How to celebrate Chinese New Year: London edition
How to make the most out of this festivity in our Capital
One of the reasons why I enjoy living in London is that we have celebrations all year around. Notting Hill Carnival with its Caribbean vibes, St. Patrick's Day, Diwali.
London is a melting pot of cultures and there is always an excuse to party, with Chinese New Year being no exception.
How to make the most out of the celebrations? Here are a few tips!
Head to China Town and watch the parade
Every year, hundreds of people head down to the West End to join the celebrations. The parade usually starts in Shaftesbury Avenue and ends in China town with music, dancers and obviously the famous dragon.
After the parade, head to Trafalgar Square for more fun. Here is where most of the crowd will be with famous singers and performers delighting people with traditional acts.
Have something red with you!
The Chinese will hang up red lanterns, strings of chili peppers, paste red paper onto doors and windows, and more to scare the bad luck away.
Can't hurt to have an accent of red in your house right?
New clothes are also believed to bring good luck and start over fresh so why not to buy that nice jumper you eyed out on the high street?
Pig out on Chinese food...
If you ever needed an excuse to enjoy a Chinese feast, this could be the perfect occasion.
Back in time, the tradition wanted that you would eat dumplings everyday for the whole length of the celebrations but nowadays, people take it as a reason to make the most out of this Oriental cuisine.
Head to China Town for a traditional meal in one of the many restaurants you can find there or, if you are feeling more adventurous look up places or supper clubs that offer their take on Chinese New Year.
...and then treat yourself to a traditional dessert!
You might not know but most of Chinese traditional desserts have a meaning behind it!
Tangyuan for example sounds like tuanyuan, which means reunion, which makes it a really popular dessert for the New Years celebrations.
Nian gao is a type of rice cake and it symbolizes success each and every year.
The fa is the same as in fa cai (发财), which means “to get rich.” And who doesn't want that?
Tradition says that going somewhere high on New Year's Day will bring you good luck and prosperity in your career or education.
Why not heading for a drink to the Sky Gardens, The Shard or another famous viewpoint in the City? You will enjoy an incredible view and (hopefully) bring yourself some good luck for the coming year!
Are you going to celebrate Chinese New Year? If so, I'd love to hear how.