About Chinese New Year 2020 in London
Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) falls between late January and mid-February. This year it’s on Saturday 25 January, with the big London celebrations for The Year of the Rat taking place on Sunday 26. The London celebrations are usually on the closest weekend to the date itself, organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA).
Where to celebrate Chinese New Year 2020
Celebrations take place across Chinatown, the West End and Trafalgar Square and are free to attend. You don’t need a ticket, just turn up and enjoy the festivities. But head over early! Thousands gather each year for London’s celebrations—the largest in the world outside Asia. Want to see how they do Chinese New Year over in Asia? Check out our guides on Tokyo Cheapo and Hong Kong Cheapo.
What’s on at Chinese New Year in London 2020
The main event is the big, colourful Chinese New Year Parade. More than 30 groups are expected to participate in the parade, which will wend its way the streets of the West End, and China Town. The route normally starts at Charing Cross at 10 am. Led by a dragon and lion dance, the parade will head up Shaftesbury Avenue and into Chinatown.
As well as the parade there will be entertainment in Trafalgar Square from midday. Things usually kick off with a thanksgiving ceremony, firecrackers and the Lion’s Eye-Dotting Ceremony.
The main stage and performances
The main stage line-up includes traditional Chinese dance and music performers, as well as contemporary acts. Head to the food zone for trucks serving up tasty Chinese street food. If you’d rather sit down in the warm for a bit, go to Chinatown for festive feasting.
The event is divided into zones to help you plan your visit. If you’re taking kids head to the Leicester Square family zone. Festivities also include Family festival day at The National Gallery for storytelling, crafts, dumpling-making, performances,and games.
Visit the Shaftesbury Avenue martial arts and culture zone for some martial arts performance action, watch new British-Chinese music acts in the Charing Cross Road community zone.
Follow the official #CNYLondon hashtag on social media for updates on the day.
Getting to Chinese New Year in London 2020
As with any major event, plan ahead and leave plenty of time. TFL is your best bet for up-to-date travel information on the day. The good news is, all the main areas are within a short distance of Underground and Railway stations. Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines), Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines), and Tottenham Court Road (Northern and Central lines) are all a short walk to all the main zones.