*This article was first published in the Edinburgh Evening News newspaper on the 5th of February 2019*

Today is Chinese New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac. Each of the positions on the Chinese calendar offer a different prediction for the coming year, or for those born during it, and the pig represents fortune and luck!

Many business and attractions across Edinburgh will certainly be looking for a cut of the fortune and a fair share of the luck as they gear up to support Edinburgh’s first Chinese New Year Festival, that runs from today until 17 February.

The festival will see many of the city’s favourite attractions lit up in red, putting on special events and unveiling new Mandarin language guides and menus.

Edinburgh is already the most popular UK destination for Chinese visitors after London and organisations like the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, are working closely with the tourism sector to ensure that Edinburgh is positioned as one of the UK’s top China-friendly destinations.

Their figures show that Edinburgh Castle alone welcomed more than 150,000 Chinese nationals through its gates in 2015, and every year around 3,500 students come to Edinburgh’s universities from China.

Edinburgh attracts Chinese tourists year round who see the city as welcoming, our food and drink as high quality, and our history fascinating. The Edinburgh to Beijing air link that was launched last year brings our two countries even closer together and building on this emerging market by increasing the number of visitors to Edinburgh is something well worth celebrating.

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