Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac since its actual date differs each year depending on the lunar and solar calendars. The Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog, falls on Friday, February the 16th, 2018, however, the celebrations will start on the 18th, the Sunday following the actual date. Central London festivities introduce lively activities and foodie treats in various venues from London Chinatown to Shaftesbury Avenue. Some other locations around London are Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross Road.
The Chinese New Year parade’s colourful and bright floats will kick off at 10 am from the Charing Cross Road that will be full of dragon and lion dances as well as craft stalls to the fully-decorated Chinatown. Chinatown restaurant will be offering special festive treats.
The Year of the Dog will be full of West End music, acrobatic and activities. At 12 pm, Trafalgar Square will host stage performances, traditional Chinese dance and music shows and contemporary hip-hop acts. Also, you can head to one of the two food zones to grab a bite of the Far East. To be soaked in cultural activities and family-friendly performances like calligraphy and dressing up in traditional outfits, head to Leicester Square family zone. In the Charing Cross Road community zone, you can witness the New Talent stage hosted by Spectrum Chinese radio.
The London Classic Car Show at ExCeL is another London festival. It will start on the 15th of February and will be on for 3 days. You can witness the golden years of car motoring, enjoy the collocated show, and the Historic Motorsport International. Grand Avenue presents the most enviable cars in an outstanding roadway passing through the centre of the venue. Further, there will be displays of the most prestigious vintage cars where you can also get to know the world’s best classic car manufacturers, collectors, and dealers. It will be held at the Royal Victorian Dock and the nearest tube is Canning Town.
London Fashion Week Festival at The Store Studios, 180 The Strand will be on from the 22nd of February till the 25th. Designers, retailers and fashion professionals will be brought together at this bi-annual festival which is considered on the most famed fashion events in the world. Mingle in the catwalk shows for the latest worldly fashion trends and new fashion and beauty tips.
Valentine’s Day is on the Horizon too, so be prepared with various romantic destinations that could serve at creating the perfect date. Look up romantic dinner cruises or afternoon tea with City Cruises. One of the fun activities to do is to visit the Museum of Brands with 2-for-1 admission tickets to explore packaging and advertising that revived romance throughout the years from the 10th till the 18th of February. Further, Sadler’s Wells will host flamenco music and dance performances during the Flamenco Festival from the 14th until the 25th of February. You can also go to the Whispering Gallery in St Paul to whisper the three magic words “I love you” or look up some romantic views in London, like watching the sunset from The View from The Shard or from one of the most famous rooftop bars in London: Sky Gardens. The London Eye Champagne Experience is a one like no other on Valentine’s Day.
From Saturday the 10th of February till the end of the month, the Orchid Festival will take place in Kew Gardens for its 23rd year. Plantlife of Thailand will be the festivals main concentration, as the greenhouse will be exposing vibrant species, orchid bouquets, handcrafted floating Thai umbrellas and an impressive orchid palace. The nearest tubes to the Royal Botanic Gardens are Kew Gardens and Kew Bridge rail. This festival is a great destination for couples on Valentine’s Day since flowers are one of the most effective romantic gestures there is.