How You Can Celebrate Chinese New Year in Edinburgh 2024

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Chinese New Year falls on Saturday 10th February this year, with the 2024 celebrations spreading out over a whole week and more events around the world.

For those of you living in or visiting the Scottish capital, the Chinese New Year in Edinburgh will have events running between Thursday 8th and Tuesday 13th of February.

Edinburgh is a fantastic city to live in as a student. In the past, we’ve provided you with guides to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and several other events year-round to explore and enjoy.

We hope that this blog on how you can celebrate Chinese New Year helps you have an enjoyable time at Edinburgh.

chinese new year decoration - edinburgh

What does the Chinese New Year symbolise this year?

2024 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon. The New Year falls on Saturday 10th February and culminates in the Lantern Festival on Saturday 24th February. The Year of the Dragon brings opportunity for people to focus on the health of their hearts, to recover both physically and emotionally for the year ahead and to deepen connections with their loved ones. The Dragon symbolises nobleness, honour, power, luck and success.

Chinese New Year Dragon

Edinburgh Chinese New Year events 2024

For specific events to attend as an Edinburgh student around the Chinese New Year in 2024, we have put together a list of options. There is always loads going on in this magical city, and Chinese New Year events in Edinburgh are no different.

Chinese New Year concert

One of the staple events on the Edinburgh calendar is the Chinese New Year concert at Usher Hall. It takes place on Saturday 10th February at 7.30 pm, and tickets can be bought for between £10 and £20 with concessions available.

This is an event that brings together the best of Chinese and Scottish culture, involving the spectacular Peking Opera, the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Highland dancing!


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The Year of the Dragon at Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions is the oldest visitor attraction in Edinburgh, dating back to 1853. There are over 100 interactive exhibits and a magnificent rooftop terrace.

There are optical illusions and plenty of fun over five floors, including a mirror maze and vortex tunnel.

For Chinese New Year, Camera Obscura will be lighting its building red and decorating some of the exhibits inside to join the celebrations of the Year of the Dragon. You can book your tickets to Camera Obscura here.


Bilingual Ceilidh

There are two bilingual ceilidhs that are being held during the Chinese New Year celebrations in Edinburgh this year. A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering and has traditional dancing at its core.

During Chinese New Year there is a combination of the traditional Scottish ceilidh and a Mandarin-speaking ceilidh caller. Live music and dance in both languages will guarantee a great night of fun.

You can book tickets for the Chinese New Year ceilidh at the City Art Centre on Sunday 11th February. The action starts at 5 pm, and concession prices are available.

Two women performing Celidh

Lion dance performance at St James Quarter

On the 10th of February, there will be an exciting and powerful performance at St James Quarter, with two performances (one at 12pm and one at 1pm). There is plenty to enjoy around the event, from the dancing and pageantry itself to red envelope giveaways, bringing you the best of good luck and well-wishes for the year ahead.

Lion dance for chinese new year edinburgh

The Mound Chinese New Year celebration for Scotland

This celebration took place at noon on the 4th of February, and it is the official start of events that will run for a few weeks for Chinese New Year in the Scottish capital. There is always a plethora of artistic displays and cultural exhibitions, dance and music for you to immerse yourself in, and it is free to attend!

Two women celebrating chinese new year

Chinese Calligraphy Experience

One to look out for next year (as the event was on the 27th of January and the 3rd of February this year), the Chinese Calligraphy Experience is a great way to learn about such a beautiful artistic expression. It took place at Strathberry at Multrees Walk, where artists created bespoke, complimentary artworks for customers to experience.

chinese calligraphy

Decorate your student accommodation

Everyone loves a party, right? Why not throw a party for Chinese New Year at your student apartment and decorate the place to match? You can have fun making and putting up decorations with your close friends, including floral arrangements, paper cuttings, red lanterns and other red decorations. The Year of the Dragon gives you the license to be as creative as possible this year too!

Women wearing red sweater , decorating her house for chinese new year in edinburgh

Try some Chinese cuisine

There are some amazing Chinese restaurants in Edinburgh, such as China Red and Dumplings of China, so why not head out with friends to celebrate Chinese New Year in style, sampling authentic Chinese cuisine from some of the best local businesses?

During the New Year celebrations there are some items that are eaten for good luck and prosperity for the year ahead, so tuck into dumplings, spring rolls, noodles and nian gao for luck as well as the delicious taste!

If you and your friends are feeling particularly adventurous, another thing that you could do is to invite people round for a dinner party to celebrate New Year and have a go at cooking some tasty Chinese food at home!

Assortment of delicious Chinese food

As you can see, there are plenty of events to celebrate Chinese New Year in Edinburgh in 2024, spreading across a whole week. The Year of the Dragon is certainly one to celebrate, connect with friends and family, explore the culture surrounding the event, and learn more about the local Chinese community in Edinburgh. It is important that you take the chance to explore events in Edinburgh when you live there as a student. It provides you with the best chance to learn more about the city and to become part of the community, which definitely enhances your experience as a student.

Follow us on Instagram @prestigestudentliving and let us know how you are celebrating Chinese New Year in Edinburgh this year!

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