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A Guide to Chinese New Year 2018 in London


Brace yourself for a colourful parade, lion dances and some delicious street food!

This year, millions of people around the world will be marking the start of Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog on 16th February. The events in London are considered to be the largest celebrations of Chinese New Year outside of Asia and promise to bring a great atmosphere again in 2018.

Events during Chinese New Year

Across London there are many events that take place to celebrate Chinese New Year, with an estimated 700,000 people expected to enjoy the festivities in the city. The main celebrations will take place this year on Sunday 18th February.

  • For the parade - At 10am head to Charing Cross Road to watch the parade which includes a dragon and lion dance through Chinatown
  • For the main events - From 12pm, watch the main stage performances at Trafalgar Square and enjoy the street food available, this is also where the light display takes place at the end of the day
  • For families - A family zone at Leicester Square will be hosting a range of family-friendly performances and activities
  • For music - British-Chinese artists will perform on the New Talent Stage at Charing Cross Road community zone
  • For martial arts - Enjoy martial art performances at the Shaftesbury Avenue martial arts and culture zone
  • For crafts - Craft stalls and more lion dances will take place throughout the day in Chinatown

Watch Berkeley Group's video here to find out more about the Chinese New Year events happening in the capital.

Berkeley Group Celebrations

On 17th February Berkeley will be hosting an afternoon tea at their Kidbrooke Village development, the event will include a selection of delicious Chinese canapes and Chinese tea for attendees. The event is open to the public, if you are interested in joining the event then RSVP by calling through to our Sales and Marketing Suite: 020 8150 5151.

Berkeley are also hosting an exciting guestlist only event at One Tower Bridge on 1st February in collaboration with Chinese jewellery designer Beau Han Xu. Guests will be able to enjoy the canapes and champagne on offer throughout the evening and view the development's new show home dressed by Goddard Littlefair.

Where to eat during Chinese New Year

To refuel during the events, there are a wealth of restaurants to visit in Chinatown and in the surrounding areas. Many of these are busy during the celebrations, so it is a good idea to try and book ahead and there are also a lot of new year packages to keep an eye out for.

Baozi Inn restaurant is located in Chinatown and is the perfect intimate setting for a casual dinner. The restaurant serves up Northern Chinese inspired dishes such as Dan Dan noodles and pork dumplings. Also in Chinatown, on Shaftesbury Avenue, you can find The Shan State restaurant which is well known for its Myanmar cuisine and specialist Asian desserts.

Over in Belgravia, you can find a unique restaurant called Hunan, which interestingly does not have a food menu. Instead, a selection of small tapas sized dishes are served based on the food and spice preferences of the individual diners. If you are in Brixton during the events, then head to Duck Duck Goose, this restaurant serves cuisine inspired by food from the streets of Hong Kong and Cantonese cooking styles.

Chinese New Year traditions

Lucky foods

In Chinese culture there are '7 lucky foods' to eat during Chinese New Year, each of these signify different meanings. 

  • Fish - for increasing prosperity
  • Dumplings - for wealth
  • Spring Rolls - for wealth
  • Tangyuan (Sweet Rice Balls) - for family togetherness
  • Good Fortune Fruit - for fullness and wealth
  • Niangao (Glutinous Rice Cake) - for a higher income or a higher position
  • Longevity Noodles - for happiness and longevity

Red

Red is thought to represent good luck and happiness in Chinese culture, therefore you are likely to witness a sea of red during the Chinese New Year celebrations. Wearing red during Chinese New Year is considered to bring a person good fortune.

Firework displays

Celebrations for Chinese New Year often include a lot of firework displays, this is because fireworks are believed to drive evil way. It is thought that the person who launches the first firework in the new year will receive good luck.

Red envelopes

During Chinese celebrations, red envelopes filled with money - "hong bao" in Mandarin - are traditionally given to children or unmarried adults with no job.

New Year's Eve dinner

Another tradition during Chinese New Year is the New Year's Eve dinner, which is considered the most important dinner of the year in Chinese culture. This is usually where all of the family 'reunite' at home and normally dishes that signify prosperity are enjoyed.