Chinese New Year 2017 is upon is, but how can you get involved with just your mobile? Here's our one-stop shop for phone-powered festivities...

On Saturday 28 January it’ll be time once again to wish your loved ones ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ or ‘San Nin Faai Lok’ (Mandarin and Cantonese, respectively), as the Chinese New Year rolls around and we usher in the year of the Rooster.

But 2017 is also the year of the mobile – just like every year! As such, we’ve been rounding up the best in movies, TV shows, music and apps to help you celebrate in style. Here’s everything to point your phone at this Chinese New Year…


Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang | Netflix

The Chinese invented fireworks in the seventh century, and in that time they’ve only gotten better and better at perfecting the art. This heartfelt documentary proves just that, following fireworks master Cai Guo-Qiang as he aims to set up the biggest display of his life.

2000 years of Chinese History | YouTube

How much do you know about the history of one of the world’s biggest superpowers? If you fancy a brush up, here’s a breezy but comprehensive 12-minute refresher of everything that’s happened in the last 2000 years, from the team at CrashCourse.

Empresses in the Palace | Netflix

Got your reading glasses on? This (subtitled) Chinese language show about the tension between Emperor Yongzheng’s concubines and the empress is well worth a watch for anyone looking to absorb themselves in the culture and history of China. Critically acclaimed and hugely popular in its homeland, think of the show as China’s Downton Abbey and you’re just about there.


Chinese Mandarin Pop

Ready to party Chinese NYE away? This Spotify playlist has you covered, thanks to no less than 58 hours of hits from some of China’s biggest pop acts.

Chinese Traditional Music

If you’re looking for something a little more subdued, this playlist stocked full of traditional Chinese tracks will no doubt do the trick – there’s more harpsichord twanging than you can shake a stick at.

The China History Podcast – Chinese New Year
Got room for a bit more edutainment before the party starts? This NYE focussed-episode of the China History Podcast takes a deep dive into the traditions and origins of the Chinese New Year celebrations.


Chinese New Year Photo Frames | iOS (Free)
If you’re looking for a fun way to share your enthusiasm for the occasion, look no further than this photography app which superimposes a range of different Chinese motifs around your shots. Just point, shoot and share.

Chinese Recipes by, Chinese Recipes | iOSAndroid (Free)

If you’re planning a party to help ring in the new year, leave the pre-made canapés on the store shelves and go authentic with the help of these brilliant little recipe apps. Both are packed to the gills with traditional dishes, with easy-to-follow instructions and helpful pictures.

Chinese Horoscope | iOS, Android (Free)
This Chinese New Year will bring us into the year of the Rooster, but what does that mean for you? These two apps for iOS and Android will tell you – just figure out what Chinese animal you are based on your year and time of birth, and check the app daily throughout 2017 for a snapshot of what to expect.

Get more great apps… Click here to check out our pick of this month’s best new and updated apps.