Happy Chinese New Year from Team Curve

新年快乐 ... As you may have deduced from the headline, this means Happy New Year!

This year, millions of Chinese people are welcoming in the lunar Year of The Pig.

Vibrant dragon parades, delicious cuisine, and gifting money-filled red envelopes are just a few of the many ways the new year is celebrated.

If you’d like to experience some of the festivities yourself, fear not, it’s not too late - the revelry is set to continue over the next couple of weeks.

Here’s Curve’s guide to the celebrations and our pick the best spots to enjoy the party around the UK, and further afield. 🐷 🎉

How is the Chinese New Year celebrated?

It is traditional for Chinese families to gather on New Year’s Eve for ‘reunion dinners’ culminating in fireworks and firecrackers being set off at midnight to cast away any bad luck and bring in the good.

girl with red envelopes

The Chinese Zodiac moves in a 12-year cycle with each year having a corresponding animal. 2019 is Year of The Pig, so look out for lots of piggy-related decorations and paraphernalia.

Each year, people exchange gifts to celebrate, the most common being money-filled red envelopes. These are believed to bring good fortune because they’re red - a symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. And of course they’re filled with cash, which helps.

Customarily, people give red envelopes to family members, while employers give envelopes to their employees (FYI your boss!)

Curve's Red Limited Edition card

Why not say Happy Chinese New Year to someone special - or spoil yourself - with Curve Metal? Our most stylish and exclusive card comes in Red Limited Edition

Where can I catch the best Chinese New Year celebrations?

London: Home to the UK’s largest Chinese population, the capital’s main festivities are held on Sunday 10 February.

Chinese dragon costume

You can watch the giant, glistening Chinese New Year parade shimmy through the streets of Chinatown and the West End. Then you could always head over to Trafalgar Square for a day of stage shows - from traditional Chinese dance performances to contemporary hip-hop acts.

Manchester: The biggest Chinese New Year celebration in the north of the UK involves four days of partying including Lion Dancing, Kung Fu demonstrations and fireworks. The city’s magnificent Golden Dragon Parade takes place on Sunday 10 February.

Edinburgh: Last year, the Scottish capital hosted its first official celebration of Chinese New Year. This time around, the event looks set to be even bigger, including a concert at Usher Hall on Saturday 9 February with the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra and artists from China and the UK set to perform.

Paris: On Sunday 17 February, the City of Light's 13th arrondissement’s Quartier Asiatique hosts a spectacular parade of flamboyant dragon and lion dancers. Elsewhere in the city, exhibitions, concerts, calligraphy and origami workshops are being held.

Madrid: The Spanish capital hosts a whole month of activities, including film screenings, fireworks and cooking masterclasses. Over the next week there will be table tennis demonstrations, a spring market featuring an array of Chinese handicrafts, and a huge parade with more 1,000 participants on Sunday 10 February.

That’s just a handful of the highlights. With activities, parties and parades planned in other major UK cities - including Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle and Liverpool - and all around the world, we hope you get the chance to embrace the sights, tastes and sounds of the Chinese New Year.

Andy Dangerfield

Senior Content Manager at Curve

See more posts from Andy Dangerfield