Mayor joins Year of the Dragon celebrations

22 January 2012

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is set to join the city's Chinese New Year celebrations, which take place in Trafalgar Square and Chinatown on Sunday 29 January. The most important festival in the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Dragon itself begins on 23 January.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I am delighted to once again be supporting London's Chinese New Year celebrations, which each year bring an exhilarating burst of colour to the centre of town. Amongst the biggest outside China - reflecting our city's large and vibrant Chinese community - this fabulous event attracts people of all ages and from all walks of life.

'This year's festivities herald the Year of the Dragon, the mightiest of the signs, and are one of the first major events in a thrilling year for London. As we head towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games there will be events and celebrations in every corner of the capital and with the Year of the Dragon's themes of passion, ambition and success, I can think of no better way to help kick off a year of amazing highlights and a Summer like No Other.

'Gong Xi Fa Cai.

'Kung Hei Fat Choy.

'Happy New Year.'

As well as the Chinese New Year celebrations, the Mayor is backing a variety of events across the capital throughout the year, including especially created events that will contribute to the London 2012 Festival. More information can be found at the recently launched website


The Mayor has a video message for Chinese New Year on his YouTube site -


The parade will begin in Trafalgar Square and the colourful floats and beating of drums can be followed through Chinatown ending in Rupert Street at 11.30am.


On the main stage in Trafalgar Square, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Stanley Tse, President of Chinatown will commence the Dotting of the Eye ceremony which will bring the dragons and lions to life, marking the start of the day's entertainment.

12pm - 5.40pm

100 world-renowned performers will take their place on the Trafalgar Square main stage, including the Chen Brothers Flying Lion Dance, Shanghai Song and Dance Troupe and National Music Orchestra of Jilin Province. There will also be performances on the second stage in Shaftesbury Avenue all afternoon.


A stunning fireworks display will mark the end of the day's celebrations.

Notes to editors

  1. Chinese New Year this year falls on 23 January, however the London celebrations are taking place on Sunday 29 January. Partners are for the event are: Mayor of London, Westminster Council, Chinese Embassy, Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office and the Hong Kong Tourist Board.
  2. The Mayor of London is hosting a huge programme of free events and celebrations to add to the excitement of 2012, including ones especially commissioned for a citywide programme of free events that will add to and complement the London 2012 Festival. They include SECRETS, with artists and performers transforming hidden and lesser known locations; SHOWTIME, an outdoor arts festival in high streets, parks and open spaces around the capital; and LONDON LIVE, bringing live action from the Games, as well as sporting activities and entertainment to Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square. News and information about the programme will appear on the website This will also feature events and happenings in the build up to A Summer Like No Other, including the St George's Day and St Patrick's Day celebrations, the Russian Maslenitsa festival and the Chinese New Year festivities. To be the first to know what's happening, sign up or follow us at / / @MoLpresents.
  3. The London 2012 Festival will be a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. For further information about the London 2012 Festival please contact Paul Woodmansey in the London 2012 Press Office on 0203 2012 100, [email protected], or visit the website at