2012 marks the Year of the Dragon and on 29th January, London is set to be filled with vibrant colours, good cheer and marvellous celebrations. The Dragon is one of the most renowned creatures in Chinese legend and those born in Dragon years are said to be highly driven, brave and innovative.
From 10am to 12pm the capital will come alive with the infamous parade commencing at the West End, passing through China Town, Shaftesbury Avenue, Charing Cross Road and Rupert Street until finally, ending the celebrations at Trafalgar Square.
Once the parade has finished the official opening ceremony will begin with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Chinese Ambassador to London, Mr Liu Xiaoming making their speeches, continued by Dragon dancing, live performances and music until 6pm.
Not all celebrations will be held at Trafalgar Square; China Town will host a parade by Lion dancers, offer local produce on an array of stalls and along Shaftesbury Avenue spectators can enjoy live performances from schools and local community groups.
Last year 300,000 people attended the celebrations, with Shaftesbury Avenue becoming "Hong Kong in London" and spectators enjoying acrobatic performances and world-class dance, music.
When and Where?
29th January across London
For the morning parade: West End, China Town, Shaftesbury Avenue, Charing Cross Road, Rupert Street and Trafalgar Square.
For the opening ceremony: Trafalgar Square.
Celebrations: Trafalgar Square, China Town and Shaftesbury Avenue.
Nearby Bars and Restaurants
With so many destinations to arrive at, the choice of restaurants and bars are in abundance. However, after much thought we have narrowed the selection down to what we believe are the best bars and eateries in the city (all the restaurants have a common theme).
• Ping Pong (45 Great Marlborough Street, City of Westminster, W1F 7JL)
Telephone Number: (020) 7851 6969
• Y Ming (35 Greek St, Westminster, W1D 5DL)
Telephone Number: (020) 7734 2721
• Chine City Restaurant – Leicester Square (4 Leicester Street, WC2H 7BL)
Telephone Number: (020) 7437 1528
• Yauatcha (15 Broadwick Street, Greater London, W1F 0DL)
Telephone Number: (020) 7494 8888
• Cork & Bottle Wine Bar (44-46 Cranbourn Street, Greater London, WC2H 7AN)
Type: Wine Bar
Telephone Number: (020) 7734 7807
• Zoo Bar & Club (13-17 Bear Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 7AQ)
Type: Bar and Cub
Telephone number: (020) 7839 4188
You have celebrated the Chinese New Year in style, taken in all the sights of the parade and enjoyed dancing across Trafalgar Square. Now it’s time to relax and unwind from the day’s activities in a luxurious London apartment. At Refresh Accommodation we have plenty of studio, one, two, three and four bedroom apartments for you to choose from, ideal for couples, families or a party of close friends.
Citadines Trafalgar, Trafalgar Square (nearest underground: Charing Cross)
SACO London Covent Garden, The West End (nearest underground: Covent Garden)
No. 5 Maddox Street, Mayfair (nearest underground: Oxford Circus)
Arlington House, Mayfair (nearest underground: Green Park)
The best way to get to the Chinese New Year locations in London is via the underground. Below you will find a list of the nearest tube stations to get off at to watch the parade go by.
To get to Trafalgar Square you want to stop off at Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Lines). London Charing Cross Rail Station is also close by, ideal for those who want to travel into London without having to use the tube.
If you want to parade down to China Town, the nearest tube stations to jump off at are Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines) or Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly Lines).
Watching the parade from the West End you have an assortment of tube stations to get off at, depending on the direction you’re coming from. Get to the West End by arriving at Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines), Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line), Tottenham Court Rd (Central and Northern Lines), Oxford Circus (Central, Bakerloo and Victoria Lines) or Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly Lines).
To arrive at Shaftsbury Avenue, you want to get off at Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines). However, if you wish to get to Charing Cross Road, Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly Lines) or Tottenham Court Rd (Central and Northern Lines) are your point of call.
To get to either end of Rupert Street you’ll need to jump off the tube at either Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines) or Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly Lines).