Did you know the UK is home to over 400,000 Chinese people, and that Chinese New Year is just around the corner? Across the UK, towns and cities are getting ready to celebrate the Year of the Dog. Here’s a rundown of just a few places around the country that are getting in on the action ...
London’s Spring Festival celebration is the biggest outside of Asia, with the main event taking place on Sunday 18th February. A colourful parade will be making its way from Charing Cross Road to Shaftesbury Avenue (and the Sino team will be joining in of course!) passing through Chinatown on the way, which will be decked out with red lanterns and decorations for the occasion.
Meanwhile, Trafalgar Square will host performances – with everything from leaping lion dancers to hip-hop routines and a whole host of performers from China onstage. There’ll be craft stalls and activities at places like China Exchange, while restaurants and street food trucks will be getting in on the action. Check out our What’s On guide for all the details.
The rainy city is known for its vibrant Chinatown community, and last year a survey found that one in 75 people living in Manchester was born in China.
This year Manchester is throwing its biggest ever Chinatown celebrations on Sunday 18th February, kicking off with a dragon procession through the city centre. They’ll also be rolling out a funfair, street food market and a massive fireworks display for the occasion, to see in the lunar New Year with a bang.
Photo credit: Manchester Dragon Parade, Princess Street © David Dixon CC BY SA 2.0 geograph.org.uk/p/4823560
For the second year running, the Scottish capital is hosting a Chinese New Year concert, showcasing the talents of a number of talented classical musicians including singers Han Peng and Lili Zhao and the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra – that’s happening on Thursday 22nd February.
Edinburgh Zoo (the home of the UK’s only giant pandas) is also getting in on the action, with displays of giant lanterns along with acrobatic displays and other festive performances.
Not content with just one day of Chinese New Year celebrations, Liverpool is putting on a whole weekender! Light shows, fireworks, performances and stalls will be lighting up some of Liverpool’s main streets, with the city’s Chinese Arch at the centre of the action. Gifted to the Scousers by Liverpool’s twin city of Shanghai back in 2010, it’s the biggest Chinese arch outside of the Middle Kingdom.
Photo credit: SomeDriftwood on Flickr
As well as a Dragon Parade and Chinese Gala in the city centre, Bangor is putting on a special art exhibition to celebrate Chinese New Year. Prize-winning designer Wang Minglu and sound designer Jethro Cooke have put together a sound installation in Bangor’s Pontio cinema and gallery, featuring stories from the local Welsh-Chinese community in Mandarin, English and Welsh. Their aim is to “connect the sounds of Wales and China”. Cool!
The northern Irish capital will host a Chinese New Year party at the city’s Ulster Hall on 18th February, with a host of performances and activities. The stars of the show will be Beijing performance group ‘The Sounds of the Silk Road’ who will be singing and dancing their way into the New Year as part of their UK tour.