaurants.
4. Treat the kids to fun CNY activities!
Aside from feeding red envelopes to hungry dragons, there’ll be plenty on offer for the little ones this Chinese New Year. We’ll be heading straight to RIMBA by AYANA Bali, AKA Asia’s Best Family Resort of the 2023 World Travel Awards, where there’ll be a spectacular countdown and fireworks, as well as colourful activities for the kiddos at RIMBA Kids Club. If you’re travelling with the kids this CNY, we suggest checking out local event calendars to help you decide on where to spend Chinese New Year with the family.
5. Dress the part for your Chinese New Year celebrations
Get ready to see splashes of red and gold this Chinese New Year. Perhaps one of the most well-known Chinese New Year traditions, dressing in a lucky red outfit is a must for the festivities, as the colour red symbolises strength and prosperity for the coming year. While gold is not a must, it’s great to have on as it’s the colour of wealth. And here’s a good excuse to spend that wealth: a new outfit marks a fresh new beginning, so shopping is always encouraged! Here’s where to shop for the best outfits in Canggu and Seminyak to help you dress your best for CNY.
6. Spring clean… for good reason!
New year, new luck! While only some of us look forward to cleaning the house, it’s believed that by doing so before New Year’s Day, you’ll get rid of all the bad luck from last year and welcome the best of luck for the coming year. Plus, it’s always good to have a clean house to host your friends and family. Deck it out with festive red and gold decorations to keep with the CNY theme. And whatever you do, don’t forget to stock up on lots of Mandarin oranges at home, for extra prosperity in the new year.
7. Prep those lucky red envelopes!
This iconic Chinese New Year tradition is one that’s well known all over the world. Gifting money in red envelopes (ang pao) is not only fun, but also a way to wish the best of luck, health and happiness. Generally, red envelopes on Chinese New Year are gifted amongst relatives, from adults to children and the elderly. Or, you can hang them on potted trees in the house for extra festive decor! Fun fact: Chinese red envelopes are also gifted on other special days, like birthdays and weddings too.
Looking for more special days to celebrate in Bali? Check out all the public holidays in 2024!