Celebrate Lunar New Year in Southampton

Chinese New Year is one of the largest celebrations of the Lunar New Year festivals in the world. It is celebrated by communities across the UK and Southampton is no exception! February will see an exciting programme of festivities from spirited dragon parades to family-friendly traditional arts and crafts. Dive into the action-packed details of what’s happening across the city below.

What is Chinese New Year?

Red paper lanterns with gold tassels hanging from ceiling

Lunar New Year celebrations begin on the day of the new moon that appears between 21st January to 20th February and lasts for roughly 15 days until the full moon. During this auspicious period, families come together to partake in shared meals, and engage in the age-old tradition of sprucing up their homes to make way for good fortune and usher in the new year. The vibrant colour red takes centre stage, symbolizing not only good luck but also the essence of joy along with the regal hue of gold which is synonymous with wealth and prosperity. Read more on this here.

What is the Chinese zodiac for 2024?

Red dragon held up on sticks by people walking in a parade

2024 is the year of the dragon which is the fifth zodiac in the 12-year cycle of the lunar calendar. The dragon represents good luck, strength, and health and is the only zodiac that is a mythical creature. Those born in the year of the dragon are said to be ambitious, generous, strong and independent individuals with an adventurous side. Discover your zodiac sign here.

Previous years of the dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928

Lantern Festival

Person sitting on ground with legs spread out dressed in Chinese Lion costume to perform traditional lion dance

Saturday 24th February

Join UK Shaolin for the grand finale of this year's celebrations as they celebrate the Lantern Festival on Saturday 24th February. Here's what you can expect:

12pm - 5pm

  • Chinese Dragon and Lion Dancing: Follow the captivating dragon and lively lions as they weave through Guildhall Square, creating a spectacle of colour and tradition. The procession will lead the way to Westquay, infusing the event with the energy and grace of this ancient Chinese art form.
  • DJ and Music: Let the beats guide you through the festivities at Westquay from 12pm to 5pm
  • Fitness Challenge: Engage in the Dumbbell Lateral Raise Hold Challenge and Cornhole Game from 12pm to 3pm
  • Creative Corner: Explore your artistic side in Arts & Crafts Workshop and Chinese Calligraphy Workshop 12pm to 5pm
  • Mind Games: Delve into the strategic world of Weiqi (Chinese Go Game) from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
  • Dance Workshops: Experience the art of Chinese culture with workshops on Chinese Dragon Dance and Lion Dance, complete with photo opportunities, from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
  • Chinese Drumming Workshop: Feel the rhythm in the Chinese Drum Workshop from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

For more information click here.

Places to celebrate

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