Celebrating Chinese New Year in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit all year round with it’s many attractions and historical places of interest. If visiting Edinburgh in February during the month of Chinese New Year there are a number of attractions open and events taking place.

Chinese New Year

2016 is the Lunar New year of the Monkey, celebrated in Asia between the second new moon after the winter solstice and ending on the new moon 15 days later. Some say that the beginning of the New Year Celebration started as early as 2300 BC by Emperor Yao and Emperor Shun. Today it is celebrated with visiting family,friends, food and fireworks.

Chinese New Year in Edinburgh: Chinese New Year in Edinburgh: Visit Yang Guang and Tian Tian at Edinburgh Zoo. ©MDHarding
Visit Yang Guang and Tian Tian at Edinburgh Zoo. ©MDHarding

Celebrating Chinese New Year in Edinburgh

Places to visit

Did you know China and Edinburgh have many connections and collaborations going back more than 170 years. In 2006 ties to China and the Scottish Government became stronger, as a new strategy was put in place. This has now seen Edinburgh Zoo being the only zoo in the UK where you can see the famous Giant Panda – Ailuropoda melanoleuca.

Did you know the Giant Panda can live in the wild for up to 20 years and that they can eat between 20 to 40 pounds of bamboo each day!

As well as the Giant Panda, Edinburgh Zoo is also home to the critically endangered Blue-Crowned Laughing Thrush bird and the Chinese Goral a type of Goat also native to China.

Chinese New Year in Edinburgh: Chinese New Year in Edinburgh: Grey Heron by the Chinese Pavillion  at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh. ©MDHarding
Grey Heron by the Chinese Pavillion at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh. ©MDHarding

Visit the Chinese Hillside at The Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh where work began in 1993. The area highlights the links with the creation of the Lijiang Botanic Garden and Jade Dragon Field Station. Did you know early explorations to China date back to the 1800’s. Plantsman Robert Fortune a Scot born in Falkirk took his first trip in 1843 collecting species from the south and south east coasts. The collections were then introduced to the west. Enjoy a stroll around the estimated 16,000 plants including a number of Bamboos and Rhododendron. Then from inside the Chinese Pavilion a spot of bird watching or perhaps reading a book. Some of the local bird species that can be seen include the Grey Heron, Robin Redbreast and Mallard Ducks.

Chinese New Year in Edinburgh Events

There are a number of events taking place in Edinburgh such as the annual Chinese New Year party organised by Mafiosa Meet Up group.  This is a great event to meet locals and tourists alike and share/discover your Chinese Horoscope. Break open a fortune cookie and enjoy a great start to the Chinese New Year of the Monkey in great surroundings and atmosphere. For further details and to register please visit Meet Up and sign up to the Mafiosa group.

Chinese New Year in Edinburgh: Wishing you good luck, prosperity, health and happiness for the coming years. ©MDHarding
Wishing you good luck, prosperity, health and happiness for the coming years. ©MDHarding

Edinburgh Lunar New Year Countdown Party is taking place at The Why Not Club, George Street with live entertainment and drinks/nibbles on arrival. The Confucius Institute for Scotland is also holding a Chinese New Year Party taking place on Friday 12th February. For more details and to register please visit Eventbrite.

Or if you are visiting other regions of central Scotland, Glasgow is also hosting a Lunar New Year Countdown Party taking place at Club Light.

Visiting Perthshire? The Perthshire Chinese Association are hosting a street party with Chinese Dragon/Lion Performances, Kung Fu Demonstration, Arts & Crafts, Street Food from Perth farmers market (Chinese Theme) Chinese Signing, Tai Chi, Fire Crackers, Chinese Dancing.

Chinese New Year in Edinburgh: What will your fortune cookie tell? ©MDHarding
What will your fortune cookie tell? ©MDHarding

What to wear

It’s a great time to wear red as its associated with good luck and any charms such as Chinese Coins, as they represent good luck and wealth.

There is a variety of accommodation available in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland from guest houses to historic Castle’s. To avoid disappointment I would recommend booking in advance. Why not extend your stop and stay with a motorhome vacation and visit some of the many places of beauty in Scotland.

We would love to hear from you, where will you be celebrating Chinese New year? Have you heard of other celebrations taking place that you would like us to share? Wherever you are/doing this Chinese New Year, Xīnnián kuàilè (Happy New Year)! x

About MichelleDeansHarding

Website: http://WWW.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via: www.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

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