Where to Celebrate Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is one of the biggest celebrations around the globe, observed by over 1.5 billion people! Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Lunar New Year, officially starts on the 25th January and ends on the 4th of February this year. Festivities are a true spectacle, and the UK has some of the best, and biggest, celebrations outside Asia, so you can experience the vibrance and energy of a traditional Chinese New Year.

This year is the year of the rat, the first of the zodiac animals. In traditional Chinese culture, the rat is a symbol of wealth and excess, and represents the dawning of a new day. People born in the year of the rat are said to be energetic, optimistic and liked by everyone, so great news if you’re expecting. Have a look below at some of the best places to celebrate Chinese New Year in 2020 and get ready for parades, fireworks, lanterns, and some unbelievable food.


Chinese Dragon Parade
Manchester has one of the best Chinese New Year celebrations in the country. With a sizeable Chinese community, and a city wide spirit for fun and festivities, no stops are left unpulled in Manchester’s celebrations of the Lunar New Year. Whilst events take place across the New Year period, the main attraction is the fantastic Dragon Parade. A huge dragon, 175 feet in length, winds its way through the city to Chinatown, with Chinese Opera shows, Ribbon and Lion dances, and giant Buddhas accompanying the great beast along its route. With so many spectacles for your eyes to see in the parade, try and take a moment to look up and see the fantastic lantern decorations that line the streets of Chinatown. With all this and more, Manchester is a great choice to experience a proper Chinese New Year celebration. Festivities take place from 24th to 26th January, with the Dragon Parade taking place on the last day.

Where to stay nearby


Manchester Piccadilly


Manchester Ancoats


Manchester Central


Lion Dance Chinese New Year
London hosts the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia, with hundreds of thousands of people turning out to see traditional performances, join in colourful parades, and eat scrumptious food. The main festivities take place on the 26th January across the West End. Fantastic, and free, stage performances will take place in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown hosts all manner of activities and street food delicacies, Leicester Square is where you’ll find the family-friendly entertainment, whilst the main parade makes its way from Trafalgar Square, through the West End, to Chinatown. Indulge yourself in a full day of fanfare and festivities from the Far East with a trip to London this Chinese New Year.

Where to stay nearby


London Central Marylebone


London Greenwich High Road


London Covent Garden


Liverpool China Town Arch
Liverpool is home to Europe’s oldest Chinatown, which established in the early 19th century when silk and cotton were imported from Shanghai. Needless to say, Liverpool has had plenty of time to perfect their Chinese New Year celebrations and they certainly live up to expectations. Taking place on the 26th January, the main celebration includes Dragon and Lion parades, street entertainment, a fun fair, cultural events, and a firecracker display. One thing not to miss is the spectacular ceremonial arch at the entrance of Chinatown. This enormous archway, made of wood and marble, was imported piece by piece from Shanghai. Standing 15m high, it is the biggest Chinese arch outside of China, and makes a fabulous place to get your Chinese New Year Insta selfie.

Where to stay nearby


Liverpool Central Exchange Street


Liverpool Central


Liverpool Central The Strand


All the way from Beijing to Brum, get the experience of an authentic Chinese New Year celebration in the heart of the midlands. Birmingham’s celebrations this year will be taking place on the 26th January in Hurst Street, and tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend this fabulous free event. Multiple stages will be set up with performances of traditional Chinese music and dancing, workshops for all ages will be taking place, and of course plenty of scrumptious street food from every corner of China will be on offer. One thing you won’t want to miss is the amazing face changing magic that will be performed. In traditional Chinese opera, performers dance to dramatic music whilst wearing brightly coloured, elaborate masks which they change in an instant with a wave of a fan or movement of the hand. See this magical performance, and so much more, in Birmingham this Chinese New Year.

Where to stay nearby


Birmingham Central Moor Street


Birmingham Central Bull Ring


Birmingham Central Newhall Street