The annual festivities for the Chinese New Year in London are the biggest globally outside of China and 2015 will be no different. The main celebrations begin at 10am on Sunday 22 February on the north side of Trafalgar Square where the parade commences. Between 12 noon and 1pm the Dragon and Lion Dance will be performed in the square and the Lion Dances will continue all through Chinatown until around 5pm.
It’s a family event not to be missed with some 100 restaurants offering special menus all decked out with traditional Chinese New Year decorations and many providing varying forms of entertainment. There will also be the usual multitude of craft stalls offering souvenirs of the event.
Red Envelopes and Wood Carvings
In China it is traditional for red envelopes with cash inside to be given as gifts to family members and friends but some restaurants will be giving the envelopes to their customer containing vouchers for drinks or selected dishes. It’s likely that the craft stalls will be selling lots of wooden carved items since 2015 is the Year of the wooden Goat which only occurs once every 60 years.
The grand finale will be in Trafalgar Square from 5pm to 6pm when Holby City’s Dr. Tara Lo (Jing Lusi) will host the ongoing entertainment which includes the Red Poppy Ladies percussion group and Cultures of China – Festival of Spring.
Free entertainment for official events
The official events and entertainment are free so Chinese New Year provides a great opportunity for families on tight budgets to spend time having fun together without it costing a fortune.
Significance of the Year of the Goat
Children who have been born in a Goat year including 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015 are, according to the Chinese Zodiac likely to be kind, polite, wise and clever. However, they will not be good at making decisions so if you are planning a day out on Sunday to join in the festivities don’t let a Goat person organise it!
And if you intend to have a sit down meal in one of the Chinese restaurants make your reservations now because you can be assured that there will be “herds” of people battling for a seat.
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