Also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is a time to pray to the god for good harvest and to scare off mythical beasts. Due to the fact it follows the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, this is a moveable event and this time, it will begin on Friday 16th February. This is one of the most colourful events where people take to the streets both in China and across the world. This is almost upon us, so we found for you the best things to do to make the most of it and being immersed in the Chinese culture.
The year of the Dog
Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac and this year, this is the year of the Dog. Legend has it, back in the ancient days, the Jade Emperor ordered that animals would become part of the calendar, but only the first 12 who arrived at the palace would be selected. According to the stories, the Dog came 11th because it wanted to stay in the river and play for a little bit longer.
What to do in London to enjoy celebrations
Celebrations typically last 15 days with a colourful parade, lion dances in London’s Chinatown, delicious Chinese street food, plenty of activities and a spectacular pyrotechnic display in Trafalgar Square. Over 700,000 people celebrate it in London, making their festivities the largest outside of Asia. Several places across London will be under the Chinese colour but mainly the areas around Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and the West End will be very busy. Here are few ideas to make the most it and enjoy the Chinese culture:
1. Head to Chinatown! The area will be bulking with decorations, dancers and the famous parade to mark the start of the Chinese New Year. More than 3o teams take part in the vibrant parade, which click off in the morning with a dragon and lion dancing in Charing Cross Road to Chinatown.
2. Book a table in one of the best Chinese restaurants of the capital. London is full of different cuisine and Chinese is probably the most popular. From delicate Cantonese cooking to fiery Sichuan delights and high-end banquet-style dishes, you will definitely find all flavours your are looking for. But if you want to get a taste of the Far East, tuck into street food in Trafalgar Square!
3. Looking for a little bit of Chinese culture? From 16th to 25th February, discover the story of Shen Jun at the Dominion Theatre, as the performance traces more then 5000 years of civilisation through Chinese dance and music. This is the opportunity to enjoy the festivities without the crowd.
Contact us for more information about the Chinese New Year and find out the best place to enjoy the festivities.