When and Where to Celebrate Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year celebrations take place all over the world, and the UK is no exception. This February, cities all around the UK will be hosting celebrations for the biggest event in the Chinese calendar.

From a spectacular parade in Central London to fireworks in Manchester and lantern making in Liverpool, read on to find a celebration near you.

When is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is usually on the second new moon after the Chinese calendar’s winter solstice. In terms of the Gregorian calendar that means the new moon that falls between 21st January and 20th February.

The date of Chinese New Year varies every year since it’s based on the lunar and solar calendars, but it’s always some time between late January and mid-February. Celebrations don’t always take place on Chinese New Year itself; they can last for two weeks around this time.

Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in the UK

Central London

London’s Chinese New Year celebrations are the largest outside of Asia, with festivities taking place most years in Central London in places like Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and the West End.

Expect dragons, decorations, music and dancing all over Chinatown and thousands of people heading to the city to join in the celebrations. The celebrations will start with a colourful Chinese parade that snakes its way through the West End, followed by performances in Trafalgar Square. The parade is usually completely free to attend with a fireworks display as the grand finale.


Manchester’s Chinese New Year festivities are a huge event every year, usually taking place over four days and involving live performances as well as the legendary Dragon Parade.

Liverpool’s Chinatown

Liverpool has a large Chinese community – the oldest in the country – so expect lots of festivities to be taking place in the city. Chinatown is the main hub for Liverpool’s CNY celebrations with lantern-making workshops, delicious food and a dragon, unicorn and lion parade as well as a spectacular fire cracker display at Great George Square.


Birmingham’s Chinese New Year celebrations  are usually a huge hit, with an afternoon of free entertainment at the Arcadian Centre – an annual tradition.

There’ll be lion dances, funfair rides and street food as well as plenty of traditional entertainment. Not to be missed if you’re in Birmingham!

Other ways to celebrate Chinese New Year

You don’t have to go out to celebrate CNY 2017 – there are loads of ways to celebrate at home or school too. So if you’re thinking of holding your own Chinese New Year celebrations, take a look through our party ideas for inspiration.

Throw a Chinese New Year party

Whether you’re celebrating at home or at school, throwing a party is a great way to teach children about China. Stock up on fortune cookies, lanterns and decorations, have a read of our Chinese New Year party ideas for inspiration and find out the meanings behind some of the most popular Chinese New Year decorations.

Chinese New Year Celebrations 2016

Wear something red

Red is the key colour for Chinese New Year and wearing it will bring you luck for the rest of the year. Alternatively, you could hang red lanterns like this in your house for good luck.

Make your own Chinese lanterns

Making your own Chinese paper lanterns is a fun Chinese New Year activity and a great way to teach your children about Chinese traditions. And it’s super easy with our free printables – download them here and follow our step-by-step instructions to find out what to do.

Get a dragon piñata

Dragons are an iconic symbol of Chinese New Year so if you’re throwing a party to celebrate, how about getting a dragon piñata like this? It’ll look great as part of your decorations and kids of all ages will have fun trying to break it!

Thinking of throwing your own party for Chinese New Year 2017? Browse our full selection of Chinese New Year decorations here to pick up everything you need. Or for even more party ideas, stay on our blog!