When is Chinese New Year 2022 and which animal is it?
Chinese New Year — also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival — is on Tuesday 1 February 2022 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 — 2022 is the Year of the Tiger. Why not celebrate by going around London in 12 tigers? Gong xi fa cai!
London's Chinese New Year Parade 2022
Unfortunately, London's Chinese New Year Parade isn't taking place in full in 2022, due to ongoing uncertainty around Covid-19.
Usually it's the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia, taking place throughout Chinatown and Trafalgar Square, and is completely free to watch. Though the parade floats aren't happening this year, a lion dance performance and small street market is still expected to ahead in London's Chinatown.
Events to celebrate Chinese New Year in London
So, no Chinese New Year parade, but that doesn't mean that Lunar New Year celebrations are off completely:
RICH MIX: Chinese ribbon dancing is how Chinese New Year is celebrated at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. Book yourself onto a workshop to learn the basics of this traditional dance, dating back over 1000 years. 23 January 2022
NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM: Working with the Vietnamese Women's Group, Global Fusion Music and Arts and Newham Chinese Association, Greenwich's National Maritime Museum hosts a day of Lunar New Year celebrations. Enjoy lion dancing and other performances, printing workshops, Tai Chi demonstrations, fan-making, and Mahjong sessions. 29 January 2022
MARITIME COLLECTIONS: In addition to the above, Royal Museums Greenwich also offer a special Lunar New Year tour of the Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre in Kidbrooke (which we visited in 2019). This month's tour focuses on objects which have a special connection to Lunar New Year. 3 February 2022
MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS: There's a whole weekend of free, family-friendly activities at Museum of London Docklands to celebrate Lunar New Year 2022. Community activities and performances are part of the fun, as well as a chance to learn why the celebrations are important to the local area. 5-6 February 2022
Food and drink to celebrate the Year of the Tiger
TIGER AFTERNOON TEA: The City's Pan Pacific London hotel welcomes the Year of the Tiger with a special afternoon tea, served in The Orchid Lounge and featuring treats such as Mandarin orange mousse, marmalade and tiger sponge, and sesame teapot, with black sesame, yuzu, and cheesecake. £72 per person. 7 January-28 February 2022. The hotel's Strait Kitchen also serves a special Singapore-inspired Chinese New Year menu, 28 January-4 February
RASA SAYANG: It's great news for laksafans that Malaysian-Singaporean Rasa Sayang's made a comeback to Chinatown, after a move and a pandemic hiatus. You can order their Yu Sheng menu for collection, if you want to celebrate Lunar New Year in trad Strait-inspired style from the comfort of your home. It'd be an act of lunarcy (sorry) if you didn't also add in an order of their soulwarming roti canai and beef rendang while you're there. 27 January - 15 February
WING WING: Chinatown's Korean fried chicken restaurant Wing Wing gets in on the Year of the Tiger action with limited edition tiger-striped crispy wings added to the menu, with a hot buldak mayonnaise dressing used to create the visual effect. 15 January-15 February 2022
HAKKASAN: Both branches of Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Hakkasan offer a limited edition Year of the Tiger menu featuring dishes specially created for the occasion, along with a tiger-inspired cocktail. Think Salmon Crudo, followed by a Trio Happiness Dim Sum Platter, and rounded off with an orange dark chocolate firecracker and mandarin sorbet, in a tiger stripe design. £118 per person, 18 January-15 February 2022.
YAUATCHA: Dim sum tea house Yauatcha also serves a limited-edition themed set menu, as well as a specially created cocktail. Additionally Yauatcha Patisserie's take on the traditional auspicious pineapple tart filled with diced pineapple has been topped with a tiger printed into red chocolate, and is available both in store, and online for nationwide delivery. Chinese New Year menu £60 per person, available 18 January-15 February 2022
BAO LONDON: Restaurant mini-chain BAO celebrates Lunar New Year by handing out traditional red envelopes to diners, one of which will contain the enviable prize of a whole year of daily BAOs for free. There's also a special Lunar New Year menu at Cafe BAO in Shoreditch and Fitzrovia, including Tiger Claw baked goods, filled with molten chocolate. And there's an online store for those who can't get out. 28 January-3 February 2022.
HUTONG: For one day only, Hutong at level 33 of The Shard serves a five-course celebratory menu, done the traditional way — the Lo Hei salad is mixed, tossed and served by the host of the table, and the higher the ingredients are tossed, the more prosperity it's believed to bring. Also on the menu are scallop & prawn wonton with hot & sour soup, and roasted Peking duck with homemade pancakes and hoisin sauce. Lion dancers and a Chinese calligrapher are there throughout the evening. For Chinese New Year, the venue's Shanghai Bar serves a special cocktail inspired by the Year of Tiger. Year of the Tiger menu £125 per person, available 1 February 2022. Cocktail £17, available 31 January-15 February 2022
Celebrate Chinese New Year at home
CANTONESE OPERA: Get the lowdown on Cantonese opera from Rosa Cheng, Principle Performer & Artistic Director of Vancouver Cantonese Opera. In an online event by Royal Museums Greenwich, she reveals the philosophy behind the art form, and what it takes to put on a performance. 26 January 2022
FIRECRACKER FAMILY WORKSHOP: Learn how families in Taiwan celebrate Lunar New Year, and make your own celebratory firecrackers with Museum of London's online workshop, which connects you with people in Taiwan. You'll need to book in advance, as all the materials you need will be posted to your home address. 5 February 2022
VIRTUAL FESTIVAL: Last year, Museum of London celebrated Lunar New Year with a virtual festival, and much of it is still available online. Enjoy pre-recorded lion dancing and puppet show performances, learn how to make your own lantern, or have a go at yoga or Tai Chi, all in your own home, at your own leisure. Similarly, Royal Museums Greenwich has plenty of at-home Chinese New Year activities — scroll to the bottom of this page for inspiration.