Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Paris's Chinatown

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Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Paris's Chinatown

From 4 to 17 February, plunge in the popular atmosphere of the Chinese New Year and explore Paris's 13th arrondissement. On the programme: exhibitions, concerts and an infectiously energetic parade.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Paris's Chinatown

Chinese New Year: welcome to the year of the pig!

The tower blocks of the “Choisy Triangle”, bounded by the avenues of Choisy, Ivry and the rue de Tolbiac, will open the doors of Paris's Chinatown to you. Since the 1970s and the first immigrant populations arrived from Southeast Asia, several generations of Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians have settled in this neighbourhood which is said to be home to the largest Asian community in Europe.

In February, the area buzzes with the excitement of the Chinese New Year. To mark the arrival of the year of the pig, an animal known for being good and just, the Town Hall has pulled out all the stops and organised two cultural weeks.

As you wander through the streets decorated with red lanterns, you will come across shows, expositions, concerts and martial art demonstrations. This popular festival celebrates the cultural diversity of a community focused both on its traditions and contemporary creativity. On 4 February 2019, several displays will open their doors for two weeks. After the concerts and the exhibition openings, the high point of the event will take place on the weekend of 16 and 17 February with the traditional parade.

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Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Paris's Chinatown

Two weeks of cultural events

To lead off with style, photography enthusiasts will hurry to the antechamber of the Town Hall in the 13th arrondissement, where Ming Hei will unveil his portraits of men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds. You are bound to be moved by this series of photographs, with its striking portrayal of humanity. You can attend the opening on 8 February.

On the same day, do not miss the concert entitled “Éclosion du printemps” [the blooming of spring]. On the forecourt of the Town Hall in the 13th arrondissement, twenty or so Chinese and French musicians will perform traditional and classic pieces, to the great delight of music lovers.

On 16 February, the excitement will heighten with the “13th street” show, which will reveal young talent from the fields of urban, pop, rock, K-pop (South Korean pop music) and hip-hop music. Between concerts, you will be dumbstruck by the demonstration by Natacha Bounet, eight times kung fu champion of France.

The festival will reach its high point on Sunday 17 February during the grand parade. Be there around 1 pm on the avenue d'Ivry to follow the procession which will make a loop via the boulevard Masséna. More than 200,000 people are expected to attend this energy-packed spectacle. Traditional dragons and lions will wiggle to the rhythm of booming drums, dancers in folk dress will wave their fans, and costumed children will perform traditional songs. You will be transported into a whirlwind of fascinating music, scents of incense, and vibrant colours that will make you giddy.

Ming Hei exhibition: “Capturing the soul”
From 4 to 15 February 2019
Town Hall of the 13th arrondissement
1 place d'Italie
75013 Paris
+33(0)1 44 08 13 13
www.mairie13.paris.fr/actualites/

Concert “Éclosion du printemps” [“Blooming of spring”]
Friday 8 February at 6 pm
Town Hall of the 13th arrondissement
1 place d'Italie
75013 Paris

13th street show
Saturday 16 February
Avenue d'Ivry
75013 Paris

Grand Chinese New Year Parade
Sunday 17 February from 1 pm onwards
Avenue d'Ivry
75013 Paris

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Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Paris's Chinatown

In search of Chinese culinary specialities

All along the route, Asian restaurants and bakeries will entice you with Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai specialities. To whet your appetite, make a visit to the Empire des thés. With its traditional Chinese decor, this specialised shop can offer you tastings of no less than 200 varieties of tea imported from the Middle Empire. Of these, you may choose to try an intense Imperial Keemun, a full-bodied red tea with a wide array of warm flavours.

After this introduction to new tastes, you head to the Fleurs de Mai, an excellent Cantonese restaurant, for a gastronomic treat. Do not be misled by its minimalist decor. You can order the two house specialities, soup with shrimp dumplings and steamed chicken, in complete confidence.

Next, the famous Tang Frères supermarket will tickle your senses with its profusion of “Made in China” products: prawn crackers, tofu, shiitake mushrooms, nori leaves, dried beef… With your bags full of souvenirs and a head full of memories, it is already time to leave this multi-faceted neighbourhood. Through the windows of the overground Metro, gigantic frescoes appear, showcasing the tower blocks of the boulevard Auriol. A real open-air museum passes before your wondering gaze.

L'Empire des thés
101 avenue d'Ivry
75013 Paris
+33(0)1 45 85 66 33
www.empiredesthes.fr/

Fleurs de Mai
61 avenue de Choisy
75013 Paris
+33(0)1 44 24 37 71

Tang Frères
168 avenue de Choisy
75013 Paris
+33(0)1 44 24 06 72
www.tang-freres.fr/