London abounds with idiosyncratic and rather extraordinary activities and venues.…
How To Celebrate The Chinese New Year 2014
It’s nearly time to wish everyone “Kung Hei Fat Choi”, or “Happy New Year”, as the Chinese New Year celebrations kick off at the end of this month!
Which Animal Are You?
2014 is the Year of the Horse and people with the Horse sign are said to be energetic, good with money and very fond of travel! The animal signs are the Chinese version of the western zodiac – each sign has their own unique traits!
The legend goes that more than 500 years ago, Buddha invited the animals of creation to join him for New Year. Only 12 species accepted his invitation, and to reward them, the wise man offered to name a year after each animal. Each year is now associated with one of the 12 animals, and each person born automatically adopts the animal sign of their year. Want to find out which animal you are? Enter your birthday and see what creature comes up here!
The Chinese New Year is officially on Friday 31 January, but festivities in the capital won’t be in full swing until Sunday February 2. London’s annual Chinese New Year celebrations are the biggest in the world outside China, so if you can’t make it to Beijing, the UK capital is the place to be!
A large part of Central London will be swept up in the party, with the revelry stretching across Trafalgar Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and of course, Chinatown! Chinatown is always a hive of activity and the Chinese New Year sees colourful lanterns and other decorations stretched across shops and restaurants. Take a walk through this unique part of London during the run up to the big day and you’ll see Chinatown at its most vibrant.
On February 2, the main event comes to town. The fun begins at 10am with an energetic parade along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue, which will feature a flurry of long multicoloured dragons, ornate costumes and brightly painted faces. A stage in Trafalgar Square will host a programme of events throughout the day, showcasing music, dance and acrobatics!
Head to Chinatown to grab a bite to eat in between the festivities, but consider booking a table or you may face a long wait! You’ll find restaurants packed with Chinese delicacies and the smell of freshly cooked food wafting out the door. Succulent duck, tasty noodles and divine dim sum are all on the menu at many popular Chinatown eateries, and you’ll also find special menus to commemorate the celebrations. It’s the perfect part of London to pause for lunch at during the New Year!
Wax museum Madame Tussauds will also be getting involved with the celebrations, as the famous attraction will enjoy a special visit from Chinese martial arts masters Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee – in wax form of course. Travelling all the way from Hong Kong and Shanghai, the figures will take up residence in London from Friday January 31, and will stay on display until mid April.
To fully give visitors a taste of China, on Saturday February 1 Madame Tussauds will be getting into the New Year spirit with traditional Lion Dances taking place in the museum at regular intervals! It’s sure to be a fun-filled display with mesmerising customary decorations and music. Don’t miss out – book your tickets now!
The Chinese New Year brings an exciting, fast-paced vibe to London after the dull January days. It truly is a celebration not to be missed and even if you wander through the centre of the city for an hour or so during the party, you’ll find it hard not to get caught up in the lively and colourful festivities. Looking for more ways to beat the January blues? Check out a previous post on where to have a laugh in the city this month.
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Providing trusted help and advice, brilliant holiday ideas and keeping tabs on exciting UK events, Golden Tours are the experts on London and UK sightseeing.
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