Chinese New Year is set to sweep the world this week and we have some ideas how everyone can celebrate the Year of the Pig.
Marking the turn of the lunar year, Chinese New Year has been celebrated for centuries in China. Also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year around the world, this colourful celebration begins on the last day of the last month in the Chinese lunar calendar and ends on the 15th day of the first month. A reason why it is often never the same day twice.
In China, people are given a week’s public holiday to observe the tradition, but it’s equally significant for communities across the globe to bring in the new year and take part in all of the celebrations.
All the Chinese new year festivities tend to run for two weeks, starting with New Year’s Eve celebrations on the 4th and usually end with a stunning lantern festival on 19 February.
While you might not be given any time off work or school in the UK to completely immerse into yourselves into the Chinese calendar changeover, most major cities are putting on extravagant celebrations to ring in the Year of the Pig, from London and Birmingham to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
A great excuse to embrace the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia, and break up the monotonay of the UK winter, you can look forward to everything from impressive firework displays. dragon and lion dances to delicious cuisine during the festivities this year.
We have selected some fab events that you, your family and friends can enjoy, and take part in celebrating the Year of the Pig.
The main Chinese New Year events take place in London’s Chinatown, the West End and Trafalgar Square.
The biggest celebrations will take place on 10 February, where a 50-float parade will take place between Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square.
You can also expect to find dragon dancers, music, acrobatic displays and restaurants serving regional dishes throughout the city from the 4th to 19th of Feburary.
Admission is free, London Chinatown Chinese Association ( LCCA).
This year, festivities will be held in the Chinese quarter of Birmingham on Sunday 10 February, where there will be authentic Chinese street food, music and dancing.
A celebration that attracts some 30,000 people every year, activities will also include lion and dragon dancers, circus acts and workshops for children.
Admission is free.
A concert of traditional music performed by Rainbow Melody from Tianjin University of Finance and Economics will greet those celebrating the Chinese New Year in Scotland’s biggest city on 18 February.
The concert will feature music exploring themes from Chinese history and culture. Ensemble pieces will be accompanied by compositions highlighting individual Chinese instruments, including the suona, erhu, zither and pipa.
Admission is free, Chinese Music for the Lunar New Year.
On 17 February, St Brides will celebrate Chinese New Year with Lanterns and a variety show of Chinese Art and Culture, presented by our friends, The Edinburgh Chinese Art and Culture Community.
Renowned for presenting spectacular performances of dance, circus, music, and opera, the Edinburgh Chinese Art and Culture Community will also be serving complimentary Chinese dumplings for everyone.
An amazing show with a price that the whole family can afford.
Tickets, £2.72, Chinese Festival of Lanterns.
In honour of the Year of the Pig, a giant straw piglet will be taking up residence in St Ann’s Square in Manchester throughout the celebrations.
The large installation, created by UK artist Alex Rinsler, will feature a coat made from thousands of pennies for good luck, and visitors will be invited to contribute their own pennies with proceeds going to homelessness fund The Big Change and The Wai Yin Society, which supports disadvantaged Chinese families.
This year’s festivities will also see the dragon parade return on 10 February, setting off from Albert Square and finishing at Chinatown where there will be lion dancing, a funfair, Chinese street food and a spectacular fireworks finale at 7pm.
Admission is free.