Spring Festival 2023

The Year of the Rabbit

Welcome to the online home of the China National Tourist Office in London's Spring Festival celebrations. Discover our fascinating Spring Festival content, learn more about the culture and history of this much-treasured tradition, and find inspiration to celebrate Spring Festival at home with your friends or family. This year's Lunar New Year festivities shall take place from Sunday the 22nd of January 2023.

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. Rabbits are known as the luckiest animal from the Chinese zodiac. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope as rabbits are symbols of peace, longevity, and prosperity. Those born in the year of the rabbit are believed to be compassionate, humorous, patient, and clever! 

We hope you all have a prosperous Year of the Rabbit, filled with happy memories and marvellous achievements. Find details of all of the magnificent online events from ourselves and our treasured partners, including what to expect, and how you can get involved in the harmonious spirit of Spring Festival.

A message from Mr Yang Xiaoguang

Watch to hear a special Chinese New Year 2023 message from Mr Yang Xiaoguang, Chargé d'affaires ad interim of the Chinese Embassy in the UK. In his speech, he highlights the Chinese UK community and our Spring Festival motto, Hope, Home, Harmony, and Health.

A message from Lang Lang

Take a look at this kind Spring Festival well wishes message from Lang Lang, world-renowned pianist 
and cultural ambassador for 2023 Chinese New Year events.

Event Schedule

To commemorate the Year of the Rabbit, China National Tourist Office London and its partners, have launched a rich online programme of fantastic events. The virtual series kicks off with China’s Spring Festival, which this year on the lunar calendar falls on Sunday the 22nd of January 2023, this traditional celebration reminds us to cherish loved ones near and far.



Lunar New Year: Year of the Rabbit at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery - Saturday 28th and Sunday the 29th of January at 10:00 AM to 16:00 PM 

Welcome in the Year of the Rabbit with live performances and activities. Thanks to amazing community partners of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Join Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and community partners for the return of their fantastic Chinese New Year celebration. See the exciting and colourful lion dance. Catch vibrant song and dance performances, marvel at the martial arts demonstrations, and learn about Chinese and Korean culture. There are plenty of craft and traditional activities. Guests can also buy beautiful Chinese goods for sale in the gift shop!

This event is sponsored by University of Bristol and University of the West of England, and is supported by China National Tourist Office London and Make It China.

This event is free to attend, with donations welcome! More information here.

The Bristol and West of England China Bureau: Year of the Rabbit New Year Banquet - Thursday the 16th of February at Wong's Restaurant 18:00 PM - 21:30 PM

The Bristol & West of England China Bureau is proud to present an exciting celebration to ring in 2023.

Join Cllr. Paula O'Rourke, Lord Mayor of Bristol, and guests to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit at our renowned annual banquet.

All the members and friends of the Bureau shall be treated to a night of great fun and delicious food. During the event, guests will have an amazing and authentic experience of Chinese food and hospitality and discover more about the Year of the Rabbit! As usual, there will also be some extra surprises for all attendees.

This merry event is supported by China National Tourist Office London, the Changsha and Guizhou culture and tourism departments, and the Guangzhou municipal government.

Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a joyous evening! Book your ticket here.


The Journey of Tang Poetry Concert with Shen Yang at The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama - Wednesday the 25th of January at 13:15

To mark Chinese New Year, the renowned bass-baritone Shen Yang, Champion of the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, will bring Chinese and Western songs together under the theme of Tang poetry.

These two enchanting concerts held in Cardiff and London are part of the "Happy Chinese New Year 2023" series of events, which hope to deepen mutual understanding between China and the UK through an exciting musical journey across time, space, and borders. 

Helena Gaunt, principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, delivered a special new year message regarding the concert.

Book your tickets here.

We invite you to take a moment to listen to this delightful message from Shen Yang, here he shares his excitement for the upcoming concerts and discusses the inspiration behind the unique musical performances.


Edinburgh Chinese New Year Festival - Friday 20th January to Friday the 3rd of February

Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival which is generously supported by Heriot-Watt University and co-ordinated by Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) as part of its China Ready initiative, has become the largest celebration of its kind in Scotland since its inception in 2019!

This year, a full programme of events and activities across the city has been announced to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. The experience includes a performance of Mulan, staged at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, a bilingual Ceilidh dance at St Cecilia's Concert Hall, and more! Also on the calendar are a series of special workshops, lunchtime Tai Chi, calligraphy, Mah-jong sessions, paper-cutting, and lantern making!

