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The Year of the Dragon: Celebrating the Chinese New Year in Cambridge

Chinese Lanterns hanging in a shop celebrating the Chinese New Year

In Cambridge, the Chinese new year is only one sleep away and tomorrow, many will be ringing in celebrations for the year of the Dragon. 

The Chinese New Year, also referred to as the Lunar New Year, is an ancient celebration of spring, spirituality, and rebirth in many asian cultures. Based off a lunar calendaring system, each year, the celebration is associated with one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. In 2024, the Chinese will celebrate one of the most revered zodiac signs in Chinese culture. The Year of the Dragon.

According to Chinese astrologists, the personalities of the animals often coincide with our lives. Namely, the dragon is said to symbolise positive qualities such as power, strength, good luck, and wisdom. Based on these notions, many believe that 2024 will be a bold and lucky year, a time for fortune, opportunities and prosperity. The team at Rutherford’s are certainly hoping this comes into fruition! 

A street in China lit up with Lanterns celebrating the Chinese New Year

In such a culturally diverse area, Cambridge has no shortage of events and activities to participate in honour of the Lunar new year, and we have rounded up some of the best things to do. See our guide below to find a way to celebrate!

Cambridge Lunar New Year Festival 

Venue : Marleigh Community Centre, 2 Jubilee Square, Cambridge, CB5 8BX (11:00am – 4:00pm)

Celebrate the dawn of the year of the dragon with the inaugural Cambridge Lunar New Year Festival. Taking place tomorrow (February 10th) at the Marleigh Community Centre, this family—friendly, non-profit extravaganza promises a vibrant tapestry of cultural delights and festivities to enjoy. There will be 20+ stalls and activities including interactive workshops, live music, and authentic street food. 

For those planning on joining the festivities, remember to bring some cash as many vendors may only accept cash. With ample parking available at the Park & Ride and convenient access via buses or cycling routes, there’s no excuse to miss out on an unforgettable celebration of culture and community. Follow the event on Facebook for updates on news and arrangements.

Fancy Chinese for Dinner? Here’s our Recomendations

Yim Wah Express

The name “Yim Wah” 艷華 means “Beautiful China” & is a name which reveals the heart and soul of the restaurant. Why not celebrate the new year in style at this traditional, family-run Chinese restaurant situated in the heart of Cambridge City Centre.

Four Seasons Chinese Takeaway 

If your planning on having a quiet night in, enjoy some mouthwatering Chinese from the comfort of your own home. Simply place your order online for delivery and feast in your PJ’s. If you’re wondering what to try, we highly recommend their salt & pepper chicken or the duck and shrimp noodles, which are beloved favourites among patrons.

Punting with Rutherfords

As the festivities of the Chinese New Year continue to unfold, there’s no better way to embrace the spirit of renewal and togetherness than by spending quality time with loved ones. What better backdrop for these cherished moments than the serene waters of the River Cam? 

At Rutherfords, we invite you to elevate your New Year celebrations to new heights by embarking on a punting adventure with friends and family. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely journey along the tranquil riverbanks or a bespoke tour tailored to your preferences, our experienced team is here to make your experience unforgettable. 

King's College Chapel and sleeping punt in Cambridge

Reach out to us today to learn more about our offerings and start planning your perfect Chinese New Year punting excursion. 

Happy Chinese New Year to all our Chinese guests and partners! Gong Xi Fa Cai!