Enter the horse

We’ve been debating what date exactly is too late to wish someone a happy new year. If it’s still January, and you haven’t seen somebody yet, then surely it’s ok? But it does feel odd, and with Chinese New Year knocking at our door, too, things are set to get a whole lot more complicated…

This Friday marks the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Horse and, if you can’t be in China, we think there’s no better place than London to join in the party.

It all kicks off tonight at around 6pm, on the Southbank, where there will be on-site entertainment, and a spectacular light display will transform the London Eye into a glowing ring of vibrant red. But the celebrations begin in earnest at 10am on Sunday, with a parade through Trafalgar Square, followed by performances featuring Chinese dragons, acrobatics and firecrackers. Fancy celebrating in a slightly more civilised style? Try one of these suggestions out for size.

See it in on the big screen: To mark the Year of the Horse, the BFI have planned film screenings of Full Circle and Not One Less, plus a day of rarely seen Chinese documentaries. February will also mark a season celebrating the work of the biggest Chinese director in the world, Feng Xiaogang.

Fashion meets food: A collaboration between Harvey Nics and Yauatcha sounds too good to be true, but we promise it’s kosher. The store’s visual display team have been working their magic on the Michelin-starred Soho eatery to create a show stopping horse-themed display. What’s more, in keeping with Chinese tradition, every guest dining at the restaurant between now and 10 February will receive a red envelope containing vouchers for fashion and beauty treats at the luxury store – or, for eight lucky diners, a golden ticket entitling them to lavish prizes such as meals and cocktail masterclasses at Yauatcha and makeovers at Harvey Nichols. The team at Yauatcha have also created a bespoke cocktail, and red macarons and red petits gateaux to mark the occasion. Oh, and did we mention, it’s perfectly placed to view the celebrations.

Rise above it: With its lofty position perched above the city, Hutong is probably the most exclusive place to celebrate. Starting tonight, the restaurant will be honouring Chinese tradition with a special Reunion Dinner menu. The new year festivities will culminate tomorrow, when traditional lion dancers will welcome guests at street level. Origami artists and Chinese musicians will continue the entertainment inside, and a special set menu priced at £88 (a traditionally lucky number in Chinese culture) will be served. There’ll also be red envelopes here, containing gifts from Hutong, and for one lucky table, the entire bill will be complimentary. Cheers to that!