So the Year of the Horse is nearly upon us. If the Chinese horoscope is correct, all babies born this year will be cheerful, perceptive, skillful with money, witty, talented and good with their hands, so it sounds like a good year for all expecting mums. Baby-making aside, Chinese New Year is a massive celebration, and London does it better than anywhere else (except for China, of course). So get your dragon dancing shoes on, grab your chopsticks and head down to one of London’s best Chinese New Year celebrations.
Chinese New Year parade and celebrations
This hugely popular event begins with a parade through the West End towards Trafalgar Square, where the traditional opening ceremony will take place. Join the mob for a combination of music, lion dance, dragon dancers, acrobatics and hopefully fireworks (fingers crossed).
Shanghai Bar’s New Year cocktails
Hutong‘s Shanghai Bar in the Shard has created four cocktails inspired by the new year themes of fortune, wealth, happiness and longevity. Each cocktail is made from specially selected fruits and nuts which are believed to bring the particular benefits. Who knows if that’s true but we’re pretty sure they’ll be tasty and served with a great view.
Cutty Sark’s workshops
Got kids? Let them get their hands dirty at these special workshops where they can make their own lanterns, dancing dragons and animal masks. And yes, you can wear an animal mask too.
National Maritime Museum
NMM will be celebrating and educating simultaneously. Learn about our history with China, take part in workshops and watch some performances including the traditional lion dance.
Chinese school’s celebration
Students of the UK’s largest school for Mandarin language and culture will be hosting their annual New Year celebrations and fundraiser. There will be Chinese dancers, food, games, and a Tai Chi performance, as well as music and drama from the students themselves.
Museum of London Docklands
Get involved at this day full of family friendly activities. Learn the art of paper-cutting, listen to some traditional folktales or create a mini masterpiece.
Yam Yam launch event
This arts and food festival has gone all Eastern for Chinese New Year. The launch party has a variety of cooking workshops and performances from Kazuko Hohki, and it’s free!
Shoreditch’s Drunken Monkey welcomes in the new year with – you guessed it – a traditional lion dance on Feb 5. Or later in the month a Chinese Elvis ceremony takes place on Feb 11. Yes, you read that correctly – Chinese Elvis will be thrusting his stuff and pelting out some tunes while you eat. See you there.
After all that dancing, paper cutting and cocktail drinking you’ll be ready for some grub, and where better to go than Chinatown. Read our where to eat in Chinatown guide to help you choose.
Find out about more ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in London.