When is Chinese New Year 2019 and which animal is it?
Chinese New Year 2019 takes place on Tuesday 5 February 2019, although in China, celebrations take place between 28 January and 19 February. Each year is represented by one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs, and this year it's the Year of the Pig.
London's Chinese New Year Parade
The 2019 Chinese New Year Parade in London takes place on Sunday 10 February. It's a sizeable — and colourful — celebration, taking place throughout Chinatown and Trafalgar Square, and is completely free to watch. It's the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia.
It begins at 10am with parade floats on Charing Cross Road, followed by dancing, crafts stalls, food and drink, and martial arts in Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and Shaftesbury Avenue between 12pm and 6pm.
Keep an eye out for the lion dancers and dragon dancers, which are believed to bring good luck. A lion dance is performed in a costume worn by only two dancers, whereas a dragon dance consists of a longer train held on poles by many people. Many local Chinatown businesses offer up money to the lions and dragons as it is believed to bring good fortune.
Chinese New Year 2019 at BFI Southbank
The BFI has pulled together a programme of special screenings celebrating Chinese culture for Chinese New Year, running 21-31 January. Films on the bill include Turtle Rock, a black and white documentary about the seven families living in a small Chinese mountain village, and the UK premiere of A Way Out, a documentary following three Chinese teenagers from varying social backgrounds. See the full programme on the BFI website.
Chinese New Year at Park Chinois
Dine at Chinese restaurant Park Chinois in Mayfair between 1-21 February and you'll be treated to live Chinese performances include lion dances and a Chinese drummer, and Chinese predictions for the coming year, alongside a special New Year menu and 'Year of the Pig' cocktails.
Chinese New Year at Museum of London Docklands
Take the kids along to the Museum of London Docklands — located close to London's original Chinatown in Limehouse — on 2-3 February for a family-friendly festival of Chinese folktales, ribbon dancing, martial arts, crafts and music, including plenty of chances to have a go yourself.
Chinese New Year 2019 at Cutty Sark
Learn all about the Cutty Sark tea clipper ship's voyages to China at this family-friendly weekend of art and crafts on 2-3 February, celebrating Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year at XU Teahouse
This Soho Taiwanese teahouse and restaurant has a special Chinese New Year menu for 5-28 February, starting at £45 (booking recommended), and claiming to offer something a bit different to traditional Chinese restaurants. Options include sweet potato & miso taro dumpling, fire cracker prawn rolls, black vinegar cockles, and fried peanut mochi.
Chinese New Year 2019 at the National Maritime Museum
Learn some of the Dragon Dance moves, make your own flag, hear traditional Chinese New Year stories and watch performances from the Shanghai Theatre Company at National Maritime Museum's family-friendly Chinese New Year celebrations on 9 February.
Chinese New Year at Duke of York Square
Duke of York Square's regular Saturday Fine Food Market gets a Chinese makeover on 9 February (10am-4pm), when a special Chinese food market pops up alongside the usual traders, selling Chinese delicacies. Traditional Chinese entertainment, including a Lion Dance, also takes place.