Where to celebrate New Year's Eve in Shanghai
Although the Lunar New Year won't start until January 23, western New Year is getting more and more attention in China -- locals consider it a chance to warm up for the Spring Festival or, simply, to party and get drunk.
Here are five of the best New Year's Eve celebrations in Shanghai, from the eye-catching to the ear-splitting.
1. Bell-ringing in Longhua Temple
Send your best wishes by ringing the historic Buddhist bell on New Year's Eve.
Located in southwest Shanghai, Longhua Temple (龙华寺) is the city's oldest temple dating back 1,800 years or more. Shanghai natives have been flocking there to attend the bell-ringing ceremony on New Year's Eve and Lunar New Year's Eve since 1988.
The event is the most local way to celebrate New Year and wish for good fortune over the next 12 months.
The first 108 people who make reservations for the event are given the opportunity to ring the 3,000-kilo bell -- limited to one "dong" each -- around midnight.
Lion dances, fireworks and folk performances add to the celebrations after the bell-ringing ceremony.
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Longhua Temple, 2853 Longhua Lu, near Longhua Xi Lu 龙华路2853号, 近龙华西路, admission: RMB 200, reservation hotline: +86 21 6132 2037. Bell-ringing ceremony runs from 10 p.m. on December 31 till 2 a.m. on January 1, 2012.
2. Xintiandi New Year’s Countdown Concert
Xintiandi is the spot for Chinese pop music fans on New Year's Eve as a countdown gala/pop concert is scheduled on Taiping Lake.
A temporary stage designed by Hong Kong designer Zhou Bingkun (周炳坤) -- who was part of the team behind the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics -- has been built on the lake.
Celebrities from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore including Harlem Yu (庾澄庆), William Pan (潘玮柏), Mavis Fan (范晓萱) and Tanya Chua (蔡健雅) are due to perform at the event.
Tickets cannot be purchased directly. Instead, spend a total of RMB 888 at any Shanghai Xintiandi or Corporate Avenue retailer from now till December 30 to receive a free ticket.
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Taipingqiao Lake, on Hubin Lu between Huangpi Nan Lu and Zizhong Lu 黄陂南路和自忠路之间的湖滨路, +86 21 6311 2288, 9 p.m.-midnight, www.xintiandi.com
3. 3D laser and firework show along Huangpu River
Shanghai's Dragon TV is setting up a midnight 3D laser and firework show as part of its New Year's Eve festivities.
The laser show will start one hour before midnight and light up both the Bund and Binjiang Avenue on either bank of the Huangpu River.
The climax of the spectacle will take place 15 minutes before the midnight countdown. All the laser lights along the Bund will be turned on simultaneously, and four boats on the Huangpu will set off fireworks one after another.
The Oriental Pearl Tower will pick up the baton after midnight and launch fireworks from the two larger "pearls" for around five minutes.
A stage will be set up temporarily on the Bund in Puxi on the same night. The lineup includes Chinese rock star Cui Jian (崔健), Australian singer Kylie Minogue and Shangahinese comedian Zhou Libo (周立波). A qipao fashion show is also planned for the gala.
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The Bund between Fuzhou Lu and Hankou Lu or Binjiang Avenue between Lujiazui Xi Lu and Dongyuan Lu 福州路至汉口路之间的外滩或陆家嘴西路至东园路之间的滨江大道, free of charge, 11 p.m.-12.05 a.m.
4. Post-apocalypse party at Lan Club
Although the 2012 doomsday theory has yet to gain scientific recognition, that won’t stop Shanghainese partying like there is no tomorrow.
Lan Club Shanghai is throwing an end-of-the-world-themed New Year’s Eve bash, Final Carnival Countdown, which is dubbed the only such party in town.
Part of the club will be converted into a post-apocalypse scene. Admission is RMB 150 which includes one cocktail and a chance to win luxury trips to Macau or Hong Kong, and cocktail packages worth RMB 888.
A happy half-hour will run from 11:30 p.m.-midnight.
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Lan Club, 102 Guangdong Lu, near Sichuan Zhong Lu 广东路102号, 近四川中路, +86 21 5150 1008, party from 9:30 p.m.-midnight
5. Techno concert at Mao Live House
Shanghai alternative music fans are most likely to embrace 2012 at Mao's three-and-a-half-hour techno gig, TECHNOW.
Held twice a year, TECHNOW's New Year's Eve edition will feature three DJs from Austrian and German techno group Mushido, which tours between Berlin, Tokyo and Shanghai.
First up for the night is German DJ Milan J who will spin from 10 p.m. Boro Lo will take over from 11:45 p.m. and spin through the New Year countdown, and Austrian Martino V will finish off the techno marathon.
Rub shoulders with more than 1,200 techno enthusiasts and thrill to a special neon light show prepared by Mao.
All attendees will receive two free drinks and a gift package.
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Mao Live House, 3/F, 308 Chongqing Nan Lu, near Jianguo Zhong Lu 重庆南路308号, 近建国中路, +86 21 6445 0086, 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m., RMB 80 (presale), RMB 100 (at the door). Buy ticket via www.technow.co.