Xin Nián Kuài Lè! – Happy New Year!
Long, long ago, the Jade Emperor decided to embark on the task of measuring time – easy-peasy, am I right? On the morning of his birthday, the Emperor invited all the animals of China to a race. The order of their arrival to his party and finishing the race would decide the year of the zodiac to be named after them. All the animals were eager to claim their place at the start of the year; so eager in fact that one particular animal employed a cunning plan to guarantee a win. Being clever, the Rat climbed aboard the Ox, and rode it all the way to just before the finishing line, where it launched itself from the back of the Ox to the start of the new year.
Kick off the start to The Year of The Rat in style, with our Top 5 Recommended Ways to Celebrate!
Whether it’s sipping whisky, learning the secrets of The Royal Mile, or taking a trip to the Highlands, Scotland has plenty to offer those ready to celebrate Chinese New Year on Saturday 25th January.
1. Witness Illuminations at St Giles Cathedral
Start your day not five minutes-walk from Old Town Chambers, where St Giles Cathedral has been quietly busy with their festive preparations. Step through the doors and witness the installation of 400 red Chinese lanterns, offering an illuminating evening set to an incredible soundtrack for a spectacular sensory experience:
2. Uncover the Secrets of The Royal Mile with Mercat Tours
St Giles Cathedral is only one of many beautiful hot spots of the Royal Mile, and Mercat Tours have the perfect tour to explore them. People born in the Year of the Rat are known for being clever, quick-thinking and peaceful - and we have plenty of those characters in Scotland’s history! Mercat’s Chinese New Year celebratory tour is a tour that will link well known historical figures, born in the Year of the Rat, exploring the hidden secrets of The Royal Mile. You’ll hear these fascinating stories as you follow your guide through the twisting tale (or should that be tail?) of Edinburgh’s past:
3. Enjoy a Wee Dram at the NEW Holyrood Distillery
Did you know that according to the zodiac typography, those born in the Year of The Rat have been said to be compatible with those born in The Year of The Ox, as well as The Dragon and The Monkey? Why not share a wee dram with the whole team at Holyrood Distillery. Just around the corner from the soon to be open Abbey Strand Apartments at Holyrood, tours at Holyrood Distillery are now available daily from 21st-28th January in Mandarin. A truly immersive experience, you’ll learn all about the story of whisky and enjoy multiple tastings of blends old and new:
4. Scotland Meets China for the Chinese New Year Gala at Usher Hall
What a better way to be right in the middle of all the action than at the Chinese New Year Gala at Usher Hall. Expect a flawless collaboration of Scottish and Chinese talent, featuring The Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Guizhou Song and Dance Ensemble, and many, many more. This is an unmissable evening of the highest calibre, welcoming the optimism and energy of The Rat in style:
5. Escape to The Highlands with Rabbies Tours
Now, if these city-cantered events are to your liking, then perhaps you fancy heading out to the Highlands? Spend this New Year celebrating in the beauty of the Scottish countryside with Rabbie Tours. Just around the corner from The Edinburgh Grand you’ll find Mandarin-speaking tour guides ready to take you to such famous landscapes as Loch Ness, Glencoe and The Highlands. Hear the legendary stories of the Jacobites; gaze into gorgeous Glencoe, and finally get a chance to spot the mythical Loch Ness Monster. A tour packed with bewildering beauty, this is perfect day-trip to make sure that you greet the new year surrounded by inspiration:
For more information on how to celebrate The Year of The Rat, why not have a look at The Lists dynamic partnership with local businesses and venues: