How You Can Celebrate Chinese New Year 2023 In The UK

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The beginning of the Year of the Rabbit is fast approaching with Chinese New Year falling on January 22nd and ending on February 1st – we’re so excited!

This holiday is celebrated by millions of people across the world and throughout the UK to celebrate the start of a new year within the Chinese Lunar calendar.

With many festivals, parades, food stalls, fireworks, performances, exhibitions and other events taking place. It’s a time of celebration, good fortune, and new beginnings.

Not sure how you can celebrate Chinese New Year 2023? Carry on reading to find out how you can get involved.

chinese new year 2023

Is Chinese New Year A Public Holiday In The UK?

Whilst Chinese New Year is a huge celebration within the UK, it’s not a public holiday like it is in China and other Asian countries.

Although, Chinese businesses across the country may close temporarily or have different opening hours to celebrate the most important holiday in their culture.

Luckily for us, the festivities kick off on a Sunday so you don’t have to worry about missing uni if you want to get involved with the celebrations.

Don’t worry though, the festivities aren’t just taking place on the 22nd, they’ll be happening for two weeks so you’ll have plenty of time to get involved.

Many cities across the UK will be lighting up to welcome the Year of the Rabbit so no matter where you’re living, we’re sure there’ll be plenty of festivities taking place and many different ways you can celebrate.

Chinese New Year in the UK

How To Celebrate Chinese New Year

Now on to the best part, how you can celebrate Chinese New Year 2023!

With the festivities this year set to be double the fun to what they have been in previous years due to in-person celebrations not taking place since before the pandemic, there is so much to marvel at!

We don’t know about you, but we cannot wait to come together and embrace the Year of the Rabbit.

If you’re not sure where to start then take a read of the 7 ways to celebrate below – you’re welcome.

how to celebrate chinese new year 2023

1. Attend A Chinese New Year Parade Or Festival

Not quite ready to say goodbye to the New Year and Christmas festivities?

Well, the fun doesn’t have to be over as you can welcome the beginning of the Chinese New Year by attending a parade or festival within your local area.

One of the most popular places to visit for the Chinese New Year and get involved with the parade is London as the parade is the biggest of its kind outside Asia, but there’s tons of others that take place annually across the UK.

Some of the best cities to celebrate the Lunar New Year include Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Liverpool as they all have their own vibrant Chinatowns.

The parades traditionally feature colourful floats, lion and dragon dances, cultural performances, firework displays, food stalls and so much more.

Normally, you can expect for them to be held on the very first day of the Chinese New Year but it’s worth checking the events programme in your uni city or town to see what’s taking place!

Attending a parade or a lantern festival is a great way to celebrate the traditions and culture of China in a vibrant and fun atmosphere.

Chinese new year parade

2. Try Some Authentic Cuisine

Another great way to celebrate Chinese New Year 2023 is by trying some authentic Asian cuisine from local businesses in your area.

There are many foods that are traditionally eaten during the holiday to bring good luck and prosperity for the next year.

Some of these include dumplings, fish, spring rolls, steamed chicken, noodles and niangao to name a few.

Plan a meal out with your mates and support a local business by indulging in some tasty Chinese foods and drinks.

Many local businesses may even have special deals on to welcome the Year of the Rabbit so it’s worth checking these out.

Although, we do recommend booking in advance as it will be a super busy period.

Trust us, food and drink are a crucial part of the Chinese Lunar New Year and are said to bring good fortune so make sure to try some new things!

That being said, you don’t need to go out and about to enjoy some authentic Chinese foods and drinks, make some new recipes at home.

There’s plenty of Chinese New Year recipes to follow online!

authentic cuisine chinese new year

3. Participate In Traditional Activities

Would it really be Chinese New Year without participating in some of the amazing traditional activities? It really wouldn’t!

There are so many cultural activities which are associated with the holidays whether it’s lion dances, making paper lanterns, writing red envelopes or trying your hand at calligraphy.

If you love dancing, be sure to get involved in a lion dance for Lunar New Year.

You’ve most likely seen this popular cultural activity before but if you haven’t, you can expect performers dressed in vibrant lion costumes dancing to the beat of drums and gongs.

Setting off fireworks and firecrackers are also other popular activities for the celebrations as they are thought to help drive away evil spirits.

Although, there are some dangers that come along with this so we’d recommend watching an organised display instead.

making traditional red lanterns

4. Decorate Your Home

You really need to go all out for Chinese New Year 2023 and decorate your home for the holiday, after all, who doesn’t love a good party?

Get together with your flatmates and decorate your student apartment with the iconic red lanterns which are a staple of Chinese New Year.

You can also get paper cuttings, floral arrangements, and other red decorations to give your flat a festive look.

Bonus points if you can get your hands on some traditional Rabbit decor as 2023 is the year of the Rabbit!

If you can, try to make sure your decorations are red as this colour is a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture.

decorating your home chinese new year

5. Spend Time With Family & Friends

During the Spring Festival, Chinese people typically spend time with their family and friends, exchanging gifts and taking part in activities together.

So, get together with your nearest and dearest to welcome the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Whether it’s having a meal together and enjoying traditional cuisine, visiting the local Chinese New Year parades and festivals in your community or even exchanging presents, it’s a great excuse to spend time with the people in your life.

Not only is it a time for making memories, it’s also a time to wish each other good luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

You could even gather around and watch a film or TV show which celebrates the holiday.

One noteworthy watch to welcome the beginning of the lunar calendar is the CCTV New Year’s Gala which is the biggest global TV show in the world.

Yep, it’s watched by more people than the Superbowl or The Oscars!

You can expect an exciting programme of entertainment and performances.

spending time with family and friends

6. Send Red Envelopes

Sending red envelopes to family and friends is a traditional part of Chinese New Year as a token of good fortune and blessings for the coming year.

Usually, these red envelopes have money inside and are given to children or elderly, but that’s not to say you can’t send yours to whoever you want!

Whilst red envelopes are traditionally gifted in person, it’s now common to send them digitally.

If you’re wanting to send some red envelopes out to celebrate the holiday, you can get tons of different types online from sites such as Etsy.

red envelopes Chinese new year

7. Organise Your Own Event

If there isn’t too much taking place in your uni city or town for Chinese New Year 2023 then why not organise your own event for the celebrations?

Whether it’s planning a social event in your luxury student accommodation or arranging an event on campus, this time of year is a great way to learn more about Chinese culture and celebrate this annual holiday.

When hosting your own event centred on Chinese arts, heritage or culture, consider wearing red clothing or accessories as this is considered a lucky colour.

Some ideas for organising your own event for the Lunar New Year include an arts and craft workshop to make decorations or hosting a Chinese food and drink feast.

chinese new year event

We hope this guide has given you inspiration for how to celebrate Chinese New Year 2023 in the UK. 

We wish you good fortune for the year ahead – the countdown is on until January 22nd!

Don’t forget to tag us in any of your pictures from the annual holiday, we can’t wait to see them @prestigestudentliving.

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