Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chinese New Year Celebrations 2/4 (Trafalgar Square)

Have not seen so many people in the Square.. well, at least not since the Russian New Year Celebrations when most people were doused with vodka rambling through the Square. Anyway, there were a number of stores selling new year ornaments for a quid or two. The most popular with the kids were those little paper dragons mounted sticks. Actually they (the paper dragons, not the kids) looked kind of cute... was seriously thinking of getting one for myself.

A board was put up at the side of the Square detailing all the characteristics of Chinese zodiac signs. Basically, you can check your birthdate against the year indicated and find out which sign you were born under. There were loads of people trying to find out whether they were Oxen, Horses or Dragons. A guy wasn't too pleased when he discovered that he was a Pig. The Pig is associated with fertility and virility. That's not too bad, isn't it?

Did I mention that the Square was packed? There are 80,000 Chinese in London alone and it was estimated that 300,000 will be in the Chinatown area for the celebrations. Gosh, where did all these people come from?

There were some lion dancers performing up the stage and the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, was invited to dab some paint onto the lion's eyes. That marked the start of the main celebrations that will go on for the next 6 hours.

Stomach was rumbling and all the restaurants in the area was packed. Had to head down to Bayswater area for our favorite dim sum place. Glad that we made the trip for it was more 'happening' over there...

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