Discover more information about the Scottish celebrations here.

Edinburgh Chinese New Year Concert at Usher Hall - 21st of January at 19:30 PM 

As part of the Edinburgh Chinese New Year Festival, two fantastical events are taking place to celebrate! On the prestigious stage of Usher Hall, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra will be playing alongside a host of special guests, heralding the most important festival in the Chinese calendar with a ground-breaking collaboration of Scottish and Chinese music and song.

Book here.

Edinburgh Chinese New Year Light Show at Edinburgh Castle -22nd to the 23rd of January at 18:00 PM to 21:00 PM

Edinburgh Castle will be hosting a dazzling and exquisitely entertaining lights show celebrating the Year of the Rabbit. Audiences will enjoy a wonderful collection of Chinese performances and the majesty of the city’s finest monument. The show is brought by AACCEE, the City of Edinburgh Council, and Hunan Satellite TV.

More info here.

Watch to hear a lovely Chinese New Year 2023 message from Robert Aldridge,
Lord Provost of the city of Edinburgh.


Jersey Lunar New Year Festival - Sunday the 22nd of January to Sunday the 5th of February

Around 2,000 Jersey residents originate from Asian nations where Lunar New Year is observed. Join us, and the millions of other people around the world in honouring the year of the Rabbit.

The opening ceremony proceeds at 12:00 PM - 16:00 at Central Market.

The Spring Festival celebration is the first Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the Jersey government. The event will feature a series of wonderful cultural activities such as the "Chinese in the UK" exhibition held by the library, the "Our Festival" photography exhibition at Jersey Library, authentic cuisine tasting, Chinese language appreciation, table tennis, traditional Chinese dance, dragon and lion dance performances, and more!

Check out the jam-packed schedule here.

Come along for a guide to Jersey's first Chinese New Year festivities! Victoria Li, the Director of the Jersey Lunar New Year Festival takes us through the impressive programme of the upcoming Spring Festival celebrations.


2023 Festival of Spring: London Chinese New Year Celebrations - Sunday the 22nd of January

On Sunday the 22nd of January, the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) will host the 2023 Festival of Spring to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. Launched in 2002, the LCCA Festival of Spring has become the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia and also a significant event in London’s cultural calendar, showcasing the multicultural and diverse vibrancy of the capital. After scaling down the Festival in the last two years due to Covid, LCCA is looking forward to hosting the event at Trafalgar Square and Chinatown once again. The audience gets to enjoy the amazing parade, performance and Chinese cuisine.

The exciting affair is presented in three parts:

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Festival of Spring Parade
12:00 PM - 18:00 PM: Celebratory Performance in Trafalgar Square
18:30 PM - Festive dinner in London's Chinatown

Chinese New Year Lates at The Science Museum in London - Wednesday the 25th of January at 18:30 PM to 22:00 PM

Chinese New Year Lates are back! The Science Museum in London is resuming in-person events to celebrate Spring Festival on January 25th.

The electrifying event shall consist of fascinating talks, illuminating tours, hands-on workshops and much more to explore! Guests can also join a panel of scientists and science journalists for intriguing predictions for the year ahead, enjoy China’s first animated feature film from 1941, Princess Iron Fan, discover the secrets of the Terracotta Army, embark on a treasure hunt through the incredible museum to discover Chinese zodiac animals, learn how to write your own name and words of encouragement for the New Year in Chinese characters, and even make your own dragon!

This event is going to be nothing short of extraordinary! Book your free ticket here.

Lunar New Year Celebration and Chinese Astronomical Show at The National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory Greenwich - Saturday the 21st of January to Sunday the 12th of February

Welcome Chinese New Year with a day of celebration, performances, and activities at the National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory Greenwich on Saturday, January 21st.

At the National Maritime Museum at 10:00 AM, the Lion Dance of the day will kick off the Year of the Rabbit. Enjoy a musical performance featuring traditional Chinese instruments the Pipa and the Guzheng, Tai Chi and Qigong 18 movements, traditional Chinese opera Guifei Zuijiu, workshops on making hongbao and lanterns, talks and tours, and much more.

At the Royal Observatory's Peter Harrison Planetarium, there will be a Chinese Astronomy show exploring the links between astronomy and the Chinese lunar calendar such as the motion of the Sun and the phases of the Moon and how they relate to the Chinese New Year.

Stick around as the sun goes down for a spectacular evening light display! The show runs from 17:30 PM - 20:30 PM, lighting up the iconic Queen’s house and the twin domes of the Old Royal Naval College. There will also be music, live performances, dancing and food stalls.

