Top Chinese New Year Global Celebrations for Students

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Ola Elwassify

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24 January, 2020

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4 mins read

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One thing is certain when it comes to globalization, all nations are now open to celebrating events and festivals, even if not closely related to their own culture. Learning about other countries' traditions, festivals, and celebrations happen to bring joy to everyone. We've to give credit to international students like you who travel to study abroad and feel happiness and joy when delving into other cultural celebrations, and the Asian culture is one of the finest and richest ones. This is the Year of the Rat! So line up all to learn more about Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year celebrations around the globe that you, as a student, will be amazed to witness.

1. London

There's no need to mention that London's biggest Chinese New Year celebrations take place in Chinatown, which happens to be the students' preferred destination in the city. The streets become lively with vibrant parades, stage performances, martial arts, and street food galore. The show starts at 10 am on the 16th of January with a colourful floating parade and dragon dances from Trafalgar Square all the way to Chinatown. There're also firecrackers, speeches, Lions' Eye-Dotting Ceremony, traditional flying dragon and lion dances, music and dance performances. You can buy souvenirs for your loved ones from the crafts stalls with a variety of Chinese zodiac animals. There'll be restaurants too so you can grab a bite when peckish!

The iconic Camden Market is celebrating 45 years of heritage, creativity and individuality on the 25th of January, by launching its first-ever free Chinese New Year celebration. Other than featuring various live performances throughout the day, 10% off food from Asian Alley traders is on, and lucky students will receive red envelopes containing surprises, from free food vouchers to discounts and offers.


2. Manchester

It has one of the UK's brightest celebrations of the Chinese New Year, and that's why this post would've been incomplete without it. Manchester is welcoming the year of the rat with red lanterns, the glittering golden dragon and the legendary Dragon Parade. There will also be a spectacular firework finale in Chinatown on the 26th of January at 6 pm, so make sure you don't miss that razzle-dazzle display. Gather your student residence flatmates in Manchester and have loads of fun! Celebrations continue in Chinatown itself with classical Chinese lion dances, martial arts, music, and acrobatics. You can easily spot street food, but it's better to get down there early to get a table with a view. All the celebrations on the first floors of the restaurants are lining George Street, Nicholas Street and Faulkner Street.

Manchester market

3. Sydney

The Chinese New Year Festival in Sydney is like no other! Many spectacular events will take place, like the Lunar Lanterns trail, Lunar Lanes, festival markets, and the most extensive Dragon Boat races in the southern hemisphere. These events usually take place in Sydney's iconic landmarks such as the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay Station, Sydney Town Hall and many others.

  • Lunar Lanes - Haymarket Street Party - the 25th of January, 2020
  • Chinatown Lion Dances - Fridays thru Sundays the 31st of January - the 9th of February, 2020
  • Lunar New Year Lanterns Exhibition - the 31st of January - the 9th of February, 2020
  • Sydney Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Races - February 1 - 2, 2020

All of these Chinese New Year events are for free, so they're just perfect for students on-a-budget. You'll only need to grab a bite and voila! They'll have live performances, live gigs, music, street food, dance performances and more dancing!

Chinese new year 2020 year of the rat

4. Melbourne

Considering that it is the most significant event on Melbourne's Chinese calendar, bringing it with several weeks of celebration and festivities is not surprising to students in the city. Melbourne's Chinatown is revived with hues of red and gold, and as a student residing and studying in Melbourne at this time of the year, missing it is out of the question. Feasting and the awakening of the dragon are some of the traditional festivities held, allowing you to explore more about Melbourne's rich Chinese heritage. The celebrations light the streets up from Queensbridge Square to Southgate and Docklands Queen Victoria Market. You can witness street performances, the fantastic acrobatic lion dances and roam around the food stalls with their Chinese aroma. All this is on from the 24th till the 26th of January.

Melbourne chinese dumpling

5. New York

The Year of the Rat is responsible for fun and colourful cultural events happening all over NYC. Stunning visuals, tantalizing treats and impressive live performances are all included in this Chinese annual Lunar New Year celebration. It'll feature all sorts of vendors, food, festivities for all ages, and especially teenagers and students since they represent the majority of the attendees. Sneaking its way through the streets of Little Italy to Chinatown, the Lunar New Year Parade & Festival is taking place on the 25th of January at 11 am, with fireworks scheduled at noon. Other NYC Chinatowns with celebrations are Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and Flushing, Queens.

Celebrations in 2020

6. Boston

Since it homes the third-largest Chinese community in the US and has an increasing number of international students, the Lunar New Year marks the most significant annual celebration in Boston's Chinatown. Boston's vibrant Chinese Near Year Parade has troops of colourful lion dancers, drums and cymbals, firecrackers, and great food. Most of Chinatown becomes pedestrian-only during the event, so it's safe for you as a student to jaywalk and enjoy the festival. You get to see a pair of "lions," a Buddha/Clown, attendants, and music ensembles with gongs, cymbals, and drums who set the emotional and rhythmic pace of the dance. Don't worry much about the best place to view the parade; follow the noise from the drums and firecrackers.


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