(Image: China in London 2009 logo)
Year of the Ox
Although Chinese New Year day fell on Monday 26 January this year, London traditionally holds the Chinese New Year celebrations on the first Sunday after New Year’s Day.
2009 is the year of the Ox. People born in this year are said to be good leaders, methodical and good at making things. Famous people born in the Year of the Ox include Napoleon Bonaparte, Margaret Thatcher, Picasso, and the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
(Famous Oxes. Images: Wikipedia)
Kicking off at noon, Trafalgar Square provides the main focus of the festivities, with international artists from Shanghai and the Qinghai and Kunming chinese provinces performing traditional and contemporary Chinese arts. The lion and dragon dances are particularly not to be missed!
Needless to say, London’s Chinatown, one of the largest and oldest in Europe, also hosts dragon dances, cultural and food stalls, and you can catch more cultural performances in Shaftsbury Avenue.
No Chinese New Year would be complete without firecrackers and fireworks in Leicester Square.
(Chinatown London - one of Europe's oldest and largest chinatowns.
China in London across the capital
In addition to Sunday’s celebrations, a whole host of other cultural events have been organised as a part of China in London 2009, from exhibitions at the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, V&A and City Hall to Chinese film seasons at the BFI Southbank and the Odeon Covent Garden.