Whether you stayed in and watched Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, went to a friend’s house for food and wine, or were out clubbing until the early hours of the morning. Bristolians had a blast all over the city this New Year’s Eve. But are you ready to celebrate all over again when the Lunar New Year comes around on February 10?
What is Lunar New Year?
Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is a major holiday in China. But places like South Korea, Vietnam and other East Asian countries also heavily celebrate the event. The celebrations mark the beginning of the lunar calendar, which follows the moon cycles, the traditional Chinese calendar. The first day of the Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of this calendar.
Each year in the lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 zodiac animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. This year, 2024, is the Year of the Dragon. Traditionally, it is a time to honour deities and ancestors, as well as feast and visit family. Celebrations often contain fireworks, food, lanterns and the colour red.
What Lunar New Year celebrations are happening in Bristol?
This year, the largest of Bristol’s major Lunar New Year celebrations will take place once again at the Chinese supermarket Wai Yee Hong in Eastville. On Saturday, February 10, the family-run supermarket will host its annual free festivities with traditional lion dances, kung fu demonstrations, Chinese folk music performances and much more. With two performance times, 11am and 1.30pm, the event is also raising money for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal.
The Festive New Year Market will also return on the same day where you can taste a wide variety of Asian foods. 5 Foot Way will be serving up Malaysian-themed delights; Desy Thai is back with their Thai noodle and curry dishes; Gopal’s Curry Shack will have vegan and vegetarian Indian street food; try Japanese favourites from She Sells Sushi; and Duckman is back BBQ roast meats. Plus, so much more, everything from bubble tea to banh mi.
If you can’t make it down to that, the following weekend (February 17 & 18) sees the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery also be celebrating the Lunar New Year. A host of free performances and activities will take place at one of Bristol’s best art galleries to celebrate Chinese culture. Learn how to paper fold and write in Chinese, watch traditional lion dances and folk music, try the delicious Chinese-inspired menu in the café, as well as a host of other activities throughout the museum.
People born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be charismatic, determined, ambitious and sincere. So if you’re turning 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 or 96 this year (and even if you’re not) make sure to ring in the Year of the Dragon for Lunar New Year in Bristol this February.