A Londoner’s guide to Chinese New Year
The Year of the Monkey is nearly upon us and it’s time to celebrate the Chinese New Year in London. On Monday 8th February 2016, the city will come alive with all things Oriental but the celebrations don’t stop there…
The Sunday after the big day is when London’s Chinese community will come together to kick off the festivities. Prepare for an explosion of colourful paper decorations, dancing dragons and music taking over Chinatown.
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate Chinese New Year around the capital, look no further. We have listed some of the best events going on in London over the next few weeks!
Cheer the parade at Trafalgar Square, Sunday 14 February
It’s not New Year without a parade! This year’s parade will leave north of Trafalgar Square at 10am and will wind its way into buzzing Chinatown. Be early to get a good spot on the roadside to cheer on the dancers and of course the Dragons!
Trafalgar Square’s party will kick off on a main stage at noon! There’s a wonderful line up of Asian-influenced performances included some gravity-defying dances on a high pole, acrobatics from the Szechaun Opera, comedy sketches and to finish off, a monkey-themed fireworks and a light projection on Nelson’s Column!
Soak up the atmosphere in Chinatown, Sunday 14 February
On any given day in Chinatown, you’ll spot red paper lanterns hanging from the street lamps and shop doors, so be prepared for a huge influx of all thing Oriental on Sunday.
Not only will there be special New Years decorations lining the streets, but there will be special menus and offers popping up in the area’s 100-plus restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and buffets! Plus look out for food and craft stalls on Wardour Street and Gerrard Street on the day too.
Magical Lanterns Festival, Chiswick House and Gardens, until 6 March
The country’s first ever Chinese Lantern festival has come to Chiswick House and Gardens to celebrate the year of the monkey! A five week line-up of theatre, performances, art, light installations and much more.
Head over to see 50 giant hand-sculpted lanterns including the showstopping 60 metre-long dragon stretched out across the lake. There’ll also be life-sized pink flamingos, stripey zebras, kangaroos and elephants dotted around the gardens and the Enchanted Forest will play host to a towering display of glowing mushrooms, plants and flowers!
Have you experienced Chinese New Year in London? What are your top tips? Let us know in the comments below!