Celebrations

Chinese New Year

thames rockets chinese new year

Zooming into the year of the (Red) Rooster!

This weekend will mark Chinese New Year and the celebrations in London on Sunday 29th January are considered to be the biggest in the world outside of China itself!

Festivities will be taking place all weekend, culminating on Sunday, where it’s free to attend and watch the performers and the annual parade that begins from Trafalgar Square – only a 15-minute walk from our pier at the London Eye!

thames rockets chinese new year 1

Simply head north over the Hungerford Bridge and then follow the Embankment to Trafalgar Square. Why not head up to nearby Chinatown itself and take in the beautiful sea of red and gold lanterns and decorations!

With a stage set up in Trafalgar Square and performances taking place all day, it’s a perfect post-speedboat party to help get those land-legs back! For full information and a programme of the events take a look at Visit London’s very comprehensive Chinese New Year listings.

thames rockets chinese new year

Of course, it would only be polite (and fun!) to be able to say “Happy New Year” in Cantonese or Mandarin. So to say “Happy New Year” in Cantonese it’s “San Nin Faai Lok” (pronounced san knee fy lock) and in Mandarin it’s “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (pronounced sing nee-ann koo-why ler).

2017 sees the arrival of the Year of the Rooster. The Chinese zodiac decrees that people born this year are observant, frank, ambitious and confident – people born in 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 or 2005 were also born in the Year of the Rooster, which makes our very own guide Matty P a Rooster! Seems a perfect opportunity to give this photo another airing…

Matt P Rooster

You’re welcome, Matt!

Red is not just the key colour of Thames Rockets, it’s the key colour of Chinese New Year too! You can dress up with a red scarf, jumper or shoes – this will bring good luck for the coming year. If you’re taking the kids to the event, let them bring rooster decorations or paint their faces with roosters!

thames rockets chinese new year 2

If you want to enjoy Chinese New Year Cantonese-style, head into Chinatown and order a whole chicken dish and a fish dish. The whole chicken dish means “happiness for the whole family” and the fish dish means “may there be surpluses every year”. If you’re following Northern Chinese culture, you should opt for dumplings. However – remember to book ahead to beat the crowds! We’d recommend you head to Ping Pong on the Southbank or St. Katharine Docks, who have some fantastic performers and entertainment on Saturday night for the celebrations.

ping pong st katharine docks thames rockets

If you want to immerse yourself in the complete Chinese New Year experience, continue the celebrations after the event by going somewhere high. In Chinese culture, “climb high and gaze far” on New Year’s Day or the following day brings good luck in business, career, study and fortune.

So go to places such as The London Eye or The View from the Shard – did you know we have combo tickets for both attractions available here?!

Only Thames Rockets can combine the colour red, a guide born in the Year of the Rooster, a short walk to the parade, nearby Dim Sum and tickets to “climb high and gaze far” in one ultimate Chinese New Year extravaganza.

準備好喇…?

chinese new year, events, London, ping pong