Chinese New Year in Europe 2014
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy New Year! With Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival) coming on 31 January, you may have asked yourself what our Chinese friends do to celebrate their New Year.
If you wish to find out, here are some cities in Europe you can visit this end of the month to discover what New Year for the Chinese mean:
London, United Kingdom
When: 31 January2 February
Where: Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and Shaftesbury Avenue
London boasts of having the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside Asia. This year, visitors will get to enjoy artists from China, eat traditional food and browse items in crafts stores. Admission is free.
What to do:
- Celebrate the New Year with Chinese martial arts heroes Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee at Madame Tussauds, London. Chan and Lee’s wax figures will be flown in from Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong and Shanghai to stay in London from 31 January to 1 February. Catch them for a fee of £22.50.
- Head to Victoria and Albert Museum in Cromwell Road to catch a cultural performance and join craft workshops in painting and paper art.
When: 31 January– 9 February
Where: 13th arrondissement, the Marais and Belleville
The largest Chinatown in Europe in 13th arrondissement will celebrate the New Year with firecrackers, dancing and music. There will be three major costumed parades to look out for around the city.
What to do:
- Catch the traditional show Joyful Spring Festival on 13th February at the Town Hall showcasing 50 musicians and singers from Beijing.
- Visit the Galerie Athéna et antichambre and Bièvre Gallery, Town Hall from 27 January to 7 February to see the exhibitions of Chinese painters.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
When: 31 January–2 February
Where: Nieuwmarkt and Zeedijk neighbourhoods
Catch traditional festivities in Amsterdam, including family gatherings, food rituals, temple offerings and a blast of the lucky colour red. Visitors will be treated to deals in any of the Chinese floating restaurants around the city.
What to do:
- Visit De Nieuwe Kerk for an exhibition of Ming dynasty artefacts, erotic drawings, delftware or classic pottery and other private collections.
- Visit the Buddhist temple Fo Guang Shan He Hua for their special programme that will feature lion dances and fireworks.
- Antwerp, BelgiumWhen: 31 January–1 FebruaryWhere: Van Wesenbekestraat ChinatownFlanders will party the whole night long to celebrate Chinese New Year. The famous CLF lion dance group will also lead the procession on the streets to bring in luck to the neighbourhood.What to do:
- Catch the lion dance parade on 1 February from 1-6pm and eat finger food and buy souvenirs from Chinese stalls on the streets.
- Dance the night away at NOXX, Antwerp’s Chinese New Year 2014 : Year of the Horse for €18.