Whilst the remnants of December’s festivities are slowly disappearing from the streets of Florence, we are looking forward to Sunday, January 22, which marks a highly anticipated Lunar New Year. Celebrated by Chinese communities across the world, 2023 marks the year of the Water Rabbit, a symbol characterized by peace, kindness and tranquillity. With both traditional festivities and original events on offer, we have put together a guide of how you can celebrate in Florence and Tuscany.
Parades, dances + film screenings in Prato
Following an annual tradition of exquisite festivities, this year’s Chinese New Year programme in Prato, just 20 minutes by train from Florence, will include film screenings, parades and dances around the historic centre throughout January and February.
Saturday, January 21: The Bell Ceremony will be held at Pu Hua Si Buddhist Temple (piazza Gualchierina 19) at 4:30pm. The Centro Pecci Cinema is offering free admission to the Yizhongren screening of a Jin Fansong documentary, beginning at 6:30pm.
Saturday, February 11: The Dragon Parade and Lion Dance will begin at via Toscana 1 at 9am and continue after lunch at 2pm from via Piedmont.
Sunday, February 12: The Dragon Parade and Lion Dance will begin at 9am, from piazza Gualchierina 19.
A special dinner at Il Gusto di Xinge
Newly opened restaurant Il Gusto di Xinge (viale Fratelli Rosselli) is offering an exclusive dish to celebrate Chinese New Year. Founder Xin Ge Liu explained her “Dream of Red Chamber” recipe, inspired by the Chinese book of the same name. “Sharing is very important, so we thought of a dish to share. Meatballs made in the shape of a lychee with scampi and stringy cheese inside. They are placed above a composition of branches and dried flowers like fruit on a tree.” Xinge wants the dish wants to be a good omen and a moment of celebration of the family of friendship through sharing. Or, as she describes, a representation of the Chinese saying, “May today’s glory last forever”.
Brunches + wellness rituals at Four Seasons Florence
On Sunday, January 22, Four Seasons Florence will celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a classy Chinese-centric brunch. The Spa also celebrates the beginning of the Chinese New Year with facial treatment “Glowing Flow”, a 75-minute ritual based on functional substances such as gold and pearl powder to brighten the skin. The treatment also includes a foot massage and green tea exfoliating scrub.