Chinese New Year 2024: From the parade to place to eat, our full guide to London celebrations
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From vibrant dragon dances and colourful lanterns to delicious dishes, Chinese New Year festivities are a beloved tradition all over the world.
With the date of Chinese Lunar New Year fast approaching, Londoners and the Chinese community are preparing to mark the year of the Dragon.
From parade routes to places to eat, here’s our guide to the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia.
When is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year, known as the Lunar New Year, always falls between late January and mid-February. This year it falls on Saturday February 10.
The 2024 Chinese New Year festival in central London, organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA), takes place the day after Chinese New Year on Sunday February 11.
When is the Chinese New Year parade?
The Chinese New Year Parade will take place on February 11, although exact timings are yet to be announced.
The parade will kick off in Charing Cross Road, before snaking its way through Shaftesbury Avenue in Chinatown.
There will be stage performances in Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross and Shaftesbury Avenue.
Visitors can expect to enjoy traditional dragon and flying lion dances and stage performances, including Chinese dance and music shows, martial arts displays, Chinese pop hits and a lineup of artists from China.
Food and drink to celebrate Chinese New Year
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a traditional Chinese New Year meal, Chinatown has plenty of delicious options.
Or you can sample some of the best roast duck in London at Four Seasons.
If fine dining is your thing, treat yourself to high-end Chinese cuisine at Plum Valley. Explore the vast menu that features Cantonese specialities such as taro croquettes, wasabi king prawns, and crab and pork soup dumplings.
Cafe TPT serves a variety of top-quality Chinese and Malaysian dishes. Choose from noodles, hot stone sizzling pots, seafood and more, and wash it down with bubble tea.
Good Friend is the best place in London Chinatown to try Taiwan’s legendary crispy fried chicken.
If you’re looking for something sweet try taiyaki, a fish-shaped waffle filled with matcha ice cream at Bake.
Finish off your evening at Opium, a speakeasy-style cocktail lounge and dim sum parlour. Look for a nondescript blue door on Gerrard Street.
Special Lunar New Year menus
Chinese Cricket Club
19 New Bridge St, London EC4V 6DB February 7 to 17 2024
The Chinese Cricket Club is celebrating the Year of the Dragon in style with a special menu. The sharing menu, specially curated by head chef Tony Truong features a prosperity salad with tuna, salmon & yellowtail and traditional peking duck. Standout main courses include steamed whole seabass with spring onion & ginger and roasted BBQ pork with jellyfish. A feast to remember.
House of Ming
54 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF February 9 to 11 2024
House of Ming is launching an exclusive offering to celebrate Chinese New Year in London. From February 9 to 11, the restaurant will be adding a fiery cocktail to its menu, along with a selection of limited edition dishes including Yuanna style lamb with celery and ginger chilli and Sichuan style oriental vegetables.
Bugis Singapore Restaurant
140 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4QH February 10 2024
The Bugis Singapore Restaurant in South Kensington is celebrating Chinese New Year with a range of authentic dishes. Guests can dine on Chinese favourites including aromatic crispy duck, dim sum basket, sesame prawn toast, fresh crab meat sweet corn soup, sizzling Angus beef, fried rice and noodles to name a few. Make sure to book in time.
Other events taking place
Science Museum lates
Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD Thursday February 1 2024
Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍 is the Science Museum's new exhibition on Chinese clockwork, and at this one-off special Chinese New Year Late, you can delve into the history of timekeeping, with added lion and dragon dancers, Chinese drummers, and New Year's arts and crafts.
Chinese New Year at National Maritime Museum
Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF Saturday February 3 2024
Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum is hosting a free day of Lunar New Year celebrations on Saturday February 3.
This year's performances include a Taiwanese ribbon dance, Korean harp, a martial arts demonstration and - of course - the magnificent lion dance.
Families can take part in a hat and fan making workshops, Korean calligraphy, a tea ceremony plus themed talks and tours, including the chance to meet an actor playing James Robson, a Chinese sailor aboard the Cutty Sark. You can also learn how to play Mahjong.