Congratulations and be prosperous!! Happy (Chinese) New Year, in other words! Oh yes, it’s here already. And this time around, it’s the year o’ the bunny.
Nawww. (those are Horniman bunnies. Er.. this photo was taken over a year ago. The fox has gotten them since then. Woops!)
Chinese New Year (which is lunisolar) is the most important of Chinese festivals. It’s also known as the “Spring Festival” (yes, I know, I know – it’s cold outside, but be optimistic), and isn’t actually restricted just to the one day: the festivities extend over an exciting and celebratory fifteen days.
There is a big focus on feasting, exchanging gifts (including the famous Red Envelopes) and fireworks. So what will you be up to? I’m sure that your local Chinese restaurants will be marking the occasion, so be sure to pop by. But for those of you in London, there is a LOT to look forward to:
Saturday 5th, 11am-4pm – The Wallace Collection host a Chinese New Year silk painting workshop – £25 per person
Saturday 5th, 11:30am-3:30pm – The British Museum host a drop in workshop for ages 7+: Mark the Year of the Rabbit by designing your own colourful t-shirt transfer to take home – free!
Saturday 5th – Sunday 6th, The Museum of London, Docklands is hosting a variety of different workshops and tours, including calligraphy, watercolours, and a “hunt the rabbit” competition! See their website for further details.
Sunday 6th, 11am-4pm – The British Museum offer a free drop-in for families – learn all about Chinese New Year celebrations by taking part in this day full of activities, including performances, storytelling and traditional art and crafts.
Sunday 6th, 11:30am-3:30pm – The British Museum are hosting a free drop-in workshop for ages 7+ – create your own Chinese Year of the Rabbit comic using artwork from the Museum’s collection.
Sunday 6th, 12-6pm – Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and Shaftesbury Avenue, traditional and contemporary Chinese entertainment such as dance, music and acrobatics as well as firecrackers, Chinese dragons and lions. Entry is free!
Tuesday 8th, 7-8pm – The Drunken Monkey, enjoy free dim sum and cocktails , followed by a lion dance at The Drunken Monkey
And if all else fails – get in some good grub (be it home made, take-away, or even a microwave meal if you’re on a budget) and stick on a Jackie Chan film.