Lunar New Year is almost upon us and the city is gearing up for a whole host of festivities to ring in the new year and the first new moon of the lunar calendar. 2024 marks the Year of the Dragon, symbolising power, honour, luck and success, the dragon is one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac that are used to name years on the calendar.
Our capital celebrates the occasion big and amongst plenty of festivities from the likes of special celebratory menus at some of the city’s top-notch Asian restaurants, origami workshops, martial arts demonstrations, and so much more which you can find on our things to do for Lunar New Year guide, London’s Chinatown hosts a Chinese Lunar New Year parade that is not to be missed.
Here’s our rundown of everything you need to know about the parade:
When is the parade?
The parade takes place on Sunday February 11, the day after Lunar New Year, and is organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA).
Where will it be?
The festivities will take place across the West End, spanning from Shaftesbury Avenue to Trafalgar Square.
What is the route of the parade?
Beginning on Duncannon Street at 10:15am, it will make its way up Charing Cross Road and past Leicester Square Station, before making a left onto Shaftesbury Avenue where the parade will end.
Expect to see over 50 teams take part in the parade, filling the streets with the largest gathering of Chinese lions and dragons in Europe, along with plenty of floats, vibrant costumes and performances as they inject the spirit of the dragon into the heart of London.
What else is on?
Stick around after the parade as the streets of Chinatown will be keeping the celebrations going with lion dances and festive stalls, and its restaurants will be open until late serving up celebratory dishes, grand feasts, and festive specials to keep you fuelled for a fun-filled day ringing in the new year.
On Trafalgar Square, you’ll find the main stage where you can watch special performances in awe, as well as the community stands, food stalls, and product stalls. On Shaftesbury Avenue’s talent and community zone, there’ll be dance, music and comedy performances by up-and-coming British-Chinese artists. Family activities are being held off of Shaftesbury Avenue where you and the kids can get stuck in the workshops and cultural activities including arts and crafts, calligraphy, Chinese music and dressing up in traditional outfits.
How do I get there?
The closest stations are Leicester Square which will take you to the middle of all the action, and Charing Cross for the start of the parade which takes you right to the festivities in Trafalgar Square.
Is there a map?
The LCCA has created a handy map showing the route of the parade and where all the activities will be taking place, take a look here for the map and more information.