January 29 2012 sees the celebrations to welcome in the Year of the Dragon take place in Chinatown and Shaftesbury Avenue (central London's big event traditionally takes place on the first Sunday after the official start of the Chinese New Year, which in 2012 is on January 23). Festivities begin at 10.15am with a parade of colourful floats from Trafalgar Square to Rupert Street. At noon, Boris Johnson and Chinatown president Stanley Tse commence the Dotting of the Eye ceremony, kickstarting an afternoon of performances featuring music, dance, Chinese dragons, lions and acrobatics. The show culminates in a fireworks display at 5.40pm. Chinatown will be filled with cultural and food stalls and displays all day.
For a round-up of Chinese New Year Events and recommended Chinatown restaurants, see www.timeout.com/chinese-new-year