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Chinese New Year 2023 in London Free

Dragon dancers at Chinese New Year celebrations in London. Photo: Jon Mo / LCCA.
Discover more about London's Chinese New Year celebrations in 2023, including the New Year parade, live performances and events.

About

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in London, the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people descend on the West End to enjoy a colourful parade, free stage performances and traditional Chinese food, and to wish each other "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or "Sun Nin Faai Lok" (in Cantonese). 

Follow #CNYLondon on social media to keep track of events and activities from 21 January.

When is Chinese New Year celebrated in London?

Two lion dance teams balance on yellow poles in Trafalgar Square, with crowds of people and the National Gallery behind.

Chinese New Year always falls between late January and mid-February, and the Chinese New Year festival in central London, which is organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA), usually takes place close to the actual date of the new year.

In 2023, Chinese New Year falls on 21 January.

Where do London's Chinese New Year celebrations take place?

The central London festivities take place across the West End, from Shaftesbury Avenue down to Trafalgar Square. There are lively activities and foodie treats in Chinatown; Leicester Square offers family-friendly entertainment; and while Trafalgar Square hosts the main stage performances, more stages can be found on Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue.

Chinese New Year 2023 in London event programme

Guangdong Art Troupe at Chinese New Year 2017. Photo by: Jon Mo  

 Television broadcast

Watch a special television broadcast on London Live and YouTube.

Chinatown food

Head to Chinatown where you’ll be able to shop for presents, enjoy on-the-go treats and sit down for a traditional Chinese New Year meal in one of Chinatown’s restaurants.

Top tips for Chinese New Year

Follow these tips for celebrating Chinese New Year in London:

  • Wrap up warm: celebrations take place in February when the weather can be cold.
  • Learn Chinese New Year greetings: Say "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or "Sun Nin Faai Lok" (in Cantonese).
  • Dress in red: Red is the key colour of Chinese New Year. You can dress up with a red scarf, jumper or shoes – this will bring good luck for the coming year.
  • Enjoy special Chinese New Year food: order a whole chicken or try dumplings at top restaurants in Chinatown.
  • Buy something red: To bring luck to your year, Chinese tradition dictates that you should buy something red for yourself or your house.
  • Ensure good luck: In Chinese culture, to “climb high and gaze far” on New Year’s Day or the following day brings good luck in business, career, study and fortune. Take a trip on the Emirates Air Line cable car, head up to The View from The Shard or see the sights from the London Eye.

How to get to the Chinese New Year event

Plan your route in advance using Transport for London's Journey Planner.

About Chinese New Year

A group of brightly dressed dancers perform on a stage in front of crowds in Trafalgar Square during Chinese New Year in London

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year, is a huge festival among Chinese communities in London and across the world.

Based on the lunar and solar calendars, the actual date of Chinese New Year varies and each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. Chinese New Year 2023, the Year of the Rabbit, falls on 21 January

Now run by the The London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA), the CNY London celebrations began as a small community event in Chinatown more than 20 years ago; the festivities have now become the largest of their kind outside Asia, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to the capital each year.

Can't visit during Chinese New Year in London? Worry not! Chinatown is a hive of bustling activity all year around, so don't miss out on visiting throughout the year. 

Prices

Entry Free

Venue Details & Map

Chinatown

Address
Chinatown
London
WC2H 0BL
Telephone:
+44 (0)20 7292 2877
Website
http://www.chinatown.co.uk

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