January 11, 2012
Following on from our previous post on how to celebrate Chinese New Year in Shanghai, we thought we’d take a look at the festivities closer to home in London, where a number of events are planned to welcome the upcoming Year of the Dragon.
Chinese communities across the world will be ushering in the new year, and London’s celebrations, which take place on Sunday 29th January, will centre around Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown itself.
The day kicks off at 10am with a dazzling parade of extravagantly decorated floats through the West End, passing through Chinatown and along Shaftesbury Avenue, Charing Cross Road and Rupert Street, before entering the final destination of Trafalgar Square at midday.
After the official opening ceremony – including speeches from the Chinese Ambassador and the Mayor of London – the real fun begins, with dragon displays, music, dancing and acrobatics from international and home-grown performers, food stalls, firecrackers and light shows.
Meanwhile, a specially lantern-dressed Chinatown plays host to a parade of lion dancers and a range of cultural stalls selling traditional food and other produce, while another stage in nearby Shaftesbury Avenue showcases local Chinese performers and artists.
For more information, including maps and dining tips, visit the Chinatown London website.
Photos: Header shot © Stephen Finn | Dreamstime.com, Chinese Dragon by Paolo Camera on Flickr, Trafalgar Square © Wendy Leber | Dreamstime.com, Chinatown © Tupungato | Dreamstime.com, Dancers © Eric Flamant | Dreamstime.com