With Edinburgh set to stage its first Chinese New Year festival in 2019, we’re getting excited for the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac calendar. The New Year festival will run from 2-17 February 2019 and throughout the fortnight, special events and displays will dazzle locals and visitors alike. We’re particularly looking forward to some attractions being lit up red to celebrate the festivities!
A new direct air route between Scotland and China was launched earlier in 2018, linking our own Edinburgh Airport with Beijing. The new route has made it easier than ever to connect the two countries. With this in mind, we’re sharing some of the best events and things to do to get ready to celebrate Edinburgh’s first Chinese New Year festivities.
The National Museum of Scotland
The Chinese collection at The National Museum of Scotland is arguably one of Edinburgh’s must-see sights for Chinese visitors and fans. The collection spans over three thousand years and includes over nine thousand items. Highlights to the collection include ceramics, which displays a wide range of Chinese history and dynasties, as well as inscribed oracle bones, which is the second largest collection outside East Asia. At the museum, there are also plenty of impressive Chinese textiles, paintings, prints and contemporary art to see too!
Another top Chinese draw includes, of course, Edinburgh Zoo which is home to the only giant pandas in the UK, Tian Tian and Yang Guang. The two giant pandas came to Scotland from China in 2011, and these animals are part of the rarest members of the bear family, as well as being one of the most endangered species in the world. Visitors travel from all over Europe to admire these pandas in their enclosures playing, climbing and eating bamboo.
This winter the Giant Lanterns of China have also returned to the Zoo – a visit to this exhibition will show a hybrid of Scottish myths and ancient Chinese legends come to life through 450 crafted lanterns. The lanterns present characters such as the Chinese Monkey King and the Mystical winged tiger, one of the seasonal god beasts in Chinese culture. The event runs from 16 November 2018 to 17 February 2019.
The Royal Botanic Garden
Lovers of the outdoors should visit the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, which is home to a Chinese Hillside. This part of the garden boasts an exceptional collection of Chinese plants, as well as a coniferous woodland and Rhododendron forest. A stream and waterfall also run through the garden, and a Pagoda can be found at the water’s edge, which is a nice resting place and space to admire the garden after a busy day exploring the city!
And of course, how can we forget our very own Cafe Hub? On the Royal Mile, our team of friendly faces come from all over world, and we especially love welcoming visitors who travel across the globe to be in Edinburgh. We are already ‘China Ready’ with our translated Mandarin menu, which makes it easier for our Chinese guests to order at our Cafe Hub and feel more at home. See our opening hours here.
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