That means Happy New Year in Mandarin. The Cantonese equivalent is 'Gong Hey Fat Choi'. The Chinese New Year is here once again and the air is agog with Chinese lanterns, food and camaraderie. Each new year is associated with a symbol which has a significance. This year is the year of the Sheep (or Goat?). Well, I have read in certain quarters that there is some confusion whether it is the year of the sheep or the year of the goat. It seems as if they are grouped together as they are seen to 'belong' to the same family so you wont be wrong if you say the former or latter. We are still waiting for clarification regarding this from 'the horses mouth'.
I have attended a couple of celebrations and this year will be no different. Today is the first day of the new year and everyone heads home to spend the festivities with their families. The first three days of the year are usually declared holidays and some people take up to a week off work to to participate in the festivities.
Its not going to be any different over here and I bet Chinatown has been a beehive of activities the entire week. There will be a parade on Sunday beginning north of Trafalgar Square, past the square and into China Town, there will also be the traditional lion dance and loads of dim sum and sushi for the uninitiated to try. It will be a wonderful display of culture and a great way to spend the weekend if you are looking for outdoors activities.
The clothing, the lions, the face painting, the Geisha, the dancers, the music, the drummers, the restaurants, the food, the paper lanterns, the souvenirs, - nostalgic!! I am so looking forward to the celebrations. Culture is indeed a wonderful thing. Below are some pictures to whet your appetite regarding the forthcoming celebrations.