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Things To Do In Belfast During Chinese New Year

Liang is sharing his favourite Chinese New Year traditions as well as some suggestions for how you can get involved in celebrating the Year of the Pig in Belfast.

If you’re not aware, the Chinese New Year has hit Belfast! That’s right – and I’m going to show a couple of insights on what you could do during Chinese New Year.

Lion dances parade the streets as we welcome the Year of the Pig. Usually this time of the year, we would be back home with our family and relatives to have a big meal – or as we call it a “Reunion Dinner”.

But things are certainly different when it’s winter in Belfast. With that said, it’s going to take more than cold to keep us from celebrating the Chinese New Year.

So without further ado, here are a few things to do during Chinese New Year in Belfast:

EAT. And EAT. 

Just like Christmas, Chinese New Year is all about food. Since I can’t be with my family, I typically go over to my friend’s place to have a mini pot luck to celebrate Chinese New Year.

However, during my times back in Malaysia my parents would cook a variety of Asian dishes such as Hainanese Chicken made with special garlic ginger paste my mum would make and many more. If you want to get a feel for this why not try whipping up your own favourite Chinese food? 

Chinese New Year Snacks

Chinese New Year is never complete without a generous amount of snacks made available during this period of time.

A few of my favourite Chinese New Year snacks are Mandarin Oranges, Peanut Butter Cookies, Fried Potato Crisps and Prawn Crackers.

Peanut Butter Cookies ... just typing this is already making miss home so much.

Red Packets?

This was one tradition that was relatively fun for me to share when I arrived in Belfast. I remembered chatting with my Residential Life Coordinator and she was surprised when she found out people put money in decorative red packets during this festive season.

That red packet is what we call– “ang pao”. It's red because red is a symbol of fortune. Hence, we were always required to wear Red whenever we would drive back to my old hometown when I was in Malaysia!

Chinese New Year Events in Belfast

Now for all of you who are interested in celebrating Chinese New Year here in Belfast – fear not! The festive mood is still bright here despite the cold days of Winter.

Here are a few events you should be on the lookout for:

  • Chinese New Year Celebrations at BT1, BT2 and BT9!
  • Chinese New Year Spectacular at City Hall!
  • Various events held by the Belfast City Council such as Lion Dances, Chinese Tea Art and more!


Chinese New Year is a time to be spent with family and friends. So go on out and embrace the Year of the Pig. Here’s to wishing all a prosperous Chinese New Year!

Hew Hoong Liang

LLB Law| 3rd year |Malaysia

Hi there! I am a 21 year old Malaysian pursuing my final year of law degree in Queen's University. Nature lover, part time geek and a passionate writer. My passion for writing started to developed into a skill when I served as writer and journalist of a legal tech startup back in Malaysia. Now, I am casual blogger looking to share my experiences and thoughts in Queen's through my writing. I hope my blog serves as a unique point of interest for Malaysian students like me who are studying at Queen's or thinking about coming here!

Fun fact: I am trilingual and I love to explore and get lost in different cultures and traditions.

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Photo: Hew Hoong Liang
Hew Hoong Liang
LLB Law I 3rd Year