Chinese New Year in London - A festival of color and food

By Rob Welham
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 25, 2015
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Thousands turned up in London on Feb. 23 to celebrate the Chinese New Year in what is probably the biggest such event outside China. [© Rob Welham]

Despite cold winds and rain, thousands turned up in London last Sunday [Feb. 23] to celebrate the Chinese New Year in what is probably the biggest such event outside China.

Lining the streets both young and old watched with excitement as dragon dancers, Chinese lions and colorful floats paraded along the road.

Children some dressed in traditional Chinese coats sat on their parents' shoulders and waved at the performers, some of whom were dressed as animals representing the 12 animal signs of the Chinese zodiac.

2015 is the Year of the Goat, Sheep or Ram and many children could be seen clutching soft toys that were on sale in Trafalgar Square. And as thousands filled the public space to watch performances, others were drawn to London's Chinatown to feast on noodles, dim sum and crispy duck.

Indeed this is arguably the busiest time of year for Chinatown's restaurants. There were long queues outside many restaurants and some of the most popular restaurants had been booked weeks in advance.

The annual event is organized by London Chinatown Chinese Association and has become bigger every year since the first major celebration in 2002 in the Year of the Horse.

Sadly the last few years have coincided with rather cold and wintery conditions. However this has failed to put people off and whilst the cold wind and rain eventually forced many to go home early or seek shelter in a Chinese restaurant, Sunday's celebrations appeared to have been enjoyed by all those who attended.

This year was even more special as events were broadcast live on the capital's television channel London Live. The channel, which only went on air in March 2014, made a valiant effort to capture the atmosphere, though they did suffer from a few technical issues due to the bad weather.

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