Visit a jjimjilbang – Seoul, Korea
Did you know that Koreans have their own version of Chinese New Year? To the Koreans, Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) is the most important traditional holiday of the year, and is even more significant than January 1st. Much like our traditional reunion dinner, Koreans from all around the globe will make the trip home to enjoy homemade tteokguk (a traditional soup chock-full of tasty ingredients like sliced rice cakes, beef and eggs) with family and friends.
During this time, the streets will be filled with Koreans shopping, socialising and indulging in all sorts of beauty routines. Koreans have many secrets when it comes to achieving their trademark smooth, bouncy skin, and one of them is going for regular jjimjilbang (heated bathhouse; above) sessions. These bathhouses are where locals come to unwind and maintain their youthful skin with an array of health and beauty rituals. Apart from the usual shopping Seoul has to offer, why not pamper your skin with a little TLC this Chinese New Year?
Take part in the Ume Festival – Mito City, Japan
One can always count on Japan, home to one of the richest cultures in Asia, to hold marvellous festivals and celebrations all year long. Even though Chinese New Year isn’t officially celebrated, there are still many events happening around this period to make a Japan trip worth your while.
To celebrate the coming of Spring, Japan will be holding a festival that’s only topped by the Cherry Blossom Festival in terms of popularity: The Ume (Plum) Blossom Festival. Plum blossoms appear earlier than cherry blossoms, but are no less beautiful with their hues of deep red to pure white, and will make for a whimsical Instagram photo, indeed.