On the 11th and 12th of February, two planetarium shows in Mandarin and Cantonese will explore the Solar System, starting from our own home planet: the Earth and travelling through our celestial neighbourhood, visiting planets, moons, and asteroids!

Book tickets here.

London Philharmonic Chinese New Year Concert at Royal Festival Hall - Sunday the 22nd of January

 The London Philharmonic Orchestra are thrilled to hold the UK premiere of Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion on Sunday the 22nd of January and is delighted that this coincides with the opening day of the Spring Festival.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra's mission is to “share the wonder of classical music” and Tan Dun’s work corresponds to this mission well. Tan Dun is well known for his film music, in particular the soundtrack for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won Best Original Score at the Academy Awards, as well as a Grammy! His music constantly crosses boundaries, reflecting his Asian roots.

Buddha Passion is an operatically-scaled work written for 6 singers, including two indigenous performers, and a double choir with traditional instruments. The LPO are so pleased to welcome some of the best Chinese singers and musicians as soloists, including soprano Sen Guo, mezzo-soprano Huiling Zhu; tenor Kang Wag; bass-baritone Shen Yang; indigenous singer Batubagen and dancer/pipa player Yining Chen. They are joined by the London Philharmonic Choir and the London Chinese Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Tan Dun himself.

Tan Dun was inspired to write Buddha Passion after several visits to the Mogao Caves which contain one of the largest displays of Buddhist art, artefacts, and musical murals. Dun thought it would be fascinating to transcribe the murals into music and perform them with a modern-day symphony orchestra. One mural, in particular, contained an image of an ancient musical instrument which he then asked a specialist instrument maker to create an exact replica of, specifically for the work.

Ticket prices start at just £14! Book yours here.

The Journey of Tang Poetry Concert with Shen Yang at  Wigmore Hall, London - Saturday the 28th of January at 19:30

To mark Chinese New Year, the renowned bass-baritone Shen Yang, Champion of the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, will bring Chinese and Western songs together under the theme of Tang poetry.

These two enchanting concerts held in Cardiff and London are part of the "Happy Chinese New Year 2023" series of events, which hope to deepen mutual understanding between China and the UK through an exciting musical journey across time, space, and borders.

Secure your tickets for the Wigmore Hall concert here.

Exploring Yummy Chongqing in London, Food & Culture Experience - Thursday the 2nd of February and online throughout January to February

Chinese New Year is the perfect time to get together and encourage mutual understanding across cultures.

Food is one of the most important parts of Chinese culture. During this festival period there shall be a delicious event, Exploring Yummy Chongqing in London, a food and culture experience.

The event will demonstrate the characteristics and making process of Chongqing’s special food and embed Chinese cultural elements into cooking to tell vivid tales of Chongqing cuisine. 

The cooks of Chongqing’s signature dishes will cook up a storm and popular British social media foodies are invited to experience the delectable dishes. Follow the exciting event on social channels via the hashtag #TastyChongqing.

Learn more here.


Celebrate Chinese New Year in Manchester's Chinatown - 21st to the 29th of January

Manchester City Federation of Chinese Associations has partnered with Manchester City Council and other local organizations to bring a joyous Spring Festival celebration to Manchester.

The main event will take place in Manchester's Chinatown on January 22nd and include the city's legendary dragon dance troupe, yummy Chinese food stalls, Tai Chi performances, Chinese dancing, kung fu, musical talents, and even a funfair!

See the schedule below:


Sunday 22nd January 2023 12:00 PM to 13:00
Route: Windmill St., Mount St., Peter St., Oxford St., Oxford Road, Portland St., Princess St., Faulkner St., Chinatown Carpark


Sunday 22nd January 2023 12:00 PM to 18:30
Location: China Town Car Park
Illuminated Night Dragon Performance: Piccadilly Gardens, 17:00, Sunday 29th January

Chinese Food and Culture Stalls:

Saturday 21st – Sunday 29th January 2023
Location: Piccadilly Gardens, 12:00 PM to 19:00

More information here.

Catch a glimpse of what to expect at the 2023 Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester with this enchanting retrospective of past years' events.


China-UK International Music Festival Online:
Nonclassical Journey: Chinese Artists Concert -
3rd of February 2023

China-UK International Music Festival Online: 
Central Conservatory of Music Chinese Music Ensemble Concert - 4th of February 2023

The China-UK International Music Festival (CUIMF) is hosting two captivating Chinese New Year concerts with renowned Chinese artists who have been active in various international music events in recent years invited to perform. 

