Chinese New Year Print E-mail
Autumn & Winter

January - The largest Chinatown of the Netherlands is located near the famed De Wallen red light district of Amsterdam. This Chinatown, located on Zeedijk, was formed in the 1980s and has expanded beyond the red light district. The street signs in this neighbourhood are in Dutch and in Chinese. Amsterdam Chinatown also has the first and biggest buddhist temple built in Chinese style. It is named "Fo Guang Shan He Hua tempel".

Amsterdam's Chinese community recreates an authentic Chinese New Year celebration every year on the Nieuwmarkt, the heart of Amsterdam Chinatown. The festivities, which fall on January 28 this year, feature a traditional lion's dance and spectacular fireworks; the Nieuwmarkt will be covered in stalls and street artists for revelers to enjoy. See you there!



2017 is the Year of the Rooster. Amsterdam's Chinese New Year celebrations in 2016 took place on Dam Square and around the Nieuwmarkt (Amsterdam's Chinatown area). There were dragon and lion dances as well as fireworks. The De Bijenkorf department store traditionally organises special activities to celebrate Chinese New Year, including in-store dragon and lion dances, calligraphy workshops, music performances and tea ceremonies.

If you’re looking for something more intimate, retreat to the Fo Guang Shan He Hua, a real Buddhist temple which usually has a special programme. Alternatively, grab yourself a meal at the Sea Palace (Europe’s first floating Chinese restaurant) or at one of the many Chinese restaurants along the Stormsteeg and Geldersekade.

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is the most important event in the Chinese calendar. It’s a special occasion whichever part of the world you’re in, and nearly always marked by family gatherings, food rituals, offerings at temples and the colour red. The superstitious will particularly enjoy Chinese New Year’s Eve, when a raw fish salad (yu sheng) is said to bring good luck and fai-hai, a type of seaweed, prosperity. (The vegetarian option is lettuce, which the Chinese believe sounds like 'luck').


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