Chinese New Year (CNY) – also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year – starts this Sunday, 21st January and it’s going to be big! The most significant event to be celebrated among Chinese communities every year, you can expect an explosion of colour, noise, fireworks, performances and delicious food to line UK city streets during the festivities.
With The London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) at the helm of the capital’s CNY celebrations, the festivities have arguably become the largest of their kind outside Asia, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to London each year. Here are a few of the highlights to be found across Chinatown and the West End as a result of the association’s hard work:
– the Chinese New Year parade, featuring colourful floats and the largest gathering of Chinese lions and dragons in Europe. This vibrant, noisy parade brings good fortune to all the shops and people it passes as it snakes its way from Charing Cross Road to Shaftesbury Avenue.
– main stage performances, a screen show, a thanksgiving ceremony, firecrackers and the Lions’ Eye-Dotting Ceremony in Trafalgar Square.
– traditional dragon and lion dances as well as Chinese dance and music shows across Chinatown. You can feast your eyes on impressive martial arts displays, your ears on Chinese pop hits and your taste buds on delicious traditional street foods from the stalls lining the streets. If you’d like a sit-down meal, enjoy a traditional CNY meal in one of Chinatown’s fantastic restaurants.
Even just strolling through Chinatown presents a veritable banquet for all the senses – the sight of a sea of bright red decorations and lanterns, the smells of all the delicious food treats, the noise of all the firecrackers that constantly go off, and much more!
– family-friendly cultural activities and entertainment options in Leicester Square. These include arts and crafts, calligraphy, Chinese music, martial arts, dressing up in traditional outfits and lion dancing.
Of course, it’s not just in London that CNY celebrations promise to amaze and delight visitors. Chinese communities all over the UK – including in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh – will be hosting their own impressive line-up of celebrations. So wrap up warm in your finest red clothes (to attract good luck for the coming year), buy something red for yourself or your house (also to attract good fortune), and climb somewhere high from which to gaze far on Chinese New Year’s Day or the following day (to bring good luck to your business, career, study and fortune).
Wherever you find yourself this Chinese New Year, the team at ABL Recruitment wishes you a delicious, colourful and noisy time and all our best wishes for good fortune and prosperity for the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit!