How to celebrate Lunar New Year in London 2023

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Reflections on the window of Beijing Tong Ren TangSophie Knight

4. Museum of the Home’s Green Lunar New Year

The Museum of the Home’s Lunar celebrations has a welcome eco-friendly twist. The team has worked with East and South East Asian community group Green Lions to plan a program of events that celebrate both the Chinese Year of the Rabbit and the Vietnamese Year of the Cat. There are talks, workshops, film screenings and a maker’s market to potter around, as well as live performances – all of which are tied to climate change and climate action. 

5. Explore some of London’s best Chinatown restaurants

London’s Chinatown has been home to the Chinese community since the 1950s and is teeming with unbelievably delicious restaurants. The area is a hub of flavours from regions in China and neighbouring countries. Many of the area’s best restaurants will be cooking up special delicacies to celebrate Lunar New Year. One of our favourites, Rasa Sayang, will be slinging out Yu Sheng, a dish known for representing prosperity and good luck.

6. Lunar New Year at the Museum of London Docklands

The Museum of London Docklands will host two days of free activities to mark one year rolling into the next in the Lunar calendar. There are tons of activities for little ones – a workshop where those aged five and above can try their hand at Mandarin through games, as well as experience Chinese ribbon dancing. There’s also live music, Year of the Rabbit crafts and an impressive lion dance from a professional dance group. 

A chef prepping duck for customersSophie Knight

7. Lunar New Year at Bao

Eating Bao on Lunar New Year is thought to be lucky – thanks to the wallet-like shape of these delicious buns. Stick to tradition at Bao in King’s Cross or Shoreditch, where those booking into a private dining room from Friday 20 January – Sunday 5 February can feast on a good-fortune menu. Think pickles and crispy noodles, a choice of bao buns, soy-glazed aubergine, and Taiwanese fried chicken, as well as scarlet cha shao gammon (marinated in honey and five spice) served with Delica pumpkin, tofu and garlic chives, and stir-fried Swiss chard with garlic. For pudding, don’t sleep on the sweet red bean Rabbit BBGs. 

8. Christie’s Lates: Year of the Rabbit

Iconic British auction house Christie’s is hosting an evening of belated Chinese New Year celebrations led by artists and curators, spanning several spaces and galleries. Create your ceramic masterpieces, from dumplings to flower bouquets, in the Augusta Gallery with Monica Tong, or learn a new craft as Qin Lei and Sara Zhang share their tips on fan painting and calligraphy. Elsewhere, in the Ante Room, catch an immersive dance performance against an artistic backdrop created by Lulu Wang. Exhibitions open throughout the evening include Outlanders: Dreams of a New Moon – a captivating showcase exploring Asian identity, nostalgia and the year of the rabbit.

9. Mama Chen’s 

Not keen on battling through the bustling streets of Central London? Look to Stratford, where The Gantry Hotel is hosting a brand-new pop-up, Mama Chen’s. Founder and chef Michelle Liu is no newbie to the London food scene, having built up a cult following over the years. Coinciding with Chinese New Year, Mama Chen’s sees Michelle serving up saucy noodle boxes, fluffy dumplings and vibrant salads. To mark the opening weekend and global celebrations, special dishes and giveaways are on offer until Sunday 22 January.

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