Everybody dreads the first month of the year. Not only is it the first month after one of mirth, merriment and celebration, but it is also one of the coldest and financially tight of the twelve we have. If you want fun, sun and excitement, then look to one of the other annual J’s of June and July. That being said, January in the British capital needn’t be as dreary as you might first fear. There’s plenty to do during the month, utilising the tumultuous weather patterns that come with month. If you are staying at the Hyde Park International Hotel during the first month of the year, then you are in a prime position to catch some of the annual highlights in the city, whether they be traditional, cultural or hedonistic in nature.
London Short Film Festival
The London Short Film Festival takes place at cinemas across the city and is well known for being one of the most exciting places to catch up and coming film talent in filmmaking. Whether you’re into horror, comedy or art film, you’ll find something to float your boat in the wide ranging programme of bite-size gems. With the anarchic With Teeth programme offering filmmakers a chance to have funded and showcase their work at the LSFF and a range of cutting-edge independent cinemas screening events over the week, you’ll find that the 11th to the 20th of January are nine days of cinephile paradise.
Burns Night is an annual celebration of the life of Robert Burns. Often heralded as the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns is one of the countries most well known poets. Every January 25th, you’ll find parades, music and celebration as traditional Scottish meals and events take place across London. With traditional poems and songs inspired and written by Robert Burns being performed each year on his birthday, Burns Night events can be found in pubs, clubs and other venues across the city, acting as both a mark of respect and introduction to the life of Robert Burns and Scottish culture in general.
Chinese New Year
Taking place every year in either late January or early February, Chinese New Year is a celebration of the restarting of the Chinese Calendar. With days of festivals, parades and fireworks, this celebration is not just limited to China, but sees the whole world, including London spark up with colour. To get the most out of Chinese New Year, head to London’s Chinatown in Soho on the 5th February and the week leading up to it for an extravaganza or events and parties.
Starting on the 23rd of January, the Vault Festival is one of the most exciting performance festivals in the city. With a wide range of cabaret, comedy and theatre performance over eight weeks, Vault Festival takes place in the waterloo Vault, a labyrinthine and atmospheric tunnel system found underneath Waterloo station. This repurposed underground performance centre hosts half a dozen venues as well as a range of new and veteran performance acts which cater to all tastes.