Chinese New Year Celebrations in London!
Chinese New Year is tomorrow, and the festivities have already begun! We’re welcoming in the ‘Year of the Rat’ at this huge celebration all across London. Join the largest celebrations of Chinese New Year outside of Asia, with an almost overwhelming amount of colour, traditional dancing lions, live music, and a ton of dragons too. The start of Chinese New Year is Saturday the 25th but the main London events will be happening on Sunday the 26th. So you still have time to plan out your day! Every year hundreds of thousands of people head down to the West End to enjoy the parade, music, acrobatics, and activities. Chinatown and Trafalgar Square will have a lot going on too! There’s also a lot of traditional chinese food obviously! Make sure to wish each other "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or "San Nin Faai Lok" (in Cantonese) aswell!
Starting with the incredible Chinese New Year Parade, which starts as soon as 10am hits. Starting at Charing Cross you can watch the dragon and lion dances go through Shaftesbury Avenue, and then heading down to Chinatown. At noon you’ll see all the main stages start filling out for traditional dances, Chinese performers and some contemporary acts too. There will be places all over for you to enjoy the best of Chinese food, crafts, drink, and martial arts. All going on till 6pm. With a major finale of pyrotechnics at Trafalgar Square.
Trafalgar Square doesn’t just have the parade to hold up the reputation of the largest celebrations outside of Asia. They have a thanksgiving ceremony, with dozens of firecrackers, speeches, and the Lions Eye-Dotting Ceremony too. The National Gallery will also be holding lots of family fun activities where you can try your hand at making dumplings and story telling too. Then there will be food stalls lining all of Trafalagur Square if you;re getting a bit peckish!
Covering all of Saturday now there are so many places to head too. Over at Shaftesbury Avenue there is a host to many up and coming British-Chinese artists too, which you can find in the talent and community zone! Heading over to Chinatown now, where you’;ll be able to take all the best instagram pictures with the beautiful lanterns, zodiac animals, and the best food around. This is a great spot for a traditional meal, but it will be very busy so make sure to book ahead. Southbank BFI will be putting on an amazing programme of screenings showing the best of Chinese culture. It’s been going since the 13th of January, and you still have a couple days to get in there too as it doesn’t end till the 26th. On the 25th January, The National Maritime Museum are holding activities for you to make your own flag, and learn about the museum’s Chinese artifacts. Then after all of that you can learn to play Mahjong. Over at Duke of York Square on the 25th January, between 10am-4pm you can see their Saturday Fine Food Market get a Chinese makeover. You can grab some Chinese Delicacies, and catch a traditional Lion dance at the same time.
Into February now, The Cutty Sark are holding some family fun activities on the 1st and 2ndf of February, where you can learn about the ship’s trips to China, and enjoy some arts and crafts too. Going over to the 8-9th of February, the Museum of London Docklands in Limehouse they will display beautiful Chinese culture, and you can enjoy some crafts too.
Now there is still so much more to do and celebrate over the next month, and new places are always adding more to do, hopefully we’ve packed out your weekend though! Happy Chinese New Year!