Spotlight: Chinese New Year marked across Britain

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 4, 2019
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LONDON, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- For the first time, 10 Downing Street has been decorated with cherry blossoms and traditional Chinese couplets as British Prime Minister Theresa May hosted a reception earlier this week to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The prime minister welcomed families from across the United Kingdom into her official office and residence for a colorful Chinese New Year reception. Guests were treated to a display of lights and hanging lanterns.

May took part in the lion-eye-dotting ceremony, an ancient Chinese ritual signifying luck and prosperity, in which the lion's head is dotted with paint to awaken it to dance.

"The UK is home to a vibrant British Chinese population and the Chinese New Year celebrations give us the opportunity to celebrate the important role that our Chinese community plays in British life," the prime minister said. "I'd like to wish everyone celebrating Chinese New Year a prosperous and auspicious Year of the Pig."

The Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, falls on Feb. 5 this year. The No. 10 event is just part of the Chinese New Year celebrations across the country.


The Chinese Embassy in UK hosted a reception to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Chinese consulate general in Manchester also held a concert and Spring Festival reception at Chetham Music School.

The Cambridge Chinese Community Center held the 2019 Spring Festival celebrations with brilliant cultural performances. Cambridge also opened the Spring Festival Temple Fair for the first time, attracting people from all walks of life in the famous university city in the country.

Hosted by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association United Kingdom, a special Spring Festival Gala co-organized by the Shanghai Theatre Academy was recently held at the Sadler's Well Theatre in London.

With Chinese folk music, Kungfu performance, and lion and dragon dances, the Science Museum in London was brimming with pleasure early this week. Around 5,000 visitors joined the China programs in the museum to celebrate the Chinese New Year. They enjoyed the chance to not only discover how Chinese people celebrate the biggest festival of the year but also to find out more about the latest science and emerging technology in China.

Also this week, the University of Birmingham marked the Chinese New Year with a special star-studied concert featuring a magical fusion of East and West.

Minister Counsellor Xiang Xiaowei of the Chinese Embassy in the UK told at a recent press briefing that the Spring Festival is a famous festival to convey Chinese culture.

With the strong support of the Chinese government ministries, the Chinese embassy sees the Chinese New Year as a great opportunity to promote Chinese culture, Xiang said.

In 2019, the British "Happy Spring Festival" series of activities mainly include: London Chinatown Chinese Association Spring Festival celebrations and Shanghai Theatre Academy student art group tour, "Walking New Year's Eve family dinner", "Science Spring Festival Gala" and Chinese Film Panorama.


Preparations are underway across the UK to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

London's Chinatown isn't the only place to go in the capital, but it's the most obvious and famous for a reason. London is home to the UK's largest Chinese population and Chinatown is a historic focal point. On Feb. 10, there will be a Chinese New Year parade.

In Birmingham, festivities are held in the Chinese quarter and is one of the city's largest public celebrations, attracting some 30,000 people every year. Much like Chinatown in London, the emphasis is on dancing, street entertainment, and feasting -- Birmingham has some of the country's best Chinese street food.

In the Liverpool ONE shopping centre, the city's Chinatown, and on Bold Street and surrounds, thousands of red lanterns will be hung from rooftops and balconies. Elsewhere, buildings such as the Bombed Out Church, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, and Sefton Park House will be turning red in commemoration.

In Newcastle, Feb. 10 will be a big day. Chinese New Year festivities will be held around the city's Chinatown along Stowell Street, where there'll be live performances, dance, and music.

In Edinburgh, this year there'll be various activities. The main event is a concert at Usher Hall on Feb. 9. The Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Edinburgh Singers, and a number of other artists and soloists from China and the UK are set to perform.


Flights to Britain from China are up by 24 percent during the Year of the Pig celebrations, latest figures from VisitBritain revealed.

The London-based official tourism agency said Britain is expecting a boost in visits from China as Chinese New Year's Day is around the corner.

VisitBritain said that it is expecting 483,000 visits from China in 2019, up 43 percent on 2017.

"This year marks the 65th anniversary of China-UK diplomatic relationship at the charge d'affaires level. Over the years, China-UK relations have continued to grow despite twists and turns," Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming said recently at an event in London. "And the reason for this lies, to a large extent, in the close exchanges and deep friendship between our two peoples."

"Chinese New Year is a prime time to travel for the Chinese and the UK is gearing up to host some of the largest celebrations outside of Asia," said a spokeswoman for VisitBritain. Enditem

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