Last week the globe witnessed the celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year by billions of Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese peoples. It’s traditionally a fifteen-day festival and the most important Chinese holiday of the year. And what makes this Lunar Year even more special is that it’s the year of the dragon, which supposedly brings luck, success and innovation to those fortunate enough to be born in a dragon year. This is because out of the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, the dragon is the only mythical creature (the rest are rats and pigs and stuff). Although, according to Chinese commentators, the reverse is the reality. Due to the sheer number of children that are purposefully conceived to coincide with the year of the dragon, education, opportunities and healthcare are worse than a child born in the year of the goat, for example. But that didn’t dampen the celebrations in London’s Trafalgar Square and China town on Sunday, and man do the Chinese know how to party.
The festivities kicked off with a super colourful parade of floats and what can only be described as huge dragon puppets maneuvered by large sticks. Then Boris Johnston, the London mayor, took to the stage and made a bumbling Boris speech about who knows what. What followed was some traditional Chinese performances featuring girls playing what looked like Chinese Lyres and some dancing and stuff. The presenters introducing each act were god awful, trying to teach the crowd Chinese phrases (although the majority of the crowd were Chinese), with no audience participation what so ever. This all culminated in a fireworks display that was pretty impressive, after which the majority of the crowd headed to Chinatown, were the party really kicked off. There were loads of street stalls selling food (Chinese food, obviously) and Chinese bangers were all you could here as people dashed them at the floor relentlessly.
It was a fun day and I suggest everyone should experience a Chinese New Year in London. Even if it’s just to see all the nice hats people wear (see pictures). Back to the music for the next post me thinks.