Chinese New Year 2019: How to celebrate the Year of the Pig in the UK, from London to Edinburgh

Here's where you can ring in the new year

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Tuesday 05 February 2019 11:20
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Chinese New Year is set to take place this week and, while the date varies annually in accordance with the Chinese lunisolar calendar, this year it falls on 5 February.

The associated festivities typically run for two weeks, starting with New Year’s Eve celebrations on the 4th and ending with the lantern festival on 19 February.

In China, people are given a week’s public holiday to observe tradition but it’s equally significant for communities across the globe too.

While you might not be given any time off here in the UK, most major cities are putting on celebrations to ring in the Year of the Pig, from London and Birmingham to Manchester and Liverpool.

A great excuse to embrace the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia, you can look forward to everything from impressive firework displays and parades to delicious cuisine.

Here’s our guide on how to celebrate Chinese New Year in the UK.

London

London's Chinatown is one of the best places to see in the Year of the Pig (Getty)

Home to the UK’s largest Chinese population and Chinatown, London is one of the best places to see in the Year of the Pig.

The biggest celebrations will take place on 10 February, where a 50-float parade will take place between Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square.

You can also expect to find dragon dancers, music, acrobatic displays and restaurants serving regional dishes.

Manchester

Manchester will be hosting a dragon parade, lion dancing and funfair this year 

In honour of the Year of the Pig, a giant straw piglet will be taking up residence in St Ann’s Square in Manchester.

The large installation, created by UK artist Alex Rinsler, will feature a coat made from thousands of pennies for good luck, and visitors will be invited to contribute their own pennies with proceeds going to homelessness fund The Big Change and The Wai Yin Society, which supports disadvantaged Chinese families.

This year’s festivities will also see the dragon parade return on 10 February, setting off from Albert Square and finishing at Chinatown where there will be lion dancing, a funfair, Chinese street food and a spectacular fireworks finale at 7pm.

Thousands of red lanterns will decorate the city's streets in the run-up to the day and the giant golden dragon will also be back at Exchange Square.

Birmingham

You can expect to find an array of authentic Chinese street food in Birmingham's Chinese quarter 

This year, festivities will be held in the Chinese quarter of Birmingham, where there will be authentic Chinese street food, music and dancing.

A celebration that attracts some 30,000 people every year, activities will also include lion and dragon dancers, circus acts and workshops for children.

Liverpool

Buildings in Liverpool's city centre will be turning red in commemoration (Getty)

Liverpool will be hosting three day’s worth of celebrations for Chinese New Year, starting on 8 February.

In the Liverpool ONE shopping centre, the city’s Chinatown, and Bold Street, thousands of red lanterns will be hung from rooftops and balconies.

Elsewhere, buildings such as the Bombed Out Church, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, and Sefton Park House will be turning red in commemoration.

There will also be a parade and family entertainment taking place across the city centre.

Newcastle

There will be live performances and music to celebrate Chinese New Year in Newcastle 

In Newcastle, the biggest celebrations will take place on 10 February where there will be live performances, crafts, dance, music and refreshments around the city’s Chinatown along Stowell Street.

A lion dance will kick things off at Old Eldon Square green at 11.15am, before parading to the Chinese Arch in Stowell Street.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is hosting a concert at Usher Hall to celebrate the Year of the Pig 

Last year, Edinburgh hosted its first official celebration of Chinese New Year and there will be plenty of activities and food this time round too.

The event will include a concert at Usher Hall on 9 February, where the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Edinburgh Singers, and a number of other artists from China and the UK are set to perform.

Bristol

This year, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery will celebrate with a number of performances, kung fu displays and exhibitions (Getty)

This year’s festivities will primarily be taking place at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery with a number of traditional and contemporary performances.

On 3 and 4 February, there will be stalls, workshops and activities as well as kung fu displays, calligraphy exhibitions and a traditional menu available in the café.

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