Get ready to celebrate a braw Chinese New Year

Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival is ready to roar into the Year of the Tiger.

Organisers of Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival habe announced a full programme of online and in-person events and activities across the City to celebrate Chinese New Year and the start of The Year of the Tiger.

The Year of the Tiger, which officially begins on Tuesday, February 1, symbolises strength, courage and triumph over evil, with people born in the year of the Tiger being adventurous, enthusiastic and confident.

Launching Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival with Dharma and Lucu, Edinburgh Zoo’s Sumatran Tigers, Rob Lang, chair of the ETAG China Ready Initiative, said ‘We’re delighted to be working with businesses across the city to welcome The Year of the Tiger by creating a unique and inspiring celebration of Scottish and Chinese culture.

‘Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year programme of events creates an excellent opportunity to enable the people of the city to learn more about Chinese culture whilst also re-affirming Scotland’s capital as an inspiring and welcoming destination. With the easing of restrictions, and a strong mix of online and in person events this year, residents and visitors can enjoy the Chinese connections across the city.’

The Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival flagship Celebration Light Show, organised by the Asian Association of Culture Commerce and Education in Europe, is performing Lion and Dragon Dances outside the City Chambers on the Royal Mile at 4pm, until Tuesday, February 1.

Free, and open to all, Tai Chi, Martial Arts and Chinese Dancing performances are followed at 4.45pm by a Parade, led by the Lion and Dragon dancers, up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. From 5pm until 9pm animations and films are projected onto the Castle including the story of The Tiger in Chinese folklore, and the stunning Rhapsody on the Luo River Goddess which was shot underwater without the use of CGI.

Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival is co-ordinated by Edinburgh Tourism Action Group and supported by Heriot Watt University’s Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication.

Ian Baxter, from Heriot Watt’s Scottish Confucius Institute said: ‘We are again delighted to support industry partners and cultural venues celebrate this important time of the year. It’s a great chance for us all to experience and learn about Chinese culture, and to maintain multicultural friendship and goodwill which is so important right now.’

Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival brings together communities across Edinburgh to celebrate Chinese Culture, and offers Chinese residents and students a range of activities to help them celebrate.

Edinburgh Zoo’s Lucu celebrates the Year of the Tiger

The Edinburgh Chinese Arts Association is staging an afternoon of celebrations on the Mound on 6 February where visitors can join in with Calligraphy, Tai Chi and Chinese Folk Music amongst other activities.From Taste of Asia Afternoon Teas (with both adult and children’s menus) at the Waldorf Astoria to the new, limited edition Chinese themed cocktail menu at Harvey Nichols, shops and businesses across the city are finding innovative and entertaining ways to help their customers celebrate.

A Chinese Calligraphy Artist at Strathberry on Multrees Walk is creating complimentary, bespoke artwork and allowing customers to experience this treasured tradition for themselves, customers at PekoeTea on Leith Walk have an opportunity to win a Tiger Caddy of Scottish Tea and the Scotch Whisky Experience is offering a 50% discount off the Gold Tour as part of VisitScotland’s Days Out Campaign. Award-winning artist Sarah Kwan’s Aye of the Tiger explores connections between Scottish and Chinese culture in her ‘East Meets West Series’ at The Red Door Gallery on Victoria Street.

Online activities include taster Chinese language lessons, Tai Chi sessions and Calligraphy demonstrations. St Cecilia’s Hall has created a bilingual English/Mandarin tour of their collection of historic keyboard instruments, Wei Gu reveals more about the origins and history of the Chinese Zodiac and in addition there are online releases of a concert by the Rainbow Melodies Troupe of musicians from Tianjin University of Finance and Economics and a film of the origins of the Year of The Tiger.

Edinburgh Zoo’s two critically endangered Sumatran Tigers, Dharma and Lucu, are visitor favourites and can be spotted on the wildlife conservation charity’s free online webcams, and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has an extraordinary collection of some of China’s globally important flora.

Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh, Ma Qiang, said ‘The Tiger represents so many of the characteristics we need to employ in our endeavour in the challenging year of 2022: ambition, strength, courage and triumph over evil. I’m delighted to welcome and participate in the programme of Edinburgh’s Year of the Tiger Celebration.

‘I know for sure that these fantastic events and activities will bring China and Scotland closer together through difficult times of Covid and, moreover, contribute to the cultural diversity of the City of Edinburgh. Hopefully the celebration of the start of the Year of Tiger will make the next 12 months an auspicious year for our businesses, for our governments, and above all for our peoples, just like adding wings to the tiger!

‘I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Xin Nian Kuai Le!’

Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday 1 February and Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival runs until Sunday 13 February 2022.

Details of all events and activities across Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year Festival can be found at www.chinesenewyear.scot.