The two nights of music are focusing on the theme of contemporary music and traditional Chinese folk music, presenting a new form of music in China in a contemporary orchestral language and fascinating performance styles. Many of their works contain rich Chinese elements, promoting the beautiful and in-depth exchange of Chinese and British music culture.

The link to watch these charming performances will be available on the CUIMF website here after the concerts.

Discover more about the splendid concerts highlighting traditional Chinese music, including the distinguished orchestral cast.

National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA) 

"Join NACTA, and soar to excellence."

The prestigious National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts is delighted to inform you that the 2023/2024 Bachelor's and Master's degree programs for international students are open for applications from January 12 to March 31, 2023!

NACTA was founded in 1950, and for over 70 years they have offered their students access to outstanding traditional Chinese theatre performing arts, Chinese music, theatre design, cross-cultural studies, as well as exciting opportunities to meet distinguished performers, musicians, composers, designers and professors of Chinese cultural studies! If you’d love to explore authentic traditional Sino arts, be sure to check out NACTA!

Please visit https://en.nacta.edu.cn/ for the full programme prospectus and more detailed information. 

Spring Festival Artwork

Spring Festival Paintings

These delightful paintings by talented Chinese artists reveal the stories of Spring Festival with scenes of quality family time, harvest celebrations, winter frolicking, countryside culture, farming tea, inheriting intangible cultural heritages, fishing, and relaxing in nature!

Be sure to check out each one of these splendid artworks. The motto Hope, Home, Harmony and Health is illustrated throughout these colourful and joyous pieces.

Throughout spring festival, we hope you all get to savour precious moments with your loved ones. The Year of the Rabbit promises a thrilling new adventure.

About Spring Festival

The Visual Identity of Spring Festival

As the recognition and celebration of Chinese New Year has increased around the globe, the need for an instantly recognisable symbol has grown; one which is synonymous with not just the Spring Festival itself but its many important meanings and messages too.

Since 2013, the above symbol has been used to promote Spring Festival across the world. So why this symbol? What does it mean, and what message does it share?

This design was derived from the ‘oracle’ version of the Chinese character for Spring - ‘oracle’ is the oldest form of Chinese writing, carved on animal bones thousands of years ago. It resembles seedlings breaking the ground in a sun-bathed vigorous season full of renewal and hope, symbolising Chinese philosophy of the unity and harmonious interaction between humans and nature.

It also depicts a family sitting around a table together for their New Year’s Eve dinner, an important tradition during Spring Festival, and one which captures the importance of home, family, and togetherness.

Finally, it suggests people singing and dancing around the world, welcoming the arrival of Spring. This message of global unity and harmony is fundamental to today’s Spring Festival.

Hope, Home, Harmony & Health

Spring Festival’s spirit, meaning, and offering to the globe is captured in just four words: Hope, Home, Harmony, and Health.

Hope: the festival heralding the arrival of new growth.

Spring Festival’s origins stretch back to China’s ancient Agricultural Calendar, also known as the Xia Calendar as it dates back to the Xia Dynasty. The year was broken into 24 ‘solar terms’, which captured the seasonal changes throughout the year. Throughout Chinese history, households decorated their homes ahead of the beginning of Spring, hoping for a successful and bountiful harvest. This hope, and the reflection of this tradition and its recognition of the connection between humanity and nature, today define what Spring Festival was, is, and will continue to be.

Home: the festival celebrated for family reunion.

In China, the mass migration of China’s huge population across the country is commonplace in the build-up to Spring Festival. At the heart of this movement is the ingrained need to be with one’s family unit for the festivities. The importance of family in Chinese society is high, with great value placed on the deep human relations at the heart of the family unit.

Harmony: the festival shared with the whole world.

Today, Spring Festival is celebrated across the globe, and offers people a window into Chinese culture and traditions. Historically, Chinese New Year was connected to the lunar calendar’s new year, and the term ‘Spring Festival’ wasn’t used to denote the same celebration until around 100 years ago. Countries near China who used to follow the lunar calendar also have their own lunar new year festivities, even those who now follow the Gregorian calendar, contributing to the spread of the annual celebrations around the world. Now more than ever, it is important to have a celebration of harmony across the globe.

 Health: the festival as an embodiment of the crucial link between humanity and nature.

