By Amanda Gegg
Just when you thought the fun of ringing in 2019 was drawing to a close, we’re here to remind you that Chinese New Year is just around the corner! Unbeknown to most, London hosts a gigantically colourful annual celebration of the event, which will this year be taking place on Sunday 10th February. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should join us for an unforgettable day of entertainment in the capital…
1. The Chinese New Year celebration in London is the largest of its kind outside of Asia.
Here in London we take our appreciation of other cultures very seriously and the Chinese New Year is no exception, stretching all the way from the West End to Chinatown with spectacular street performances, live music, dancing, food and laughter.
2. It’s totally free.
It just wouldn’t be right to price people out of celebrating something so fun for all the family. The city therefore makes a point of inviting everyone to soak up the rich Chinese culture and stunning entertainment.
3. 2019 is the ‘Year of the Pig’.
Apparently people born in the Chinese Year of the Pig display compassion and generosity in their characters and this couldn’t be more fitting for the plentiful New Year celebrations in London.
4. You’re encouraged to dress up!
Whilst it’s customary – not to mention good luck – to wear something red (as thousands of attendees do), visitors have also been known to adapt the zodiac animal of that year into their costumes.
5. The Grand Parade will take your breath away.
Beginning at Trafalgar Square (at approximately 10am) and ending up in Chinatown, you will find yourself completely mesmerised by the 50+ teams of incredible dragon and lion dancers who will kick off the celebrations with a lively bang.
6. Trafalgar Square runs a free concert all day.
Once the parade has finished, the outstanding performances will carry on in Trafalgar Square for the rest of the day with a plethora of musical talent and acrobatics, finishing off with a huge pyrotechnic show.
7. The West End will also host stages on Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road.
London celebrations rarely ever take place in just one location: it’s just not the way we do things. Instead, we prefer to spread out so that more people get to join in the fun.
8. It’s the best time of year to visit Chinatown.
Chinatown is absolutely amazing at the best of times but Chinese New Year really sees it come in to its own with incredible decorations, fantastic performers and, of course, an abundance of mouth-watering restaurants.
9. The food is unforgettable.
We cannot stress to you enough how much you should try the food at the Chinese New Year festival, especially in Chinatown where the restaurants tend to put on exceptional special menus to mark the occasion.
10. You won’t find a more fun way to feel part of a rich and diverse community.
This really is what London is all about. You could even try wishing people a Happy New Year in Mandarin or Cantonese: “Xin Nian Kuai Le” or “San Nin Faai Lok”.