Chinese New Year

Submitted by edg on Fri, 1 Nov '19 8.26pm
Time & place

The Chinese New Year in Edinburgh is the largest celebration of its kind in Scotland.

Each year is attributed to an animal from a 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac and 2020 is the Year of the Rat.

The Year of the Rat is initiated on 25 January, which is also Burns Night. The two days coincide only once every 76 years.

As well as traditional Chinese celebrations, there are a number of special events around Chinese New Year including:

  • Chinese Lanterns at St Giles’ Cathedral: A canopy of over 400 Chinese Lanterns transform Edinburgh’s famous St Giles’ Cathedral from Wednesday 22 January to Saturday 1 February 2020.  An evening illumination and soundtrack will create a sensory experience along with a programme of daytime and evening performance and events.
  • The Official Chinese New Year Concert featuring the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra, The Edinburgh Singers and many artists and soloists from both China and Scotland will take place at the Usher Hall on Tuesday 21 January.  The concert will also feature the Guizhou Song and Dance Ensemble, a performing arts troupe established in 1956.  Working in genres ranging from dance drama to opera, the troupe specialises in artistic creation that features key characteristics of Guizhou culture and will be bringing a variety of dances and songs that portray their unique folk customs.
  • Giant Lanterns at Edinburgh Zoo From from 15 November to 26 January 2020, a total of 600 lanterns will be showing 47-nights, based around a Lost Worlds theme, where hundreds of prehistoric creatures are brought to life.    

China celebrates the New Year according to the lunar calendar, sharing many similarities with Scotland’s own Christmas and Hogmanay traditions.