Chinese New Year 2021

Coronavirus closure

Visitor notice: All Royal Museums Greenwich sites are currently closed to visitors, but you can still join us for online events and search our digital collectionsFind out more

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
13 February 2021
Family fun

Celebrate the Year of the Ox online with a whole host of Chinese New Year activities, videos and performances.

We may not be able to celebrate in person at the National Maritime Museum, but you can still take part in all our fantastic virtual events for free!

We'll be adding to this page in the build-up to the New Year, so check back for more great ideas and resources.

Chinese New Year: online events and activities

Head to our Facebook page from 4pm on New Year's Day to watch special Chinese New Year performances, including an Erhu performance from local musician Mr Duong Yang. 

The Legend of Nian

Join Deaf storyteller Deppa Shastri as she tells the story of Nian, a legandary monster. Discover why red is a good luck colour in China and why people wear brightly coloured clothes to celebrate the New Year. 

This story is in British Sign Language, with voiceover interpretation and captions.

Character Encounters: James Robson

Meet James Robson, cook on board the Cutty Sark. Discover what life was like on board the Cutty Sark and find out what’s for dinner.

Curious Collections with Chinese Connections

Find out about fascinating objects from the National Maritime Museum collections that have Chinese connections.

Tai Chi and Qigong demonstration

The ancient Chinese practices of Tai Chi and Qigong combine slow, deliberate movements, meditation, and breathing exercises. Join Tai Chi and Qigong specialist Chew Yeen Lawes as she presents selection of movements for you to follow from these traditional martial arts. This 10-minute instructional video will exercise your body and mind as well enrich your knowledge of traditional Chinese culture.

This informative resource won't just support your health and wellbeing but also will present some of the stunning Chinese swords in the collection similar to the ones you will in the sword based tai chi demonstration. The video will also give you an up-close personal view of some of our Chinese related edged weaponry as selected by our curator Lucy Dale.

This video has been made in collaboration with Global fusion Arts and Music.

Craft activities to try at home

Explore the relationship between China and Britain and the Museum's collections with fun family workshops, suitable for all ages and abilities.

Chinese New Year facts and traditions

Several rows of red Chinese paper lanterns hanging in front of a green wooded background

Find out more about how and why we celebrate Chinese New Year with our local partners the Newham Chinese Association. From dances and decoration to food and festivities, what are the origins of new year celebrations today?Learn more