Chinese New year london
Lion dancers perform in China Town on China's New Year's Day in London in 2014 Getty

The Lunar New Year is just around the corner and cities across Britain are gearing up to celebrate the "Year of the Goat".

The Chinese New Year will fall on Thursday 19 February, bringing a weekend of lantern parades, feasts and parties to mark the year of the "horned animal" – cited by some as a goat and by others as a sheep or ram.

In China, festivities last for 15 days until the day of the Lantern Festival, which falls on 5 March this year. Dragon dances, street performances, processions and more take place during these two weeks, with red decorations to symbolise prosperity.

Outside of Asia, London hosts the largest Chinese New Year festivities, although they only last for the weekend. Celebrations are taking place across the UK, however, from Manchester to Cardiff.


Every year, hundreds of thousands of people descend on the capital's West End to wish each other "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or "San Nin Fai Lok" (in Cantonese). The main festivities take place in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and Shaftesbury Avenue, and highlights include a colourful parade in the square on 22 February from 10am. There are also lots of restaurants and bars around the Chinatown area – but you may have to book early.


In 2014, around 90,000 people celebrated the Year of the Horse in Manchester. This year, there are a variety of options to celebrate, including the Chinese food market in St Ann's Square. The grand finale of the festival will be the parade of the 175ft dragon along with a procession and a fireworks display in Albert Square and Chinatown.

Chinese New year london
Lanterns hang above the street in China Town in London Getty


The Leeds Chinese Community Association will host its annual Chinese New Year Festival, taking place on 22 February at Leeds Town Hall. Expect dancing, music, performances and Chinese calligraphy, as well as food, crafts, beauty stalls and face painting. For further details about tickets, visit


The Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee and the Birmingham City Council will host festivities in the Chinese quarter on 22 February, with celebrations in Hurst Street, Inge Street and the Arcadian Centre from 11am. The programme begins with the traditional lion dance and fireworks, performances and then the famous dragon dance.


The Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh will be holding its annual New Year party from 6-9pm, Friday 20 February, with games sessions, karaoke and drinks. Weather permitting, the evening will end in the garden at Abden House with Chinese Lanterns and a chorus of Auld Lang Syne. Visit the website to book tickets.

Chinese New year london
Traditional Chinese dancers in the New Year parade in 2013 in London Getty


The Glasgow Museum Resource Centre will host Chinese New Year celebrations on 14 February for families, teenagers and families, with calligraphy and Chinese lantern-making, as well as traditional ceremonies.


The Chinese Welfare Association will host this year's New Year in the heart of the city, with acrobatic performances, dance, music and food. Adult entry is £2 and you can book via the website. There is also an event at Ulster Hall on 15 February.


The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay will be welcoming in the Chinese New Year with children's craft and a traditional Chinese lion dance on 19 February. Children can also take part in lantern decorating at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. It's free to go along and there are workshops running between 16 and 22 February – you can book your place via 029 2057 3600.