Celebrating Chinese New Year In London 2023
Are you ready to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit this coming 22nd January 2023? – we certainly are!
London hosts one of the largest celebrations of Chinese New Year outside of Asia with many events, entertainment and activities put together for this celebration alone.
So if you are studying in London, make sure to plan how you will celebrate this fantastic month of celebrations.
If you are not sure what to do or what is being held this year then you’re in luck.
Read on for some events to attend and activities to join in on to have an amazing Chinese New Year…
This year, it will be the first time since before the pandemic that the Chinese New Year celebrations have been able to take place on the streets of London.
Carry on reading to find out what you can get up to with loads of festivities happening across the city – you won’t want to miss out on this.
1. Chinese New Year Parade
One of the main events held in London for Chinese New Year is the annual grand parade through Central London.
Starting in Trafalgar Square through Charing Cross Road and ending in Shaftesbury Avenue in Chinatown, this is not one to miss!
Kicking off the New Year celebrations at 10am this is a vibrant event full of troupes of performers in colourful dragon and lion costumes.
The parade includes floats, bands, kung fu teams, lion dancers, acrobats and majestic dragons leading the way through London streets.
The parade may end at 6pm but the celebrations don’t end there so stick around to experience the night time festivities.
Thousands come to see this special event so get there early to ensure a front row view of this spectacular display.
For more information about the Chinese New Year parade check out the Visit London website.
2. Chinese New Year Festival
If you’re wanting to get involved with the festivities, be sure to head down to the Chinese New Year festival taking place throughout central London.
There will be a main stage in Trafalgar Square and a stage in Shaftesbury Avenue with amazing performers, folk dances, music, opera and flying Chinese lions.
Who will all be wearing colourful costumes to celebrate their Chinese heritage and culture – wow!
That’s not all, to complete the festival there are pop up stalls placed throughout, full of crafts, games, decorations, souvenirs and most of all delicious food.
So get involved, check out what each stall has to offer, enjoy some fantastic performances, and of course indulge in some amazing food and drink.
The best part is, it’s free to get involved with the Chinese New Year Festival so you don’t even need to spend a penny to celebrate.
3. National Maritime Museum Celebrations
On the 21st January the National Maritime Museum is hosting a day of Lunar New Year celebrations.
No fee is required to get involved however you do need to book tickets in advance to guarantee entry.
The event has been created with the Newham Chinese Association, Greenwich Vietnam Women’s Group and the Association of Chinese Women, Woolwich.
You can expect live music, performances and lion dances throughout the day starting at 10am with the first lion dance to open the museum.
Plus there’s also family fun workshops that you can get stuck in with from creating Lunar New Year Lanterns and Hongbao Envelopes to learning Mahjong and about lion dance costumes.
You can even join talks and tours to learn more about Chinese traditions and culture.
Or, join the planetarium shows to learn about Chinese astronomy.
Finally, stick around for their New Year Lights display starting at 17:30pm till 20:30pm!
This is a great way for you to make a weekend of celebrating Chinese New Year and some fond memories to look back on.
Celebrating Through Food
There’s no better way to get involved with the Chinese New Year celebrations in London than trying some amazing food, is there?
If you’re wondering about the best places to visit to kickstart the Year of The Rabbit, find out below.
Hakkasan is a Mitchelin starred Cantonese restaurant chain with restaurants in both Mayfair and Hanway Place.
They are welcoming the Year of the Rabbit this 2023 with an exclusive Chinese New Year menu accompanied with a cocktail that is created in collaboration with Hennessy X.O.
This is only available from Thursday 12th January until Tuesday 7th February so book now to secure a table.
You can even write a wish for 2023 on a red ribbon and hang it on their handcrafted wishing trees located in all their restaurants.
We hope your wish comes true, fingers crossed!
Address: 17 Bruton St, London W1J 6QB
8 Hanway Pl, London W1T 1HD
Yauatcha is an all day dim sum tea house celebrating Cantonese cuisine with two restaurants in London – one in Soho and one in the City centre.
For another year they are celebrating the Lunar New Year with a menu for £78 per person. The menu consists of traditional Cantonese dishes with a creative twist.
Including a dim sum platter to begin with then followed with salt and pepper lobster tail, Sanpei rabbit and XO Hong Kong King soy noodles.
If that’s not enough to grab you then wait till you hear the dessert…a sweet little sesame bunny gateau made with the flavours of fragrant yuzu, black sesame and mandarin.
Not forgetting the welcome Bunny Sour cocktail made with Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru – so book now to get a table!
This special menu starts on the 10th January until the 7th February so make sure to give it a go.
Address: 15-17 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DL
Broadgate, London EC2M 2QS
6. Carousel X Poon’s
Poon’s, which is a Cantonese restaurant, is taking over Carousel’s white room for two days only – 19th & 20th January to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Eat in style with a steamboat feast which is one of the most popular meals to eat at Chinese New Year.
You can gather around steaming pans of simmering broth to poach an assembly of fresh seafood, marinated meats, Chinese vegetables, tofu and glass noodles.
What a great way to appreciate the subtlety of flavours, right?
To finish they will serve a traditional Nian Gao which is a sticky rice cake to represent prosperity.
What a fantastic way to celebrate Chinese New Year, so make sure to book now for £55!
Address: 19-23 Charlotte St., London W1T 1RW
7. Cafe TPT
What better place to eat to celebrate Chinese New Year than Chinatown itself?!
Depending on what you fancy, Cafe TPT hosts an extensive menu of authentic Chinese street food.
Expect delicious dishes like Bak Kut Teh, a meaty broth consisting of slowly simmered pork ribs with star anise, cinnamon, fennel and other spices.
Or, Zha Jiang Mian, which consists of thick wheat noodles covered in a fermented soya bean paste.
They also have good seafood choices including Deep Fried Crispy Oyster and Crab Sauteed with Salted Eggs – mmm.
Plus they serve bubble tea in a variety of flavours from Watermelon with Pearl Tapioca to Black Tea with Milk and Pearl Tapioca.
Book a table for you and your friends whilst you can!
Address: 21 Wardour St, London W1D 6PN
8. Four Seasons
Another noteworthy mention for eating out in Chinatown is Four Seasons, who are known for their duck which has been dubbed “best in the world”.
But that’s not all, they serve absolutely scrumptious succulent barbecue pork dishes and great seafood options like Lobster with Cheese.
Just like their name they have a quarterly changing specials menu so there is always something different to try.
They also have two more restaurants in London outside of Chinatown too.
We’d recommend booking a table in advance as it’s a popular destination for eating out for Chinese New Year.
See if the duck here really is worth all the hype!
Address: 23 Wardour St, London W1D 6PW
11 Gerrard St, London W1D 6PP
There are loads more Chinatown restaurants to choose from, depending on what type of food you’re after.
Head out there and explore the abundance of authentic Asian restaurants to visit for Chinese New Year, or even cook up something good in your student accommodation.
We hope you find something you want to do to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year in London.
Go out there and see what’s taking place, there’s tons of celebrations happening across the city!
Speaking of food and a fun time…here are the 8 best spots for bottomless brunch in London that are affordable for students.