Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, always occurs in late January or early February. While the actual holiday falls on one date, the celebrations in London don't start until the next day. So, let's get into the details!
What to expect
Every year hundreds of thousands gather on the West End of London, viewing colourful parades, live performances and tasting Chinese food. The festivities stretch from Shaftesbury Avenue to Trafalgar Square. The festival organized by the London Chinatown Chinese Association features more than 30 groups and dozens of floats at the Chinese Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. with dragon and lion dances in Charing Cross Road.
Entertainment continues at several stages in Trafalgar Square. It includes traditional Chinese dance and music as well as contemporary performers. The food zone is full of trucks serving Chinese holiday specials. Leicester Square hosts a family zone for children with performances, martial arts, and workshops. The celebration ends in Trafalgar Square with huge fireworks.
Other ways to celebrate
While you can actively participate in the one-off celebration program, there are other ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in London. For example, you're welcome to head to one of Chinatown's family-friendly restaurants with your kids for a delicious Chinese meal. Or attend one of the city's many rooftop bars to watch the fireworks from atop.