Chinese Celebrations

Treat yourself to a Chinese over Chinese New Year

Fired up with enthusiasm for all things Chinese? Savour the sights, sounds, and flavours of China this month over Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year, London
Traditionally, the two-week long celebrations begin on the Sunday following New Year's Day, which in 2011 falls on Thursday 3 February. The London festival for the Chinese lunar new year is one of the largest outside China, with a dazzling parade, performances in Trafalgar Square, fireworks in Leicester Square, and displays in Chinatown attracting huge crowds.

The Chinese year is represented by one of 12 animals and 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. A person born in the year of the Rabbit is said to be expressive, gifted, and determined; reserved, honorable and considerate; and though serene, they are strong-minded and strong-willed and will pursue their ideals throughout life in a precise and orderly way.

Chinatown, London Chinese New Year abounds with superstitions and rituals to ensure good luck for the year ahead. Chinese homes are often thoroughly cleaned in the days preceding New Year's Day to sweep away bad luck, but are kept from being swept on the first few days of the new year to avoid sweeping away good luck. As red is believed to scare off evil spirits and is therefore considered a lucky colour, people will often wear red through the new year period, often dressed top to toe in new clothes to symbolise new beginnings.

To celebrate all things Chinese, we've selected some great places from the AA Restaurant Guide that offer a real flavour of the east. Don't forget the correct etiquette when using chopsticks:

  • Don't tap your chopsticks on the edge of your bowl - beggars are believed to make this noise to attract attention
  • Don't use your chopsticks to make noise or gesticulate
  • It is impolite to spear food with a chopstick
  • It is considered poor etiquette to point rested chopsticks towards others seated at the table
  • Chopsticks should not be left stuck vertically into a bowl of rice as this resembles the ritual of incense-burning that symbolizes "feeding" the dead

Sihk faahn!

Yauatcha Restaurant
London W1
This trendy restaurant serves first-class dim sum ranging from traditional Cantonese dishes alongside more modern Pan-Asian influences.

New Lotus Garden
London SW5
This cosy neighbourhood restaurant offers a tried-and-tested repertoire of Chinese classics using fesh, well-prepared ingredients in crowd-pleasing dishes.

China Tang
London W1
Classic Cantonese cooking is on offer at this fabulously opulent restaurant located at the Dorchester, with top-quality ingredients and carte menus that come dotted with luxuries.

Ken Lo's Memories of China
London SW1
Quality abounds at the popular Pimlico restaurant, where a lengthy carte showcases classic Chinese food, backed up by a set menu that offers excellent value.

Yming Restaurant
London W1
Helpful, polite, friendly and polished service at this Soho venue guides the uninitiated through the extensive carte and fixed-price menu of Cantonese and regional dishes.

Min Jiang
London W8
The tenth floor of the Royal Garden Hotel has striking views over the tops of the trees in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park with the London skyline beyond. The customers of Min Jiang can take in this inspiring vista while enjoying some truly impressive contemporary Chinese food.

Kai Mayfair
London W1
Sheer luxury is the order of the day at this popular and exclusive Chinese restaurant in the heart of Mayfair. is appropriately professional, while the kitchen offers a wide-ranging menu of regional favourites and more innovative specialities.

London W1
This incredibly popular restaurant and bar offers exceptional Chinese cuisine, its lengthy menu built on Cantonese foundations with influences from other regions.

Chop Chop
This thriving local restaurant serves punchy and authentic Northern Chinese cuisine designed to be shared. Dishes are spot on and full of zinging flavour.


•  Discover other fine restaurants

•  Buy the AA Restaurant Guide

•  Find an event by name using 'Chinese'