Happy Chinese New Year! 恭喜发财！ 新年快乐！
The Spring Festival or Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated over 15 days. This year, to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Monkey, here’s the definitive guide on how to enjoy the festivities between 8-22 February:
8 Feb – Gonxifacai! Gonghey Fatchoi!
It’s time to wish everyone a happy new year! For your Mandarin speaking friends, offer a hearty “Gongxi Facai”. And a warm “Gonghey Fatchoi” to Cantonese speakers in the capital. Failing that, a simple “happy new year” will do. 250,000 of us will be celebrating the Spring Festival in London this February.
Until 14 Feb – Circle Lines
In a circle of artists sharing a wealth of experience from artistic training grounds, to academic posts, friendships and beyond, the bonds of connection and the transfer of ideas leave indelible marks. CIRCLE LINES, the inaugural London exhibition of artists supported by The Hurun Art Foundation brings together a group of artists who have such shared experience and now, from mature or semi-mature standpoints in their careers, reflect on their own artists’ circle and the ‘full circle’ Chinese contemporary art has entered in looking for ways tradition can be modernised, particularly through the medium of ink, and the literati spirit. Admission is free.
10 Feb – Get involved in Deb8 China: 5 speakers, 8 minutes each, a great debate on sex, the economy, education, the environment and censorship
In partnership with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, spend an evening exploring themes, assumptions and stereotypes in our fresh discussion format. Our first event will cover sex, the economy, education, the environment and censorship and is designed to get the audience talking.
13 Feb – See the New Cola Project launch their latest work at China Exchange
A Saturday night celebration of all that’s cool in fusion music, the New Cola Project will present dance music using an erhu, the classical Chinese instrument, in a new context. With a bubble tea bar and a chance to dance, this is the alternative Chinese New Year celebration for all those too cool for lantern-making and firecrackers.
14 Feb – Enjoy the Chinese New Year Celebration Trafalgar Square
With a full programme on the iconic stage in front of Nelson’s Column, brighten your February with the colourful and creative celebrations in Trafalgar Square.
8-22 Feb – Gather together and make dumplings
As with most significant celebrations food plays an important role. Families and friends will gather together and wrap dumplings collectively to celebrate the new year. Make them at home or try one of the many London-based classes. And if you’re feeling like you’d just like to eat, pop to Chinatown and make the most of the restaurants.
17 Feb – Relax at a free lunchtime recital by the Royal Academy of Music
Two weeks of festivities can exhaust a person – particularly when the focus for celebration is to spend time with lots of people and to enjoy lots of food. Many people choose to have one day of the Spring Festival when they will rest and eat lightly. Our free lunchtime concert offers a gentle hour of relaxation in a hectic period.
17 Feb – Experience European and Chinese Opera at Opera Roots by Wu He and the National Opera Studio
A feasts of operatic music will be presented by the National Opera Studio. Compelling talent Wu He will lead an elegant evening of Chinese and indigenous music from other cultures before showcasing Chinese and European opera styles. Tickets £25.
19 Feb – Private screening of Oriental Silk
A select audience will enjoy a private screening of the latest documentary from film-maker Xiaowen Zhu. The short film shares the story of a Chinese silk shop in LA and the legacy of the Chinese-American family who run it.
22 Feb – Enjoy the Lantern Festival
The Spring Festival ends with the Lantern Festival. Londoners are spoilt for choice this year as large scale lantern spectaculars are available at Chiswick House and Longleat. Both offer the ideal place to mark the Lantern Festival and brighten the start of the Year of the Monkey.