Barnet enters year of the dragon with traditional Lunar New Year celebrations


Lunar New Year at Copthall

Lunar New Year at Copthall

Families from across Barnet have enjoyed an afternoon of song, dance and other traditional festivities to mark the beginning of Lunar New Year.

Communities came together to bid farewell to the Year of the Rabbit and welcome the Year of the Dragon during a special celebration event held at Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre on Thursday (15 February).

Those attending enjoyed interactive lion and dragon dance performances – traditional displays that symbolise good luck and prosperity. There were also talent shows by school pupils, lucky gift giveaways and live music performances by young artists.

The event was organised by Giggling Panda Chinese School and supported by Barnet Council and commercial partners. The Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Nagus Narenthira, met with families as she joined in the celebrations.

Lunar New Year is celebrated by several cultures across the world, each with their own unique interpretation of the festival, including Chinese, Hong Kongers, Vietnamese, Malaysian and many more across the diaspora and East and Central Asian communities.

Barnet is home to a number of these communities.

The current year, which began on Saturday (10 February), is the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. The dragon is the fifth animal sign in the zodiac and is associated with power, success and wisdom.

The Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Nagus Narenthira, said: “Lunar New Year is a special occasion for many of our communities in Barnet, and it was wonderful to be able to take part in these celebrations to mark the event.

“The beautiful performances showed what a wealth of talent we have in our borough, where people from so many diverse backgrounds contribute to the rich and vibrant culture that makes Barnet such a special place to be.”

Richard Xie, Managing Director of Giggling Panda, said: “After the resounding success of our local Chinese New Year Celebration event, we, as a Mandarin School deeply ingrained in Barnet's community fabric, feel immense pride and humility.

“Collaborating with Barnet Council and our valued partners, we were privileged to contribute to fostering community cohesion and celebrating our rich cultural diversity.

“The genuine connections made and the shared moments of joy remind us of the exceptional importance of nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment for future generations to thrive in Barnet. Wishing everyone a joyous and prosperous Year of the Dragon!”