The Lunar New Year – also known as the Chinese New Year – is the most important celebration in China, having cultural and historic significance.
The Lunar New Year starts on 1st February 2022 and ends on the 31st of January 2023.
The celebrations began today and will continue for the next 15 days until the annual Lantern Festival.
We’re entering the Year of the Tiger, which symbolises a year of strength and bravery.
This year, many celebrations have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Usually there would be colourful floats passing through the streets of the West End and Chinatown, but here are some activities and places you can still visit in south west London this year.
There will be constant coverage of events and activities online, so you can also follow #CNYLondon on social media channels for online celebrations.
Things you can do from home:
Enjoy special Chinese New Year food: order a takeaway from a local Chinese restaurant or take a trip to Chinatown to take in the amazing atmosphere.
Dress up in red: red is the key colour of Chinese New Year. You can dress up in an entire red suit, or even just add a red bow to your outfit– this will bring good luck for the coming year.
To bring luck to your year, Chinese tradition dictates that you should buy something red for yourself or your house.
In Chinese culture, to “climb high and gaze far” on New Year’s Day or the following day brings good luck in business, career, study and fortune.
Perhaps take a ride on the London Eye.
Out and about:
The Light Festival at Battersea Power Station
One of the best free activities to do in London this winter is Battersea Power Station’s light festival, which is brightening up the dark nights until 27th February.
This year’s event includes six brilliant installations, one of them being LAVA’s Digital Origami Tigers.
The tigers started their journey around the world in 2010 to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Sydney, Australia and are now on display at the iconic power station.
The digital tigers combine ancient methods of lantern making with cutting-edge design and technology, bringing together east and west.
The light-up tigers are made of recycled materials and use low energy LED lighting to bring the sculptures to life.
The artwork was adopted by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) to generate attention for their international campaign to save tigers.
MiMi Mei Fair hosting a special feasting menu
Visit Mayfair’s Empress MiMi’s culinary adventures in the enchanting North Eastern jungles, home to the Amur tiger, in the form of their exclusive Lunar New Year Menu curated by Executive Chef Peter Ho.
Their website says: “Dine under our wishing tree canopy, stemming from within the heart of the house and spanning across The Drawing Room and The Parlour.
“Branches of Kumquat garlands, vibrant ribboned wishes and deep fuchsia peonies and chrysanthemums have been conceptualised by our Founder Samyukta Nair and florist Lucy Vail as a collaborative homage to the Lam Tsuen shrine in Hong Kong, Empress MiMi’s final destination in her long adventure.”
Until 15th February, guests can dine on a ‘Basket of Wealth’ – two styles of dim sum, known for bringing good fortune.
Afterwards, guests can then write their wishes of health, happiness, and success for the coming year and hang them on the tree.
Wishing you all a happy New Year, “Xīnnián hǎo”, 新年好.
Benjamin B via Flickr