Edinburgh will be celebrating the Chinese New Year at the end of this month with a range of events to launch the Year of the Rat.

The two week long series of events will get underway on 21 January with Edinburgh’s Official Chinese New Year Gala at the Usher Hall when dancers will perform on stage.

Other events will be sited at St Giles Cathedral where there will be an installation of over 400 lanterns. There will be an evening illumination and soundtrack and also a programme of daytime performances and events. Ticket details here.

Thre will also be exhibitions and opportunities to get involved in taster sessions in Chinese brush painting to taking part in bilingual Chinese/Scots ceilidhs.

Buildings across Edinburgh will be lit up in red to mark the New Year and businesses will welcome visitors with everything from traditional red enveloped to bespoke cocktails.

Rob Lang, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group
Isabel Hui, Scottish Confucius Institute for Communication and Business and Mr Qiang Ma, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Edinburgh PHOTO ©2020 The Edinburgh Reporter

Mr Qiang Ma Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Edinburgh told us that the rat is considered both intelligent and particularly lucky.

He told us what Chinese New Year is all about. He said : “It is a symbol of good fortune, harmony and the reunion. It fosters our best wishes for the better life. And you know 2020 is the Year of the Rat and the rat is the first of the 12 Zodiac animals. In Chinese eyes rats are clever and seen as a sign of wisdom and wealth. So it is believed that jade rats bring good luck in the new year.”