Chinese New Year in London 2017

Chinese Decorations Chinatown London
Andrew Holt/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

About London Chinese New Year:

Chinese New Year is the biggest festival of the year in Chinese communities. Each year of the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac: the Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, and Rabbit.

In the days leading up to the Chinese New Year, people clean their houses, repay debts, buy new clothes and have their hair cut. A celebratory meal is held on the eve of the new year, with many traditional dishes served, and fireworks and firecrackers are let off to see in the new year.

With the start of the new year, Lion Dances pass through the streets to bring good luck to the households and businesses they visit. The drums, gongs and cymbals that accompany the Lion Dance are used to scare away evil and bad luck.

Chinese New Year 2017 Date:

Traditionally, London Chinese New Year celebrations are held on the first Sunday after the new year. 2017 is the Year of the ​Rooster.

The parade starts around 10 a.m. along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue. At midday, the main stage in Trafalgar Square has lots of free entertainment all afternoon with many visiting artists from China. Also, look out for the lion teams dancing through Chinatown and local artists performing on a stage at the end of Dean Street and traditional food and craft stalls. Be warned, this is a popular free event in the London calendar so expect large crowds.

Why Does The Date Change?

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar and solar calendars so the date varies from late January to mid February.


Chinatown is specially decorated and there are cultural and food stalls and lion dance displays.

Nearest Tube Stations:

  • Leicester Square
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Charing Cross

Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.

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