Come and celebrate the Chinese New Year in London and join people from all over the world coming together as one people in celebration.
Britain's capital city is one of the cities in Europe with the most multicultural number of immigrants, Asians obviously being amongst them. The large Chinese community of workers and business people who are now living in London, fill the streets of London with a festive spirit and a celebratory atmosphere to welcome in their New Year. Find out all the secrets you need to know and come celebrate the Chinese New Year in London.
People from all over the world
Although there can be no doubt that the Chinese New year is particularly special for the Chinese, in places such as London where there is such a mix of nationalities and cultures, this festival appeals to all. The great majority of London's inhabitants make some kind of arrangement to celebrate the coming of the "Chinese Spring" with Chinese friends or acquaintances and to spend the last days of the year in company. Despite the clearly Asian character of the festival, the Chinese community is delighted to share its celebrations and traditions with the rest of the world and every year Chinese New Year celebrations take place all around the world. Thus, one of the oldest festivals in the world has now become an international tradition in countries and cities far from the Asian continent.
Public officials are well aware of the great number of devotees who celebrate this festival throughout the world and so, in some places a special effort is made in the organizing of events and celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year. Outside of Asia, London is the city where the greatest Chinese New Year celebrations take place.
The West End, one of the richest areas in London, pays particular attention to this celebration which lasts approximately 14 days, the time it takes for the New Moon to become a Full Moon. It puts on parades, live performances and fireworks and puts up stalls selling foods and arts and crafts. However, the most awaited for moment, of course, is always the Lion and Dragon dance.
According to the Gregorian calendar, in 2017, the last day of the Chinese year will fall on 28th January. So, if you are planning to celebrate the Chinese New Year in London this year, set aside the week before and after that date. Mark these days as important, as days when you could get involved in many different and exciting activities to celebrate this festival.
Soho, capital of the Chinese New Year
Within the city of London, the greatest Chinese community can be found in Soho, which is why this neighbourhood is also known as "China Town". If you are thinking of coming to London to celebrate the Chinese New Year, make sure you come to this district, where you will get a real sense of the renewal associated with this celebration.
One of the interesting details to do with this celebration is that, in addition to the many generic ways, there is also a different way of wishing "Happy New Year" according to the year. Most Chinese use Cantonese or Mandarin for these phrases, given that these languages sound more educated. If you wish to partake in this celebration, you could learn to say "San Nin Fai Lok" if you are using Cantonese, and "Xin Nian Kuai Le", for Mandarin, which simply mean "Happy New Year".
2017 celebrates the year of the Rooster and, like the start of every Chinese New Year celebration, the streets and houses will be covered with red posters, banners and lanterns so as to chase away the evil spirits and encourage a good start to the coming year. One piece of advice, if you want to blend in, wear something red so that bad luck does not follow you as you enter the new year!
Lastly, this area of London is full of Chinese restaurants where you will be able to sample the famous Chinese dumplings which are eaten to bid farewell to the year drawing to an end. Turn up early and reserve a table in one of the many eateries in this area, and celebrate the coming of the new year like a true native.