As citizens of the same planet, we share many challenges ahead, from ecological and environmental, to the continuing effects of the pandemic. The 3 central ideas behind Spring Festival - hope, home, and harmony - each have their part to play as we work together to ensure the ongoing health of our neighbours, our loved ones, and our planet.  

Discover more about Spring Festival

Discover Chinese nature, life, cuisine, and art beyond your imagination! From traditional rural towns to bustling megalopolises, life takes many forms across China. In this video we travel across the country, taking a small look into the vast and dazzling components that comprise the enchanting Chinese culture.

Explore China’s rich culture through the lens of dazzling colours: emerald green, sapphire blue, champagne gold, silver-white, and ruby red. Stunning natural wonders, ancient temples, and modern cities are all discovered through the brilliant hues of China.

Happy Chinese New Year! Celebrate the largest festival in the world, spanning the longest time, with the greatest number of participants. In this video, take a glimpse into Chinese New Year festivities across the globe as millions of people enjoy and celebrate this blissful holiday.

Discover the incredible tourism opportunities along silk road, commonly known as the first global trade route in history. Wonderful sights and marvellous Chinese culture are showcased across this charming region.

Discover the real China! With deep history, delicious cuisine, time-honoured handicrafts, and unique culture. China spans beyond your imagination!

Experience dazzling nature, depth of culture, deep cuisine, and joy in China! We hope to see you soon.

Speciality Food

Learn how to prepare traditional Chinese Spring Festival Cuisine in this mouth-watering series! Find out more about these sensational eats; eight-treasure rice pudding, braised pork balls in gravy, fruit and prawn balls, fried spring rolls and crispy sweet and sour pork.

Budding chefs can study the easiest and most authentic way to create your favourite Spring Festival treats. Discover the story of each dish to celebrate the new year.


Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi) are enjoyed in different ways across China throughout the festivities. Traditionally, Jiaozi are enjoyed as part of a reunion dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve in northern China, with locals of mountainous regions tucking in for breakfast from the first to the fifth day of the first lunar month.


Tangyuan are glutinous sweet rice balls made from glutinous rice flour and various fillings, which are cooked and served in boiling water, or fried or steamed. While jiaozi are more popular in the north, tangyuan are more popular in the south. Traditionally, they are eaten on the first day of the lunar new year.

Cooking a Whole Fish

Cooking a whole fish is a cherished tradition for Chinese families during Spring Festival. It is typically served on New Year’s Eve, with some left over for the next day to represent having enough to spare in the year to come, and in the south of China, it is usually the final dish enjoyed at a banquet on New Year’s Eve.


Lanterns decorate houses and streets throughout China during Spring Festival, which culminates with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the new year.

On the 15th day, it’s customary for people to take a walk with their families and enjoy the colourful lanterns on display, and take part in fun activities such as guessing lantern riddles.

24 Solar Terms

China National Tourist Office London is honoured to introduce 'Seasons of China', a large-scale epic documentary produced by Xinhua News Agency CNC.

Ancient Chinese scholars divided the sun’s movements into 24 equal parts, known as the 24 solar terms. In ancient China, the creation of the 24 solar terms allowed for detailed agricultural planning.

These 24 solar terms are still celebrated today with much-treasured traditions and festivities throughout the year. The 24 solar terms feature on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Filming lasted for two years, spanning 24 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities all over China. Presenter Dominic Johnson-Hill explores the influence of the twenty-four solar terms on contemporary China.

Behold as fascinating stories from an amazingly diverse selection of people are presented in captivating twenty-minute instalments featuring an original soundtrack by the International Chief Philharmonic Orchestra of Beijing.

Find out more about this remarkable and insightful TV documentary, discover each of the 24 solar terms riveting stories by visiting our 24 solar terms homepage below:

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Get in Touch

CNTO London is the overseas office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism covering the UK, Ireland, Finland, Iceland and Norway. For any questions or queries you might have about travel to China, or to get to know more about China, it is best to contact the embassy where you live. Please follow the links below to find out more:

UK - http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/eng/

Ireland - http://ie.china-embassy.org/eng/

Finland - http://www.chinaembassy-fi.org/eng/

Norway - http://www.chinese-embassy.no/eng/

Iceland - http://is.china-embassy.org/eng/

Media Request

If you interested in obtaining marketing materials, including posters, visuals and videos, for any of the Spring Festival events and activities, CNTO London is pleased to offer materials free of charge. Please use the link below to email us with your request and to receive instructions on copyright use. Thank you! 

Our Partners

Many thanks to our valued culture and tourism partners for our Spring Festival celebrations.