Monday, 27 January 2014 11:18 AM
This Sunday (February 2nd) sees the long-awaited arrival of the 2014 Chinese New Year Celebrations in London, the largest celebrations outside of Asia.
Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in the Chinese calendar and this year is set to be the most spectacular party yet, marking the Year of the Horse. The festivities will run from 10am until 6pm at locations across London, with a wide range of events and activities scheduled.
Festivities will begin at 10am with the return of the fantastic New Year's Parade around the West-end, led by the 'Lucky Money God'. Passing through The West End and Shaftsbury Avenue, the colourful floats and beating of drums will wind its way through the streets to its final destination of Chinatown. An official opening ceremony will then take place in Trafalgar Square from 12pm with speeches from special guests including Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Once officially opened, the celebrations will kick off with traditional 'lion dancing', music and performances from local acts, as well as a host of street food and arts and crafts stalls to peruse throughout the day.
Alongside Trafalgar Square, a second stage on Shaftesbury Avenue, in Chinatown, will play host to performances from a range of local performers and up-and-coming talent. The Beijing Young Cultural Ambassadors will also make their London debut performing a traditional Chinese Opera.
Chinatown itself is always at the centre of the New Year party with traditional craft stalls and food stands being set up outside restaurants. A lion dance will be snaking through the throngs of visitors, stopping by restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year.
The London Mayor, Boris Johnson commented: "London will be the best place in Europe to celebrate the Year of the Horse. The horse is an appropriate symbol for what makes our city tick and prosper. It is a powerful yet humble creature, associated with hard work and steadfastness, attributes that London and its population shares and qualities that are vital for our city's future success and prosperity. I had the great honour of hosting a trade mission to China last year and events like the annual New Year celebrations help to underpin the longstanding friendship between our two countries."
The 2014 Chinese New Year celebrations are organised by the London Chinatown Chinese Association. For more information visit www.thelondonchinatown.org.uk
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