Yes, we’re already in February but for 1/5 of the world’s population, the New Year begins today, meaning  the Chinese New Year 2016. This date varies every year having already started yesterday until the 13th this month. This will be a Monkey year, for people borned in  a multiple-of-12 year, like 1968.

Despite the fact that we don’t have a famous Chinatown in Lisbon like London or Hong Kong, we still have our little Chinatown in Martim Moniz. But facing that is a challenge finding what to do during this festive season in Lisbon, we decided to share with you the best 3 top suggestions on how to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Note that some of these can be done all year. See below:

#1. Orient Museum | Connecting cultural dots 

Until the 6th of March, visit the Art of Falconry from the East to the West exhibition and up to the 13th of March, within the Celebrating the Chinese New Year event, don’t miss also the opportunity to visit the Portugal seen by the Chinese photo gallery. Besides this, you’ll find other permanent exhibitions, all related to Asia. Visit price of 6,00€ per adult.

Chinese New Year hot tip: Save this tip – every Friday from 6:00PM to 10:00PM the museum provides free entry.

Orient Museum
Asian meets Portuguese influences @ TrenDestination
Orient Museum
Orient Museum @ TrenDestination

#2. Unrivalled Dim Sum experience | Estoril Mandarim & Macau Dim Sum

Of course food is on top of Chinese New Year celebrations! We didn’t had the chance yet of introducing you to two of our favorites Dim Sum restaurants – Estoril Mandarim and Macau Dim Sum (ex Yum Cha Garden).

Estoril Mandarim
Entrance Estoril Mandarim @ TrenDestination
Macau Dim Sum
Yum Cha Garden (now Macau Dim Sum) @ TrenDestination

Dim Sum is all about steamy bamboo baskets, stir and deep fried fresh ingredients, dumplings and other goodies, served in small portions.

Literally means “to touch the heart” (#guilty) and is considered the biggest flag of Cantonese food. We can’t avoid going to these restaurants and not leaving completely full. Everything is extremely fresh, well-cooked and delicious! For the brave, at Estoril Mandarim, order the Chicken feet in black bean sauce – trust us, forget the feet, this is a delicacy!

Estoril Mandarim
Chicken feet in black bean sauce from Estoril Mandarim @ TrenDestination
Estoril Mandarim
Steamed dumplings with white fungus (5,00€) from Estoril Mandarim @ TrenDestination
Estoril Mandarim
Pork and honey buns / Char Siew Bao (4,50€) from Estoril Mandarim @ TrenDestination
Estoril Mandarim
Glutinous rice with coconut and sesame paste (3,50€) from Estoril Mandarim @ TrenDestination
Jelly fish in Thai sauce (5,50€) from Yum Cha Garden @ TrenDestination
Jelly fish in Thai sauce (5,50€) from Yum Cha Garden @ TrenDestination
Yum Cha Garden
Fried rice w/ chinese sausage (1,50€) from Yum Cha Garden @ TrenDestination
Yum Cha Garden
Chinese buns with pork and vegetables (3,50€) from Yum Cha Garden @ TrenDestination
Chinese New Year hot tip: Estoril Mandarim dim sum is only served at lunch so make a reservation in advance because it’s always packed. You must order the Jasmin green tea which is incredibly inexpensive (1,00€). Avoid going outside the lunch time, otherwise be prepared to leave at least 50% of your paycheck there (ouch!). At Macau Dim Sum, they’ll always offer you slices of seasonal fruit at the end of your meal – might be orange, watermelon, mandarin, etc.

You might also like: 15 health & cheap products to buy in Martim Moniz asian supermarkets – Chapter I

#3. Casino Lisboa | Gamble for a gift

During the celebratory seasons, such as the New Year, there is a big tradition around red envelopes traditionally containing money inside – called hong bao. Red plays a huge role all over China meaning luck, happiness and fortune and ward off evil spirits. From the 9th to the 13th this month, all the Clube In  members accumulating up to 50 points will receive a red envelope with a gift inside. This offer is limited to 1 gift per member / day. From Sunday to Thursday (3:00PM to 3:00AM) plus Friday and Saturday (4:00PM to 4:00AM). Obviously, this one is only for +18!

Chinese New Year Lisbon
Fortune and good luck Red packet (Hong bao)

Chinese New Year hot tip: If you have a close chinese friend or colleague (don’t forget your business partner!) don’t miss this opportunity to show off – they’ll be impressed! Whatever you want to give – this is about the gesture not the amount. Don’t forget to use both hands, ok? And if you happen to receive a red packet don’t open it in front of the person who gives you – it’s extremely impolite.

恭喜发财 / 恭喜發財 / (Gōngxǐ fācái)

Happiness and prosperity!