Chinese New Year celebrations in London are massive. The biggest outside Asia. 2011 heralds in the Year of the Rabbit and preparations are underway for a spectacular event.
Although Chinese New Year falls on Feb 3, the main celebrations in London will take place on Saturday Feb 6.
Chinese New Year in Trafalgar Square
The biggest show will take place in Trafalgar Square and last year, 250,000 people turned up to watch the parade and welcoming ceremony.
Watch traditional Chinese dragon and lion dances, acrobatics, modern music and dance, and Chinese performers from the different provinces in China.
The square will be transformed with decorations and there will be food stalls set up so you can stuff your face with Chinese delicacies.
Last year, 250,000 people turned up to watch the parade and welcoming ceremony.
London’s Chinatown will be chocca with food stalls, lion dancers and decorations and it’s free to watch.
Fireworks in Leicester Square
The day of Chinese New Year celebration in London will end with a firework display in Leicester Square.
Chinese New Year around London
Many museums and art galleries will be hosting Chinese New Year themed events and exhibitions.
The Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum will run a day of free workshops on Jan 30 where you can learn calligraphy and brush painting, Chinese paper-cutting. There will also be a Chinese costume show.
The National Maritime Museum will celebrate the Chinese New Year will an evening of stargazing on Feb 12. See the Chinese New Year planetarium show, look through the observatory’s giant telescope and drink hot drinks in the courtyard.
What is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year is calculated on the lunar and solar calendars so actual date of varies, but always falls between late January and mid February.
Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac with 2011 being the Year of the Rabbit.
In the days leading up to the Chinese New Year, people are supposed to clean their houses, repay debts, buy new clothes and have their hair cut. A celebratory feast is held on the eve of the new year.