Millions of people all across the world are getting ready to celebrate Chinese New Year 2019 – with this year’s new lunar year – also known as Spring festival – welcoming the year of the pig.
And things have come a long way in Britain since the first Lunar New Year was celebrated back in 1963 in London’s Gerrard Street – the centre of what was becoming the city’s famous Chinatown.
Most major UK cities are putting on celebrations for Chinese New Year 2019, including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool and London, with Sunday 10th looking to be the big day.
These are usually free to attend and open to the general public so if you can, it’s well worth heading to your nearest big city to experience the celebrations.
From London’s famous parade to huge celebrations in Manchester and Newscastle, here’s how to celebrate the Year of the Pig where you live.
How to celebrate Chinese New Year in the UK
Chinese New Year activities in London
Over 700,000 people flock to celebrate Chinese New Year in London, making their festivities the largest outside of Asia.
The biggest celebrations will take place on Sunday 10th February in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and across the West End.
Free to attend, expect lively activities and foodie treats in Chinatown, family-friendly entertainment in Leicester Square and stage performances in Trafalgar Square.
Last year, a colourful parade that snaked from Charing Cross Road to Shaftesbury Avenue kicked off, with the lively display including dragon dancers, vibrant, hand-crafted floats and martial arts – all led by a flying Chinese lion.
Chinese New Year activities in Manchester
Manchester City Centre is hosting four days of fun, food, fireworks and good fortune this February to celebrate Chinese New Year.
In honour of the Year of the Pig, giant art installation Piglet will be taking centre stage in St Ann’s Square featuring a handsome coat made from thousands of pennies for good luck.
Taking place from February 7 – 10 in St Ann’s Square, the large scale art installation is being created by internationally renowned UK artist Alex Rinsler, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Chinese New Year activities in Birmingham
In Birmingham, there’s plenty of free celebrations occurring, including a massive street party in the city’s Chinese Quarter.
The main event will kick off in and around the Arcadian centre in Hurst Street and will feature authentic Chinese street food, music and dancing – along with activities and workshops for children, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.
Chinese New Year activities in Liverpool
There will be three day’s worth of celebrations in Liverpool, spanning from Friday 8 until Sunday 10th. The excitement will include parade and family entertainment will take place across the city centre and Chinatown, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.
Chinese New Year activities in Newcastle
With Sunday once again marking the big celebrations, a lion dance will kick things off at Old Eldon Square green at roughly 11.15am, before parading to the Chinese Arch in Stowell Street.
The parade should arrive in Stowell Street for around 12 noon, where entertainment will continue, according to the Chronicle Live.