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London Chinese New Year celebrations the biggest outside Asia

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Chinese New Year falls in 2017 on Saturday January 28, but for London the main Chinese New Year celebrations are on Sunday January 29.

As usual, London’s celebrations – marking the Year of the Rooster in 2017 – are set to be the biggest in the world outside of Asia and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on the West End to mark the occasion.

London’s Chinese New Year celebrations centre on the parade, which will be a riotous, colourful celebration of Chinese music, dance and acrobatics.

The parade commences at 10am on Charing Cross Road, just north of Trafalgar Square, and will end on Shaftesbury Avenue, by Chinatown. Among various entertainers and a collection of hand-crafted floats gifted to London’s Chinatown by China, look out for what is set to be the largest gathering of Chinese lions and dragons in the UK.

Away from the parade, an opening ceremony will take place at Trafalgar Square at midday and a stage there will host various cultural ensembles until 6pm. Performing at 3pm are a drumming troupe from Hong Kong; at 3.30pm the London Chinese Philharmonic Choir will perform. Other acts will feature acrobatics, puppetry, dance and more. More family-minded performances will be held on a Shaftesbury Avenue stage from midday to 5pm.

Beyond the main performance areas, there will be plenty to see and do throughout Chinatown, with craft stalls and food stands open during the day and the district’s numerous restaurants set to be particularly lively. Look out for three free-roaming Chinese lions and photo opportunities with the assorted animals that represent the Chinese zodiac. The day’s most popular attendee may well be the Lucky Money God, who is expected to loiter along Charing Cross Road. 

Activities falling within the official celebrations programme are free to attend, and although these events round off at 6pm, there should be other activities in Chinatown until later in the evening. Restaurants throughout the area will be offering special menus too so there’ll be no shortage of places to pick from for a celebratory meal.

Source by: Internet

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