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Dim Sum and Family Fun in London for Chinese New Year!

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people come to the capital to wish each other "Kung Hei Fat Choy" (or Happy New Year). London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for London, has highlighted some of the top things to do in the British capital to celebrate this February.

Chinese New Year

With the main action taking place on 10 February, the welcoming in of the Year of the Snake in London will be the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia. 

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who supports the official celebrations in London, said:  

'Our Chinese New Year celebrations will be without doubt an early highlight of 2013. The Year of the Snake is about change, but it is also about achievement and innovation - fitting attributes for a city like London. Londoners are resourceful, adaptable and enormously creative, so let's rise to the challenges and create as well as seize opportunities in the year ahead. Kung Hei Fat Choy.'

Chinatown is, as ever, at the centre of the New Year party. Food and craft stalls will line the streets as a magnificent lion dance snakes through the crowds, stopping at restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year.

The Chinese New Year festivities will begin in the morning with a parade from Trafalgar Square to Chinatown. Trafalgar Square will host the official opening celebration with stage performances and special guests. A second stage on Shaftesbury Avenue will feature performances from local community groups and schools.

From the parade of colourful floats and drums, to live entertainment from Emmy the Great, Paul Potts and the world-renowned Chen Brothers Flying Lion Dance and a stunning fireworks display, there really is something for everyone.  

Fun for all the family

The Museum of London Docklands will celebrate the Year of the Snake with free fun art, craft and interactive storytelling events for all the family on 9 – 10 February.

Later in the month, The National Maritime Museum will celebrate British East Asian heritage with a day of music, workshops and performances. Come and discover how trade by sea brought ideas, culture, language and people from Asia to Britain on 23 February. Also in Greenwich, visitors can also discover the history and uses of fans and make a Chinese-inspired fan to take home on 20-21 February.

More fun can be had in the run up to the weekend at The Geffrye, Museum of the Home which will be welcoming children to make and decorate a lantern on 2 February.

And after the fireworks…

Behind Opium's jade door you'll find a host of Chinese New Year entertainment such as astrology readings, face painting, magic and a New Year snake show. Year of the Snake dressing up is encouraged at this Chinatown cocktail and dim sum night spot. 

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is home to Chinese artefacts including a giant pagoda made out of solid jade, an ancient Chinese moneybox pillow used to deter thieves and an impressive statue of a Chinese guilt warrior. Visitors can even come "face-to-face" with Ching Foo of China who was born with a blue face even though the rest of his body was completely normal.

See www.visitlondon.com/chinesenewyear  for the full schedule for the day.

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