Unlike the Western New Year celebration, Chinese New Year, based on the Chinese calendar, is more than just a 1-night celebration. In fact, Chinese New Year is a 15-day celebration that includes many festive Chinese traditions. For the Chinese community living in London, as well as other London residents and visiting tourists, Chinese New Year is an exciting occasion, full of celebration and rejuvenation.
To begin, it's important to note that Chinese New Year doesn't fall on the same day each year. Since the holiday is based on the lunar and solar calendars, the date fluctuates from year to year. However, you can usually count on it being in late January or early February. If you're planning your trip to London for the occasion, you can look online to learn exactly what day the festivities are scheduled to take place.
The London Chinatown Chinese Association hosts a variety of events throughout the city, and one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations in London can be found in the famous Trafalgar Square. Large crowds gather in this central location to celebrate with costumes, food, dancing and other traditional activities. A parade also runs through the area in the morning, followed by live entertainment through the evening.
Another London neighbourhood that is the perfect place for celebrating Chinese New Year is, of course, Chinatown. In honour of the New Year, the streets of Chinatown are decorated and special stalls are set-up, serving authentic Chinese food and other Chinese goods. During your visit to Chinatown you can also witness traditional dragon and lion dances.
Finally, if you wish to learn more about the Chinese culture during your visit to London, several of the city's museums feature exhibits which showcase the unique Chinese culture and China's varied history. For example, for the 2012 New Year, the National Maritime Museum will host a day of Chinese music and workshops on the Chinese culture. Also, if you want to explore other parts of the English capital while still sticking with the Chinese New Year theme, you can visit The Tea House in London's famous Covent Garden for a spot of Chinese Oolong tea.
When you plan your trip to London for the Chinese New Year, it's a good idea to book your tickets as far in advance as possible, as flights to London can fill up fast. Similarly, there are a range of London hotels to choose from, and early-booking will help ensure you get the type of room you want.
Fiona Roy writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has lookins at Chinese New Year in London and flights to London been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.
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