It’s almost Lunar New Year and with that comes colourful celebrations to mark the Chinese year of the Rooster. Set to kick off on Saturday 28 January, London will add to festivities taking place across the world, with fire-breathing dragons, decorative parades and traditional dancers, creating the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside Asia.
Caledonian Sleeper has compiled a list of some of the city’s best spots to wish "Xin Nian Kuai Le” (Happy New Year in Mandarin) to friends and family.
Start your ‘Year of the Rooster’ celebrations at the extravagant Chinese New Year parade at Trafalgar Square on Sunday 29 January. From 10am families can join the party and enjoy traditional music, watch acrobatics and take part in activities, as well as following the decorated lion dance team as they weave their way up to the buzzing heart of Chinatown. Many of the restaurants and bars will also be celebrating with special menus on offer.
For a great selection of entertainment, head to Shaftsbury in Soho on Sunday 29 January to take in some of the local and rising new talent. Surrounding thoroughfares, including Wardour Street and Gerrard Street, will be hosting a series of craft and food stalls, making this the perfect spot to soak up the atmosphere. Families can head to nearby Charing Cross Road where children will be mesmerised by the magical sights of musical performances and martial arts displays.
On Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 February families can enjoy the National Maritime Museum’s annual celebration of British East Asian heritage. A range of workshops, performances and activities will be held on the museum’s Cutty Sark clipper ship, and will offer the ideal location to find out more about the UK’s long history of trade and cultural exchange with China.
Complete your Chinese New Year celebrations with a visit to the Magical Lantern Festival located at Chiswick House and Gardens filled with over 50 light installations alongside theatre performances. Look out for the giant rooster lantern which celebrates the New Year as well as other vibrant animals and other creations.
Take Caledonian Sleeper to be part of this cultural spectacular and celebrate Chinese New Year.