The countdown to Chinese New Year is on! As our beautiful country is home to people from around the world, including a large Chinese population, the UK also gets to enjoy a great party on this occasion.
Where are the best Chinese New Year parties in the UK?
How can you enjoy fireworks, Chinese food and fantastic parades?
Let’s find out!
When is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year is determined by a lunar calendar and in 2018, the New Year begins on Friday, February 16. Each New Year is dedicated to a different animal, with the next year being the Year of the Dog. So, expect to see plenty of dog-inspired artwork and symbolism during the big event.
The celebrations don’t traditionally last for just that one day. In China, people keep the festivities going for two weeks. But even here in the UK, many big cities will have exhibitions and parties taking place for weeks after the New Year’s Day.
Celebrating Chinese New Year in London
London’s Chinese New Year event is the biggest event outside of Asia. The free-to-attend party happens on Sunday, February 18. Between 10 am and 6 pm, the capital’s streets witness a parade, stage performances on Trafalgar Square and a light show from 5.30 pm. Here’s a little review of last year’s event.
Chinatown will also be filled with things to see, do and, of course, to eat! The neighbourhood has over 100 Asian restaurants offering tasters and special deals to ensure you get to enjoy traditional Chinese New Year foods like dumplings and fish.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year in Edinburgh
Edinburgh will host a Chinese New Year Concert for families on Thursday, February 22. It will include performances from the likes of tenor Han Peng and soprano Lili Zhao. The Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra will provide the music. You can find tickets to the event right here.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year in Manchester and Liverpool
Manchester is throwing a big party in the form of dragon parade on Sunday, February 18. The procession kicks off at midday in Albert Square, heading towards Chinatown. Charlotte Street will have a funfair, with dance and martial arts displays taking place on Albert Square. There will also be a big fireworks show at 6 pm.
If you’re around Liverpool, you can enjoy three days worth of festivities beginning on Friday, February 16 and ending on Sunday, February 18. Chinatown and the nearby streets will have lanterns, performances and stalls to treat your taste buds and amaze your senses. There will also be a pyrotechnic display on Sunday. Here’s a clip from last year’s festivities:
Bangor, North Wales
Bangor will host the inaugural event for a Wales-China festival on Saturday, February 24. The festival aims to bring these two communities together and celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year. There will be performances, music, poetry and film-related activities, with workshops for children and adults alike. You can even take part in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.
Celebrating Chinese New Year in Newcastle
In Newcastle, the main event takes place on Friday, February 16. The event kicks off at 11 am and continues until 4 pm. There will be drummers, dancers and costume display to enjoy and it’s all thanks to a big crowdfunding effort by the locals. The action happens in Stowell Street.
Pick your favourite party from the above list and have a good time on Chinese New Year. You can also throw a big party at home – cook some delicious Chinese meals and buy fireworks to celebrate the Year of the Dog.