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Celebrate Year of the Tiger with Agoda’s Chinese New Year specials

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tiger_0, a leading Asia-based hotel bookings site and part of the NASDAQ-listed, welcomes in the Year of the Tiger with a host of special offers and last-minute rates for Chinese New Y, a leading Asia-based hotel bookings site and part of the NASDAQ-listed, welcomes in the Year of the Tiger with a host of special offers and last-minute rates for Chinese New Year, starting February 14, 2010.

Chinese New Year – also known as the Spring Festival – is China’s most important holiday. Celebrations begin on the New Year’s Eve, when families gather for a sumptuous banquet of foods associated with good luck and prosperity, such as dumplings, whole fish, and tangerines. After dinner, gifts are exchanged and fire-crackers are set off. Festivities continue for the next 15 days with the Lantern Festival taking place on the final night.

A popular myth associated with Chinese New Year involves the Nian, a legendary creature that terrorized villages on New Year’s Day, destroying crops and threatening farmers and their children. To keep the Nian at bay, people would put food outside their doors and decorate their doorways with red, a color thought to frighten off the beast. Firecrackers and drums were also used to scare the Nian away.

The legend is also the inspiration behind one of Chinese New Year’s most iconic traditions – the Lion Dance. Performed by two dancers in a decorative lion costume, the dance is a display of athleticism and agility, incorporating acrobatics and kung fu moves. Traditionally accompanied by drums, cymbals, and gongs, this dance is believed to ward off evil spirits and usher in good luck for the forthcoming year.

Chinese New Year is celebrated across the world with a diverse array of special events and ceremonies. Hong Kong is festooned with flower markets, parades, and a spectacular fireworks display. Macau’s streets light up with lanterns and its casinos stage special New Year’s events. Singapore bolsters its reputation as a shopper’s paradise with New Year’s markets filling the streets of Chinatown. And in Bangkok, Yaowarat Road is the scene of parades, dragon dances, and traditional New Year’s foods.

In Australia, Sydney celebrates Chinese New Year with citywide events and a “Twilight Parade” that features a procession of traditional Chinese dances, acrobats, and elaborate lantern floats. The two-week festival includes dragon boat races, banquets, and temple tours and draws upwards of 600,000 attendees.

Vice president of business development, Wilfred Fan, commented: “In today’s global economy, it’s common for people to be working and living away from their hometown. Many Chinese expats take this opportunity to take time off work and reunite with their extended family.”

“Agoda has extensive coverage of accommodation in all parts of Asia, many properties with rooms available to cater for last-minute arrangements. With most people in the region having 3 to 5 days off, many are also planning to travel with the family to celebrate the New Year in a more relaxing environment. Whether it is a local resort or an overseas destination, Agoda always has the right place at a good price.”

Agoda’s Exclusive Last-Minute Rates for Chinese New Year:

Rayfont Shanghai Xuhui Hotel, Shanghai – 4 Stars
Normal rate US$87 per night. Agoda rates from US$47 per night.
Book a Deluxe Room within 7 days and enjoy a 25 percent discount.

Marque Hotel, Sydney – 4 Stars
Normal rate US$142. Agoda rates from US$123 per night.
Book 3 nights in a Premier King or Twin Room and a enjoy 15 percent discount.

Kapok Hotel, Beijing – 4 Stars
Normal rate US$74. Agoda rates from US$48 per night.
Save 35 percent on a Fashion Room or Courtyard Room.

City Garden, Hong Kong – 4 Stars
Normal rate US$178. Agoda rates from US$143 per night.
Book a Deluxe Room for 2 nights and enjoy a 20 percent discount.

Best Western Hotel Sun Sun, Macau – 3 Stars
Normal rate USD 406. Agoda last-minute rates from as low as USD 171 per night.

Hotel Eclat, Taipei – 5 Stars
Normal rate US$193. Agoda rates from US$155.
Stay 2 nights and enjoy a 20 percenet discount.

The Garden Hotel, Guangzhou – 5 Stars
Normal rate US$122. Agoda rates from US$98.
Book 1 night in a Superior Room and enjoy a 20 percent discount.