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Celebrate: 2010 to 2011 in Nanjing

  • Written by Nemesis Rox
Celebrating the New Year in China is a 2-for-1 special, as the calendar New Year arrives this weekend, while the Year of the Rabbit in February brings us out of the turbulent Tiger Year into one that's expected to be more relaxed, with a slower pace and time for reflection. This Friday, the countdown begins with a New Year's eve in Nanjing that offers myriad opportunities to usher in 2011 in memorable fashion. HN reports. {xtypo_dropcap}Y{/xtypo_dropcap}ear of the Metal Tiger: how work out for you? For HN, it was a wild and turbulent year, exhausting and exhilirating at the same time. Fortunately, the Year of the Metal TIger ends on February 3rd, 2011.

According to HolidaySpot.com, this is what we can expect in the upcoming year: "Good taste and refinement will shine on everything and people will acknowledge that persuasion is better than force. We will act with discretion and make reasonable concessions without too much difficulty.

A time to watch out that we do not become too indulgent. The influence of the Rabbit tends to spoil those who like too much comfort and thus impair their effectiveness and sense of duty."

Nanjing New Year's eve 2010

While Chinese holidays are of course widely celebrated, western events are getting more popular among locals – case in point the massive crowds on the streets and in venues last week for Christmas eve. According to local entrepreneur and Bernie A, "Part of the reason is because more people are learning about western holidays, but another huge factor is that both Christmas eve and New Year's eve fall on a Friday this year."

As with Christmas Eve, there are myriad options for punters all over town...

Bar and Club events: 61 House offers a battle of the bands (Angry Jerks vs. Overdose) followed by some DJ action; Castle Bar's got a 'Super Crazy party series'; Sancho Panza is encouraging people to dress up for some live music and a dance music after-party; Jimmy's is holding a drink specials/ fireworks blowout; Don Quixote is encouraging beautiful girls to dress up like Playboy bunnies in exchange for free entry or a free drink; Secco's got an upstairs buffet and downstairs finger food/cheap drink/ DJ party.

Caveat: HN doesn't have the resources to cover every single New year's event in town, these are simply the one's we have been informed about. You can also expect parties to be held at Paulaner, Blue Sky, Finnegans Wake, Ellens, 1912, etc.

Suggestion: either do a casual bar crawl (like HN did to produce our New Years 2009 slideshow), or else pick your favorite venue and tuck in for the night. Note that most places that aren't offering buffet specials will likely offer free entry.

For example, while Prime Restaurant and Cigar Bar is offering a pricey set menu for New Years Eve (see below), F&B Director Edwin Kats told HN that "We don't have anything special planned for our cigar lounge, so there won't be an entry fee. People are welcome to show up to ring in the New Year, the bar will be open until 2am."

New Year's eve dining options

As already mentioned, Secco (winner of the HN prize for best New years Party last year) is planning a second-floor buffet featuring plenty of traditional favorites (roast goose, German sausages, etc) for 200 RMB.

On the higher end of the scale, Prime offers a sumptous 5-course set menu for 588 RMB per person, with a free-flow extra charge of 265 RMB per person.

Others without fixed plans of yet but who are likely to be offering special meal options on Friday evening include Emincence Cellar (high end wine bar with gourmet steaks); Ciao Italia and Meeting Point (classic Italian fare); Talking Bars (casual student dining).

HN suggestion: how many high end meals can you eat in a week? Don't worry too much about the dinner, the key is to spend the countdown in a place that satisfies.

Beyond New Year's

Those who aren't into the whole boozin' and cruisin' thing might choose to stay in, perhaps order some takeout, and then watch the annual New years eve concert on Jiangsu TV (this years acts include Susan Boyle, Avril Lavigne, Shakira and a whole bunch of Chinese pop stars).

Those who pine for refinement may get their fix with a pair of classic music concerts. On Jan. 1, the Austrian Philharmonic plays at Zijin Theater, while on the 2nd, the Vienna Festival Orchestra returns to Nanjing for a classical performance. Those who are into the whole boozin' and crusin' thing might instead choose to get their music fix in Castle Bar on New year's Day, when Beijing skate punk heroes Larry's Pizza swoop in for a sweaty bit of moshing.

When the dust settles a week later and routines return to normal, one option to keep in mind for next weekend is a bus trip to the Ping An A Fu Stray Animal Rescue shelter – if you're looking to usher in the New Year by earning some bonus karma points, helping out the doggies is something worth considering.

Happy New Year Nanjing!

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