When is Chinese New Year 2023 and which animal is it?
Chinese New Year — also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival — is on Sunday 22 January 2023, although in China, celebrations take place for a few weeks either side of this. Each year is represented by one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs — 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. Gong xi fa cai!
London's Chinese New Year Parade 2023
The Chinese New Year Parade hasn't taken place on London's streets since early 2020, due to Covid. We're crossing our fingers it'll be back for January 2023 but this hasn't yet been confirmed — we'll update you when we know more.
Events to celebrate Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year in London
NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM: Greenwich's National Maritime Museum hosts a day of Lunar New Year celebrations organised by Newham Chinese Association, Greenwich Vietnam Women's Group and the Association of Chinese Women, Woolwich. It's a family-friendly event, with lion dance performances, talks and tours relating to some of the Lunar New Year objects in the museum's collection, plus hands-on workshops where you can have a go at creating Lunar New Year lanterns or lion dance costumes. There's a chance to learn how to play Mahjong too. FREE, 21 January
CHINESE ASTRONOMY: Also in Greenwich, there's a Chinese astronomy show at the Planetarium. It's given in English (though bilingual shows are available on other dates throughout the year), and covers topics in ancient and modern Chinese astronomy, including the Sun, Moon, stars and space exploration. 21 January
MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS: Take the whole family along to Museum of London Docklands' Lunar New Year celebrations, taking place across a whole weekend. Get stuck into ribbon dance workshops, watch lion dance performances, and learn about the game of Mahjong courtesy of Mahjong Twickenham. There's also storytelling, crafts, and other events to immerse younger visitors and their families in the Chinese celebrations. FREE, 21-22 January
MUSEUM OF THE HOME: Focus is on sustainability at the Museum of the Home's Green Lunar New Year event, which takes the form of exhibitions, talks, screenings, art workshops and supper clubs. Learn the art of seed bombing, master Mahjong moves, or try your hand at vegetable printing, and browse market stalls with goods made by local East and South East Asian artists. FREE, 23 January
Food and drink to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit
HAKKASAN: Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurants Hakkasan Hanway Place and Hakkasan Mayfair celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a limited edition menu and cocktail, the Tùzi Tail (available 10 January-7 February). The much-loved Wishing Tree is also back, decorated with rabbit drawings and Chinese symbols, offering diners somewhere to hang their wishes for the year ahead. Plus, Hakkasan Hanway Place hosts a special celebration dinner on 18 January, featuring a limited edition menu alongside a drinks pairing by Hennessy X.O. and entertainment.
YAUATCHA: Chinese dim-sum tea houses Yauatcha Soho and Yauatcha City are also offering a limited edition menu and cocktail, the Bunny Sour, in partnership with Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru — and if you've still got room after that, you can tuck into a cute rabbit shaped dessert. Each venue is decorated with bespoke rabbit illustrations too.
POON'S AT CAROUSEL: Cantonese restaurant Poon's takes over Fitzrovia restaurant Carousel for a two-night Chinese New Year celebration on 19 and 20 January. The 'Steamboat' feast consists of bubbling stock pots in which you can poach a selection of marinated meats, seafood, Chinese vegetables and tofu, all accompanied by spring onion and Poon's signature sauces.
LUNAR NEW YEAR AFTERNOON TEA: The Orchid Lounge at Pan Pacific London offers a special Lunar Afternoon Tea (4 January-27 March), in partnership with candle company Diptyque. Tuck into patisserie such as a mandarin and white chocolate mousse with orange marmalade, and Chinese savoury choices including crispy wonton with aromatic duck and tofu, and a lobster bun and Kaya toast — all served in a birdcage stand. The hotel's Straits Kitchen restaurant is hosting its own four-course celebratory dinner on 21 and 22 January.
Of course, there is also a slew of authentic Chinese restaurants you can celebrate in across London — we asked experts to pick their faves.