Chinese New Year in London is one of the most spectacular in the West with over 300,000 people expected to take part in the celebrations across the capital on Sunday 2nd February 2014 and if you’re one of them you can book one of the many London hotels on offer and stay in the city overnight.
This year, the Year of the Horse, Chinese New Year falls on Friday 31st January and the main London celebrations take place on the Sunday following, 2nd February 2014, with a number of free activities taking place in Chinatown, Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square .
On Chinese New Year’s Eve, Thursday 30th January 2014, the London Eye, the UK ‘s most popular paid for visitor attraction, will be lit up red and gold to celebrate the Year of the Horse and will be holding a special Chinese New Year event with traditional Chinese acts including Chinese opera singers and martial artists performing from 5.30pm.
On Sunday 2nd February 2014 the annual parade led by the Lucky Money God begins at 10am at Duncannon Street, moving along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue before arriving at its final destination in Chinatown.
Chinatown itself is always at the centre of the Chinese New Year party in London with traditional craft stalls and food stands outside restaurants, lion dancing and, for the first time, the Chinese Community Centre will also be staging a mini festival in Horse & Dolphin Yard.
Trafalgar Square is a hub of entertainment for Chinese New Year; having been officially opened at 12 noon on Sunday 2nd February with speeches from special guests, there will be free music and performances on the main stage including a special variety show from the Little Red Flower Art Troupe, a group of talented children from Nanjing, China.
Madame Tussauds in London welcomes the wax figures of Chinese martial arts masters Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, who will travel from Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong and Shanghai to welcome in the Chinese New Year. The famous figures take up residence on Friday 31st January but the biggest celebration will be on Saturday 1st February when lion dancers perform and the historic building will be lit up in lucky red.
The British Film Institute is marking the Chinese New Year with a season of films from 3rd to 21st February by Feng Xiaogang, a man often compared with Steven Spielberg, and arguably the most successful filmmaker in China today.
London’s first ever Baijiu Cocktail Week kicks off on 31st January 2014 coinciding with Chinese New Year and carries on until 13th February with special Chinese cocktails created by Marlowe Harris, head barman from the Evans & Peel Detective Agency, available to sample at seven bars across London.
Many London restaurants will be celebrating Chinese New Year with special menus – you won’t have to go further than Chinatown to enjoy authentic Chinese cooking. But if you want to push the boat out go for renowned London restaurants like Hutong, Hakasan, China Tang at the Dorchester, or Min Jiang, the Chinese restaurant which occupies the 10th floor of the Royal Garden Hotel overlooking Kensington Gardens.
For more information on these and other special event celebrating Chinese New Year in London go to LondonTown.com where a wide choice of London hotels to suit all budgets, information on restaurants, bars and cafes as well as all the major attractions is provided.