The Chinese New Year is the longest and the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. This year, the Chinese calendar celebrates 4712 years of existence and the animal that is attributed to it, is the horse.
This year, I chose to attend the New Year’s Parade downtown, on Sunday February 2, mostly because I’ve never been to something similar and also because I like the Chinese culture.
Thousands of people gathered in Central London to welcome warmly the event, and nonetheless, they were gifted with surprising acts. At 10 A.M a parade through the West End headed for Trafalgar Square, where the traditional opening ceremony took place on the main stage at noon. It was followed by an afternoon full of Chinese event including a gravity-defying lion dance performed atop high poles.
The parade in Leicester Square started off with a traditional dragon dance, followed then by floats and beating drums, in an explosion of colours, which brought to life the entire celebration.
Little girls and boys were dancing dressed up in traditional Chinese costumes, and even a Flying Lion Dance Performance was set up for the delight of the audience.
Chinatown became lively and active.
New Year-themed decorations, special menus and events at its 100-odd restaurants, bars, cafes and shops and all sort of food and craft stalls were empowering the streets.
Even little children were dressed up in traditional costumes and playing with funny crackers, and the performances last throughout the entire day, in order to welcome properly the New Year.
London definitely knows how to bring Asian culture to life and how to celebrate it in a lovely way!