Chinese new year
A pedestrian walks by the Ma-Tsu temple in San Francisco\'s Chinatown district Getty

Chinese communities around the world are gearing up for the lunar new year, to welcome the Year of the Goat.

While hundreds of millions of people are travelling home in China to spend the new year holiday with their families in the world's largest annual migration, festivities will take place in 119 countries around the world, from the United States to Australia.

As we approach the Spring Festival, IBTimes UK looks at celebrations of the Chinese New Year around the globe.

United States

The San Francisco Chinese New Year festival and parade is the oldest and largest event of its kind in North America. With the discovery of gold and the subsequent California Gold Rush, more than 50,000 people flocked to San Francisco to seek their fortune. Among those were many Chinese and by the 1860s, the city's Chinatown area began the tradition of the parade, carrying lanterns and flags and playing traditional music.

United Kingdom

London's annual Chinese New Year celebrations, the biggest in the world outside China, will bring Chinatown to life once more. There will be a small ceremonial event on Saturday 21 February, but the majority of the festivities will take place on Sunday 22 February, with parades, traditional dances and music, as well as street food and special events at Chinatown's many restaurants and bars.

Chinese new year
An ethnic Chinese woman takes pictures of the red lanterns ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations at the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur Getty


After the Christmas decorations are taken down, they are replaced with Chinese New Year decorations of lanterns, cherry blossoms and orange trees in red, to symbolise prosperity. In Malaysia, a traditional dish is served on the eve of the new year during the "reunion dinner". Called yee sang, or Prosperity Toss, it is a teochew-style raw fish salad which is mixed by everyone at the table.


The streets of Singapore are filled with people, music and delicious food, with parades and vibrant night markets taking place in Chinatown. Fire eaters, lion dancers and dance troupes perform in Kreta Ayer Square, and the carnival-esque Chingay Parade takes place annually.

Chinese new year Singapore
Stilt walkers entertain the crowd during the Chinese New Year in Chinatown in Singapore Getty

The Philippines

Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals for the Filipino-Chinese, with celebrations extending to the non-Chinese Filipinos. A traditional food eaten during the Spring Festival period in the Philippines is tikoy, a treat made from sticky rice. A new year greeting in the Hokkien language – a group of Min Nan Chinese dialects – spoken by the majority of Chinese-Filipinos is "kiong hee huat tsai".


Over 600,000 people attend the celebrations annually in Sydney's Chinatown. This year, the Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors, created by Chinese artist Xia Nan for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, will be on display against the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour until 22 February. The Twilight Parade, with lanterns, floats and art projections, will light up Sydney's streets and buildings on Sunday 22 February.

Chinese new year
Members of the Chinese community perform a lion dance for Chinese New Year in Calcutta in 2014 Getty


The Chinese community in Calcutta celebrate the new year period with an annual lion and dragon dance through Chinatown. According to recent statistics, there are around 4,000 ethnic Chinese living in India.


To he, figures made from glutinous rice and food colourings, are still popular among Vietnamese children and are common souvenirs at Tet markets. Masks are also popular, the most popular at this time of year being Ong Dia – a Vietnamese earth god who is said to have tamed a mythical creature called qilin, to spread prosperity on earth.