Sunday 10 February 2013 will see the arrival of the snake – a creature renowned in Chinese legend – to the heart of London’s West End to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.
London’s annual Chinese New Year celebrations are the biggest in the world outside of China. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Londoners descend on the West End to wish each other “Kung Hei Fat Choi” (or Happy New Year). Festivities begin in the morning with the New Year’s Parade winding through London’s West End before reaching its final destination of Trafalgar Square. An opening ceremony officially opens the celebrations in Trafalgar Square with stage performances and special guests that have included Mayor Boris Johnson in previous years.
Alongside the festivities in Trafalgar Square, a second stage on Shaftesbury Avenue traditionally plays host to performances from a range of local community groups and schools. Over the years the stage has seen fashion shows, plays and Chinese Hip-Hop artists.
Chinatown is always at the centre of the New Year party. The area is a hive of activity with traditional craft stalls and food stands lining the streets. A lion dance can often be seen snaking through the throngs of visitors, stopping by restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year. 2013’s New Year of the Snake celebrations are set to be the most spectacular yet.
For more information on the day please keep your eyes peeled on the official London Chinatown website at