by Lea Emery on 28th January 2019
The UK has a large and vibrant Chinese population, with almost 250,000 Chinese British citizens living here — which means that our Chinese New Year celebrations are a sight to behold. If you want to wish someone "Xin Nian Kuai Le" or "San Nin Faai Lok", there are plenty of places around the UK to do just that. From the biggest celebration in the world outside of Asia to more local celebrations around the UK, expect to see lot so exciting and joyful celebrations for Chinese New Year in February 2019.
Chinese New Year 2019 falls on February 5th, with many celebrations happening in the following week. This year marks the Year of the Pig, which means it’s extra special for anyone born during that year — check for birthdays in 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and, of course, early 2019! Not sure where to celebrate? Here are some of the best Chinese New Year Celebrations in the UK this year.
London — February 10
Organized by the the London Chinatown Chinese Association, London’s Chinese New Year is one of the biggest in the world. From a huge parade with over 50 teams participating to firecrackers, speeches and the Lions’ Eye-Dotting Ceremony in Trafalgar Square, there’s a lot to celebrate. There are events with up-and-coming Chinese-British artists, special areas for children, and lots of delicious food on offer. Follow the #CNYLondon hashtag on social media to stay in the loop.
Liverpool — February 8 to 10
Liverpool is kicking things off with three days of celebrations — and it’s a very special year for them. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Liverpool becoming twin cities with Shanghai, so expect some extraordinary Chinese New Year celebrations in Liverpool. Thousands of lanterns are being strung through the city (get your cameras ready), plus there will be family events, performance events, and more. All of this will be centered around the Chinese arch, which was a gift from the city of Shanghai.
Manchester — February 7 to 10
Manchester is starting the party of February 7th for a long weekend of jam-packed events. From dancing with dragons to the street food markets to Tai Chi demonstrations, there’s definitely someone for everyone. The Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester will also feature some jaw-dropping art installations — including a giant piglet to celebrate the Year of the Pig.
Birmingham — February 5
Birmingham Chinese New Yearis taking place on February 5th, the actual new year of the Chinese calendar. There will be art and culture events, as well as firecrackers, face painting, and plenty of Chinese street food. Although the main events are kicking off on the 5th, keep your eyes peels for addition events in the following days.
Edinburgh — February 2 to 17
Edinburgh has been embracing Chinese New Year recently and this year shows the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group partnering with Scottish Confucius Institute for Business & Communication at Heriot-Watt University for over two weeks of Chinese New Year events in Edinburgh. From concerts celebrating Chinese music to a chance to get in touch with Chinese mythology with Giant Lanterns of China: Myths and Legends at the Edinburgh zoo, they will be celebrating all areas of Chinese culture with events for everyone.
Swansea — February 2
One of the earliest events in the UK is Chinese New Year in Swansea at the National Waterfront Museum. Through the whole afternoon, there will be a look at dance, the arts, and history to celebrate the Year of the Pig. Organized by the Chinese in Wales Association, it’s sure to be fun and informative — and keep your eye out for more events in the week following.
Wherever you are in the UK, there are plenty of places to celebrate Chinese New Year. You can go to a huge celebration and dance with the dragons or pick a few pop-up events focusing on culture and history. There is a huge Chinese community that’s been an important part of the UK’s cultural landscape, so celebrate that with the Year of the Pig.
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