Edinburgh's Chinese New Year celebrations mark the Year of the 'Coo' in style

Edinburgh's Chinese New Year celebrations mark the Year of the 'Coo' in style

Online and outdoor activities kick off a year of festivities

Chinese New Year in Edinburgh is now the largest celebration of its kind in Scotland, and Fri 12 Feb marks the start of the Year of the Ox, or – in a fun Scottish twist – the Year of the Coo. This year's festivities will combine online events, promotions, installations and walking trails, and will continue throughout the year, so that more activities can take place as and when restrictions ease.

Edinburgh Castle will be illuminated in red to mark the occasion, while Usher Hall's annual Chinese New Year Gala Concert moves online and will be broadcast in China and Scotland. Taking place on Sat 13 Feb, it boasts Qindao Opera House Symphony Orchestra performing Soaring Dragon, Leaping Tiger, as well as performances of Chinese folk music, a Chinese children's orchestra and Scottish piping and country dancing.

Meanwhile, Lisa Roet's Golden Monkey art installation currently at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh will remain in place and it will eventually be joined by a Chinese Coo sculpture from Ian Kirkpatrick, which will be displayed on the Royal Mile at VisitScotland's iCentre later this year. A number of online tutorials will be available from the Scottish Confucius Institute for Business & Communication at Heriot-Watt University, covering everything from Tai Chi to Chinese New Year customs and cookery, while a series of China and Coo-themed, self-guided walking and cycling trails of the city have also been created.

Scotland's Chinese Consul General, Ma Qiang, sums up the spirit of the occasion: 'Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar and it is wonderful to see how the residents of Edinburgh have taken the celebrations to their hearts. The Year of the Ox promises hard work, positivity and honesty. These are all things we will need in the coming twelve months and I wish everyone in Edinburgh the best of New Year luck.'

Full listings and activities for Edinburgh's Chinese New Year celebrations can be found at foreveredinburgh.com/chinese-new-year.

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