Kung hei fat choi! – Congratulations and prosperity, how they say in China for New Years.
London is the host of many wonderful events throughout the year and checking the events calendar prior should be a priority.
London’s annual Chinese New Year celebrations has been rated the biggest in the world outside of the China and was celebrated on the 28th of January this year. The parade kicked off at 10 AM from Trafalgar Square. Something not to be missed. I must admit it was my first time joining this event and I was haply motivated. Is like celebrating the New Year twice in a year.
There are over 100 restaurants & bars in the area opened and prepared for the big festivity and booking in advance is strongly recommended. However, if you missed that you can always try the Chinese street food, really yummy if you are happy queuing for your noodles.
The Chinese food smell all over the streets was driving me nuts not to make an effort and wait for a table, therefore we decided to queue for few minutes.
There are a couple of funny facts with regards the Chinese New Year. Here is few of them:
- The Chinese New Year can be any of 31 different dates! Chinese hold their new year celebrations between the 21st of January and February 20th, depending on the Chinese lunar calendar;
- A typical Chinese New Year celebration lasts for 15 days.
- The celebration is actually known as “Spring Festival” in China, even though it falls in the middle of the winter!
- It is considered good luck to thoroughly clean the house for the festival, thus getting rid of any bad feelings (same as many Easter European countries).
- Chinese families will usually fill their houses with red decorations as this is held to be a very lucky colour.
- China is home to the world’s fireworks industry and the Spring festival will see hundreds of thousands of displays and organised events, as well as millions of fireworks lit at home. The tradition is that the fireworks scare away evil spirits and demons.
- The two weeks of celebrations usually end with a Lantern Festival.
Majority of the western capitals such as London hold their own Chinese New Year celebrations; London often sees more than half a million people across the city streets taking part in organised events. It’s been estimated that some 4 million journeys take place, not just in China but in other countries, as people make their way home for the festival and celebrations.
London Underground was packed this month , however still giving me that celebration nice feeling.
While you walk in Chinatown you could easily pay a visit to M&M World store or have few cocktails at the W Bar&Lounge London for an relaxing-fun evening in Leicester Square.